Ben Hallman at Huffington Post explains:
Two prominent Democratic senators levied a withering attack on federal bank regulators on Thursday, accusing them at a Senate hearing of putting the interests of banks ahead of consumers in refusing to disclose what they know about the failed foreclosure review program that ended abruptly earlier this year.
Most aggressive was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and longtime consumer advocate who is quickly developing a reputation as perhaps the Senate's most effective cross-examiner. Following a series of probing questions that would not have been out of place in a court room, Warren excoriated the regulators for not immediately turning over case records of borrowers who may be considering private legal action against their bank.
"You have made a decision to protect the banks but not to help the families who were illegally foreclosed on," Warren said. "Families get pennies on the dollar for being the victims of illegal activities."Our favorite line:
You have made a decision to protect the banks but not a decision to help the families who were illegally foreclosed against?...Our second favorite line:
Families get pennies on the dollar in the settlement for having been the victims of illegal activities or mistakes ni the banks activities ... you now know individual cases where the banks violated the law, and you're not going to tell the homeowners?Here's the Los Angeles Times on the settlement she's referring to:
As part of a settlement with federal regulators, 13 lenders this week are starting to pay out $3.6 billion to more than 4 million troubled borrowers whose homes were in foreclosure proceedings in 2009 and 2010.
A chart released Tuesday by the regulators showed that most of the borrowers would receive $300, the minimum allowed under the settlement terms. The maximum of $125,000 would go to 1,135 borrowers whose homes were seized while they were serving in the military or who were current on their payments.
The settlement replaces a failed process in which bank regulators required large mortgage servicers to hire consultants to audit foreclosures for wrongdoing. The process proved so costly and time-consuming that it was called off, and the independent auditors were replaced by the general settlement — a debacle that has drawn criticism from advocacy groups and others.