Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Foreclosure auction disrupted in Cleveland

If you've been following the vast swindle perpetrated by America's too-big-too-fail banks, you understand how they've cheated investors, insurers, homeowners, shareholders, depositors, and the government. You agree with the peerless Matt Taibbi about one perp, Bank of America:
It is a giant, raging hurricane of theft and fraud, spinning its way through America and leaving a massive trail of wiped-out retirees and foreclosed-upon families in its wake...
...all of us, as taxpayers, are keeping that hurricane raging. Bank of America is not just a private company that systematically steals from American citizens: it’s a de facto ward of the state that depends heavily upon public support to stay in business.
An overstatement? Consider this: The government today released a report (no, not an indictment) about bank criminality. The report found that banks hired people off the street, calling them "vice presidents" and telling them to rush foreclosure documents through the system -- even if they had the loan amount wrong. (That's illegal.) One Wells Fargo "vice president of loan documentation" had just previously worked at a pizzaria.

An earlier audit in San Francisco found that banks were taking homes from people who allegedly defaulted on loans they'd never agreed to. Nearly half of all foreclosure sales between January 2009 to November 2011 were sold to financial companies that didn't actually own the loans they claimed to own, the audit also found.

On Monday, the federal government filed a court settlement with the banks that requires them to give $2,000 to each of 750,000 homeowners who were foreclosued upon improperly. Yup, three-quarters of a million people that we know of were victims of banks' sloppiness -- at best -- and criminality at worst.

Which brings us to the video. As the Plain Dealer explains,
Several dozen Occupy Cleveland protesters marched from Public Square to the Justice Center. Their purpose was to demonstrate and disrupt the sheriff's auction of foreclosed homes.
The PD further reports:
"We are calling on the judicial system to institute an immediate moratorium on all foreclosures until a fair system of home loans is put into place," said Peter Schanz of Cleveland, an organizer of the group's foreclosure committee.
Before protesters could finish a prepared statement, sheriff's deputies carted them away and charged them with disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $100 fine.
Unfortunately for the protesters, they don't get the same system of justice that the banks get.