David Dayen – Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Rubber-Stamped by a Federal Judge
A federal judge in DC swiftly approved the foreclosure fraud settlement yesterday. Actually four of the consent orders with the five largest mortgage servicers were approved Wednesday, but we only learned publicly of the approval of all five settlements yesterday.
Some investor groups had talked about challenging the terms of the settlement, but this approval happened so quickly, and without even so much as a hearing, that they had no time to react. This is the very definition of a rubber stamp.
But the real news on this approval, dug out by Nick Timiraos, is this sentence: “Nothing from the consent judgment entered into court in the $25B foreclosure settlement may constitute ‘evidence against Defendant.’”
Now this was expected, and it was part of the document. The five servicers don’t have to “admit nor deny” wrongdoing as part of the settlement, an example of the total lack of accountability on display here. But it’s really stunning to see it in print that way. And here’s just an example of why this is so wrong.
Via Abigail Field, here’s a just-decided case against Wells Fargo on behalf of a private individual in a bankruptcy proceeding. The judge, particularly angry about the charges, awarded $317,000 to the borrower, and then ten times that, $3.17 million, in punitive damages. Here were just some of the findings in the case: