Wells Fargo All About Serving Customers? Not So Much, Mr. Stumpf.

“People are surprised when I say this: Our number-one goal when we get up in the morning is not about making money. It’s about serving customers.”
~John Stumpf, Wells Fargo

If you’ve done business with Wells Fargo in the past 10 years or so – especially if you’ve had a mortgage or other loan “serviced” by WF – you know what a huge line of BS John Stumpf is feeding CNBC’s infotainment “investment analyst” Jim Cramer in this clip.

The former Wall Street hedge fund manager has to be particularly blind and deaf if he believes that Wells Fargo hasn’t taken part in the same list of ethically-reprehensible activities designed to defraud customers and make money for the bank: robosigning, forging foreclosure documents, predatory mortgage lending in minority communities, manipulating debit card transaction to generate overdrafts, and forcing mortgage borrowers into price-gouging home insurance.

The company even gets complaints for its handling of student loans and paid to settle a lawsuit regarding its debt-collection processes by harassing consumers, who are generally protected by specific debt-collection law. How Cramer can appear to be such a cheerleader for Stumpf & Co. in light of all this is beyond me, but he certainly seems to take everything the CEO says as absolute truth.

Certainly Stumpf wasn’t being entirely truthful when he told Cramer that the good and noble Wells Fargo wasn’t making all those dubious “liar loans” like other mortgage banks. Apparently they lost so much money resisting the temptation to create all sorts of mortgages people were unlikely to ever pay back that when the economy went bust they could buy out another bank of roughly equal size. Hmmm.

“So there was times between 2000 and 2008 where other mortgage lenders,
as an example, were making loans with nothing down, no verification – the so-called liar loans. And we didn’t participate in most of that.
So we gave up billions of originations, hundreds of millions of profibut then when everything came apart, we were able to use out capital to buy out Wachovia.”
~John Stumpf, Wells Fargo

wellsubprimeActual facts fail to support the image of Stumpf on a white steed, riding above the greed-fest that was the mortgage business in the years before the crash. Statistics compiled by the Center for Responsible Lending in a 2004 report show subprime lending going gangbusters at Wells Fargo by 2003. Between 2005 and 2007, the bank made the subprime producers’ top 10 list.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau certainly knows Wells Fargo is no angel when it comes to treatment of customers. Its September monthly complaint reports places WF in the top three banks consumers across the country have issues with regarding both mortgages and the top two regarding debt collection.

And here’s a list of consumer complaint websites, where you can pretty much plug in “Wells Fargo” with whatever topic you like to find people the bank has jerked around.

So, pretty sure that Stumpf the Sanctimonious and his faithful sidekick Cramer the Credulous are telling a blatantly fictional tale about the all-powerful but beautifully benevolant Wells Fargo Bank. Do yourself a big favor and don’t listen to either one of these guys. And, by all means, do not do business with or invest in this lying, cheating bank.

Fighting the Good Fight

As admin of this blog and WellsFargoMortgageMod.com, I’m beyond happy that information I posted on the web as a therapeutic exercise during my loan mod nightmare is helping other foreclosure fighters seek justice.

I couldn’t be more proud to have my site quoted in a lawsuit against Wells Fargo filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Thursday.

miramontesp1Miramontes v. Wells Fargo N.A., Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and others specifies 13 counts including wrongful foreclosure, violation of the Rosenthal Act (known to many of us as the Fair Debt Collection Act), negligence, conspiracy and my personal favorite based on my experiences with the bank: breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The suit, brought by Pavone & Fonner, LLP, alleges that the bank stole Everardo and Mirna Miramontes’ brand new custom-built home in a rigged foreclosure sale after assuring the couple repeatedly that they would not lose their home and a loan modification was in the works.

The complaint details how Wells Fargo allegedly strung the Miramontes along with a “special forbearance agreement,” then denied their loan mod and sold the property just three days later. To make matters worse, the trustee is alleged to have sold the property at less than market value to a straw buyer after telling another potential bidder willing to pay more that the sale had been postponed.

The stinking rats. Oh yeah. I am rooting for the Miramontes and will be extremely proud of my little part in the case when they (hopefully) prevail.

SIGTARP: Banks Fail Miserably at HAMP, Treasury Does Pretty Much Nothing

The most recent quarterly report from the special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) shows the terrible truth that taxpayer-bailed-out banks have rejected nearly three-quarters of applications for a government-backed and much-touted mortgage loan re-structuring program.

The third-quarter report for fiscal year 2015, released in July, shows that the banks turned down 72 percent of those seeking foreclosure through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). That figure certainly comes as no surprise to those of us who have been fighting a maddening battle with our banks’ “loss mitigation” departments, which seem to be on a mission to increase that denial rate instead of help homeowners restructure their loans in the face of ongoing economic challenges often not of their own making.

When the Making Home Affordable initiative was launched in early 2009, it was supposed to help up to 9 million homeowners keep their homes. HAMP itself was supposed to help 3 million to 4 million homeowners by extending their loan terms, decreasing their interest rates and reducing principal. (The first two sometimes happened; the third, not so much.)

In spite of having its drop-dead date extended three times, most recently through December 2016, HAMP has utterly failed to meet this goal. U.S. Treasury Department statistics kept since January 2009 – about seven months after President Obama announced HAMP’s launch – show of 5.7 million homeowners who applied for mortgage relief through the department’s “cornerstone” mortgage relief program, more than 4 million were rejected as of April 2015.

tarpgraphicAnd SIGTARP reports that an April 2015 Treasury survey of banks that service mortgage loans shows as many as 5.8 million HAMP applications were denied in total.

Odd, isn’t it, that those statistics don’t show up headlined in Treasury’s press archive? Nothing but sweetness and light there. Not unlike the department’s most recent quarterly report on Making Home Affordable, the umbrella under which HAMP operates. The headline tells such a positive tale: More than 2.3 Million Homeowner Assistance Actions have taken place under Making Home Affordable (MHA) programs. Nary a mention of those 5.8 million denied HAMP applications. Can’t you feel your head spin?

My state, Arizona, which was consistently counted among the top three “hardest-hit” foreclosure states, had a 68 percent denial rate. Of just over 172,000 applications, fewer than 55,000 homeowners were granted “trial” modifications – assigned a three-month reduced payment plan that, if successfully completed, was supposed to lead to a permanent modification.

That in spite of being granted an extra $125 million federal allocation from the Hardest Hit Fund intended to “provide assistance of up to $50,000 to qualified homeowners to create an affordable and sustainable mortgage payment through a permanent principal reduction modification.” (Sadly, the program proved just another farce.)

Three of the top seven servicers participating in MHA, Citi, Chase and Bank of America, all had staggering HAMP trial plan denial rates – above 80 percent. My servicer, Wells Fargo, did better with “only” 60 percent denial.

Note that for the first quarter of 2015, the Treasury Department’s mortgage servicing survey found that Chase and BofA needed only “minor improvement” and Citi and Wells Fargo needed “moderate improvement” in their compliance with the quite specific HAMP servicing standards supposedly administered by the department. Such a gift for understatement those Treasury officials have. Not, however, a gift for ensuring that banks act to make programs like HAMP actually work for the people they’re supposed to serve.

According to the SIGTARP quarterly report:

“Congress created SIGTARP to prevent vulnerabilities for fraud, waste, and abuse in TARP, improve TARP’s efficiency and effectiveness, and enforce the law where fraud has seeped in.

“SIGTARP’s 176 recommendations are designed to protect TARP programs and dollars. But they can only provide that protection if Treasury implements them. Treasury, however, has failed to implement 104 of SIGTARP’s 176 recommendations, losing opportunities to make a difference.”

Later in the report, this conclusion that will come as no surprise to anyone who has tried to secure a loan mod: “Some of SIGTARP’s most significant unimplemented recommendations to Treasury address problems in HAMP …”

The HAMP guidelines, most of which have been in place since shortly after the MHA programs were launched in early 2008, were reiterated four years later as detailed standards specified in the much-touted National Mortgage Settlement. But, Treasury seems to deliberately avoid making the MHA programs work effectively an efficiently, a fact that clearly frustrates current TARP Special Investigator General Christy Romero as much as it did the first SIGTARP, Neil Barofksy. Plenty of American homeowners – and former homeowners – know just how you feel, Ms. Romero.

No wonder I’m seeing an up-tick in traffic on my blog, website and facebook page. I’ve heard from people in their fifth year of fighting the bank and no matter how much paperwork they submit or how much research they have done to confirm that they do, indeed, meet the publish criteria for a HAMP mod, the bank keeps faking reasons to refuse.

Not surprising that people are seeking outlets to tell their stories, if only to confirm that they 1) aren’t losing their minds and 2) aren’t the only ones being totally jerked around by huge corporations that should operate with some level of professionalism and ethics

Consider this post on a seemingly inactive foreclosure prevention company’s site. The original complaint against Wells Fargo was posted in February 2008. Scroll down and you’ll find 112 comments posted over four-and-a-half years – an eternity in Web time. You’ll see most of those 112 posters tell similar tales: either same story, same bank or same story, different bank.

The the two SIGs have been reporting many of the same things we’ve all been saying since 2008, and doing it in clear, readable documents backed up with clear statistical analysis illustrated with informative graphics. So it’s not as if anyone who wanted to understand the problems and get sensible advice on effective fixes doesn’t have access to the necessary information.

The truth remains: the big banks have no intention of dealing fairly with distressed homeowners seeking to restructure their mortgage loans and nobody with the power to stop the banks has any intention of changing this.

Resources:

Still Not Safe From Bank Robbers

It’s 2015 and Wells Fargo & Friends are still robbing homeowners every way they can. So much about the way these banks treat mortgage borrowers has not changed since I started writing about the topic back in 2009 as the foreclosure feeding frenzy was starting to get out of control.

Seems I can just dust off blog posts from several years ago, update the links and re-run them as relevant to what’s still happening.

warningdoor2I wrote a tongue-in-cheek Warning to Wells Fargo’s Burglars in early 2011 when I was still had hope my diligence would win me a mortgage loan modification. But six months later, fully understanding the banksters were rampaging unchecked and honestly fearing to leave my home unattended to go out of town even overnight, I took a more serious tone. “Bank Robbers” Takes on New Meaning

Nothing is sacred to these people, either the bank executives or the companies they hire to “trash out” foreclosed (or not) homes. Consider this case, which is just hitting the courts nearly three years after the incident:

When the Bank Robs You: Wells Fargo Contractors Allegedly Stole Family Heirlooms Rescued From Nazis

Big surprise. The bank robbers are still sending in their minions to steal from people.

March 2015: Bank ‘breaks into man’s home,’ won’t say why

A former Chicago police officer, Mike Tomasovich, filed a lawsuit claiming that his own mortgage bank, Fifth Third Bank, sent contractors to break into his Estero, Florida, home via a drill through the door lock.

The two intruders then posted a note on the front window that could be read from the outside that warned the residence had been “found to be unsecure or vacant,” the Fort Myers News-Press reported.

Tomasovich, who splits his time between Chicago and Estero, said he’s kept up with payments and has never been in foreclosure. Lee County public records confirm that, the newspaper reported.

“There was food in the refrigerator, a car in the garage,” he told the paper. “Every room is furnished. The electricity was on, the pool was crystal clear.”

And when it becomes clear to them that they’ve made a colossal mistake and screwed up the life of some completely innocent person, do they apologize abjectly and work tirelessly to right their wrong? Not exactly.

Bank Issues Statement About Home It Wrongfully Foreclosed Upon, Balks At Paying Up

But the bank has balked at paying the $18,000 Barnett is asking for.

“(They) demanded that I had receipts for all my stuff that they threw away,” Barnett said. “And I said, ‘Well, you know first of all, I don’t have receipts for all of my stuff. I wasn’t expecting a bank to come and to accidentally repossess my house and throw it all away. And second, if I did, where do you think it would be? In my house with all my belongings?’”

She said that everything from clothes to patio furniture to pool supplies was disposed of.

“This is the basketball hoop. They actually gave it to one of our neighbors, and the neighbors ended up giving it back to us. That is the only thing we’ve gotten back.

stumpyrobberI actually ran across several references to banks trashing out the wrong house and then demanding devastated homeowners produce receipts in order to have their belongings replaced. Any normal human being working at a bank would think, “Wait, that’s not logical. I don’t keep the receipts for every single thing I buy. That would be CRAZY.”

But the poor bankster-brainwashed automatons in the phone queues certainly aren’t paid to think (but they are paid to provide an impenetrable firewall between the great unwashed public and the exalted executives.) They’re just paid to do their master’s bidding. Like the people who are still still stealing from homeowners at the behest of Wells Fargo and its bank-robber buddies.

In Case You Thought the Mortgage Mod Process Had Improved

While I was clearing out some old news items to make way for my website’s more up-to-date and topical News page, I ran across this February 2011 clip from MSNBC’s now-defunct The Dylan Ratigan Show.

Listening to Ratigan and his guests describe the way banks were scamming homeowners with HAMP trial modifications, it struck me that I’m reading about some of the same practices from commenters to my blog posts in 2015.

This PBS NewsHour segment I dug up from October 2010 also tells a story familiar to my readers, including homeowners’ reports of spending endless hours on the phone, sending paperwork over and over, dual-tracking and multiple (and often unresponsive) assigned contact people.

“You get put under a lot of stress, trying to get help. And it’s not there.”

Wow! The more things change, the more the big banks have been screwing over honest, hard-working people for years with the collusion of the Obama administration, Congress, the courts and every regulatory agency that’s supposed to look out for consumers.

And, while we’re on the subject, this headline from intrepid (and prescient) blogger Martin Andelman might just be my favorite:

THE JURY IS IN: Obama’s Foreclosure Program Run by Morons… and Trial Modifications are the Biggest Loan Mod Scam Ever

If I knew then what I know now – and what Martin Andelman correctly predicted – I would have saved myself a whole lot of work and anguish and walked away with a bigger bank account and a smaller waistline. (That stress eating while sending out your 90th set of loan mod docs really adds up!)

Well, the morons are still in charge and thanks to the way campaigns are financed now, they will continue to be. And trial mortgage loan modifications are still a big scam.

I’ve found a few other information gems I had forgotten about – including updated facts and figures from sites I haven’t looked at in years – that I’ll be sharing in the coming weeks.

An Unlikely Sponsor of Legislation We Need: John McCain & 21st Century Glass-Steagall

Maybe nobody was more surprised than I was to hear that Arizona Sen. John McCain teamed up with my hero, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, to sponsor legislation that would rein in our nations bloated “too big to fail” banks.

After all, despite his seniority in Congress and visibility in the 2008 presidential campaign, McCain did damn-all for Arizona residents victimized by those banks’ overzealous foreclosure frenzy. In language typical of the big banks’ spin doctors, he actually had the nerve to blame consumers for the foreclosure crisis – a particularly callous position considering his home state was repeatedly ranked one of the top three hardest hit by the economic crash.

The staff of a hospitalized Rep. Gabrielle Giffords did more for me during my fight with Wells Fargo than the presumably quite healthy McCain despite the fact that I wrote him a very candid letter describing my experience of being strung along over seven months in the bank’s first of several reviews of my loan for modification.

It’s not as if he were a stranger to financial crises – he was one of five senators investigated for his ties with Charles Keating, a key figure in the late 1980s savings and loan collapse. Yet, he went on to establish a reputation for opposing financial regulation.

Perhaps his inaction in the face of the banks’ foreclosure frenzy has something to do with the fact that securities and investment companies remain among his top financial supporters. Which, of course, makes it even stranger that he’d be seen in public with Sen. Warran, let alone co-sponsor legislation that would rein his bankster benefactors.

Whatever his reasons for now siding with supporters of financial reform, McCain gives a pretty comprehensive review of the issue in the clip above. But he’s not  exactly a riveting speaker, more a monotone reader of his notes in this instance. If you want more background on the history of post-Depression banking reform, try this well-written Washington Post blog from 2013: Elizabeth Warren and John McCain want Glass-Steagall back. Should you?

The 21st Century Glass-Steagall will no doubt face stiff opposition by Wall Street and the banking industry. Bank shills rant and gnash their teeth when the subject of breaking up the “too big to fail” banking empires arises. Like McCain, they point their fingers at consumers – those greedy, lazy people who “bought too much house” and then refused to pay their mortgages.

Those few people who made bad financial decisions have to stand in line behind a whole lot of financial services industry insiders when the blame is handed out though. I think hedge fund manager James Rickards gets it right in his 2012 US News op-ed Repeal of Glass-Steagall Caused the Financial Crisis.

“It is true that the financial crisis has enough blame to go around. Borrowers were reckless, brokers were greedy, rating agencies were negligent, customers were naïve, and government encouraged the fiasco with unrealistic housing goals and unlimited lines of credit at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Yet, the fact that there were so many parties to blame should not be used to deflect blame from the most responsible parties of all—the big banks. Without the banks providing financing to the mortgage brokers and Wall Street while underwriting their own issues of toxic securities, the entire pyramid scheme would never have got off the ground.”

Since 2008 there have been some nominal attempts to stave off future economic disasters, including recent action by the Federal Reserve to increase capital reserve requirements for the eight biggest banks.

Reinstating some version of Glass-Steagall has been discussed since Congress (with McCain voting against) passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010. Part of the law was supposed to limit risky speculation by banks whose primary business involves holding consumer deposits.

But, of course, the banks sent their lobbyists to influence already complicit regulators and legislators in watering down and generally obfuscating this provision into a mostly meaningless mess. Economist Dean Baker explains that in a 2013 op-ed Glass-Steagall now: Because the banks own Washington:

“The Volcker Rule provision in Dodd-Frank was an effort to re-establish a Glass-Steagall-type separation, but the industry is making Swiss cheese out of this regulation in the rule-writing process. Serious people cannot believe that this will keep the Wall Street banks from using their government-guaranteed deposits as a cushion to support their speculative game playing.

If anyone questions how this story is likely to play out in practice, we need only go back a few years to the financial crisis of 2008-2009. At that time, most of the major banks, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, almost surely would have failed without government support.”

Those banks are still spending billions to fund political campaigns and then influence elected officials to thwart attempts to limit their seemingly insatiable appetites. And it has worked. Instead of getting smaller, the biggest banks have gotten bigger since 2008, though the growth rate of at least the four largest has slowed somewhat compared to pre-crisis, according to a May 2015 report by The Brookings Institution.

Sadly, it seems small local and regional banks have been the biggest casualties since the economic bust. Some have failed but many have – you guessed it – been gobbled up by big banks to make bigger banks.

Why should you care?

Is that enough information for you to contact your senators and representatives to urge support for Warren and McCain’s 21st Century Glass-Steagall?

 

Don’t Let Big Banks Break the Economy Ever Again

Contact your Congressional representatives to urge them to support the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall. If we don’t break up the big bully banks and restore some safeguards, we’re setting up a cycle of boom/bust that always costs the average person and ends up putting more dollars in the pockets of the rich and powerful. And those rich banksters will keep using their wealth and influence to subvert the democratic process, ensuring the rest of us have no real say in how our country is governed.

“We weren’t sent to Washington to work for the big banks. It’s time for the banking a system that serves the best interests of the American people, not just those few at the top.”

“We weren’t sent to Washington to work for the big banks. It’s time for the banking a system that serves the best interests of the American people, not just those few at the top.”       ~Elizabeth Warren

Still don’t understand why you should get involved and insist that Congress pass Warren’s bill? Here’s a great op-ed piece by Robert Reich: Time to bring back Glass-Steagall.

Or watch this classic episode of Moyers & Company that explains the whys and wherefores very clearly.

Want to do more? Sign these petitions and share on social media.

PETITION TO CONGRESS: Pass Elizabeth Warren’s Glass-Steagall Bill

Help Elizabeth Warren rein in Wall Street

Pass Elizabeth Warren’s Glass-Steagall Bill

 

Wells Fargo Executives Embarrassed by Employee Incompetence?

Poor Wells Fargo. It must be really distressing to CEO John Stumpf that his mortgage division is being called on the carpet yet again.

Big Banks’ Mortgage Units — Still Failing Customers — Face New Restrictions
On Wednesday, the OCC announced that six banks that manage home loans — EverBank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Santander Bank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo — haven’t implemented all the reforms they promised to make as part of the 2011 deals.

As punishment, the regulator has imposed new restrictions on the banks’ mortgage departments, limiting their ability to acquire residential servicing rights in some circumstances, and forcing them to seek OCC approval before hiring senior officers in their mortgage servicing and compliance departments.

The restrictions vary, with Wells Fargo and HSBC strictly prohibited from certain types of new business acquisition, while the other banks must first seek OCC approval.

Let’s face it, things must be very obviously bad if the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has finally taken its head out of the sand and noticed something was wrong with the way Wells and the other big financial institutions deal with consumer requests for mortgage loan modifications in the wake of a past “enforcement action” and a so-called punitive settlement that set servicing guidelines for the banks.

One of the many issues cited when the OCC sanctioned Wells and others last week was the ongoing inability of the bank to assign each loan mod review to a single, knowledgeable employee tasked with, among other things, keeping the consumer informed throughout the process.

Wells Fargo, the OCC said in a new consent order, “continues to engage in unsafe and unsound practices.” Among the bank’s points of “noncompliance,” the regulator said in regulator-speak, is its failure to ensure “effective communication with borrowers, both oral and written.”

According to the OCC, Wells Fargo still has yet to ensure that each borrower is matched with a single customer service representative at the bank to handle their modification request or foreclosure — a basic first step to ending the cycle of confusion, lost paperwork and endless hours on the phone that many homeowners have endured while speaking with a succession of uninformed bank employees.

Mike Heid, the president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, said in a statement that the bank has “implemented significant changes to our mortgage servicing operations and achieved compliance with major elements of the original Consent Order.”

I would imagine Stumpf and Heid must just be beside themselves with shame and distress because none of the many hundreds of company executives is intelligent enough to set up a system to assign cases to the employees trained and empowered to manage them. You’d think the nation’s largest mortgage bank and second-largest mortgage servicer could afford to hire somebody to help with that.

How embarrassing for Heid and other WFHM executives who have been telling no less an auspicious audience than the U.S. Congress since April 2010 that the company is diligently working on creating what has become known as a “single point of contact” system. How distressing that the no-doubt earnest testimony of those well-paid men was made into lies by the base incompetence of those idiot employees who, after years and years of being paid salaries still can’t manage to create a database and develop a protocol for working with consumers.

More than five years later, they have to hang their heads in shame that they can’t manage to do what countless private and government organizations do every day – assign clients, patients, students, etc., to a contact person they can count on to help them through a bureaucratic process.

Back when I worked in a tiny academic advising office at a small university, we somehow managed to create and administer a system that could divvy up the students among trained advisors, maintain an electronic database to record  every communication we had with those students, and track their academic progress and choice of major. Little did I know back then that we lowly functionaries were geniuses compared to the high-dollar executives at the nation’s fourth-largest bank.

While I was trying to work with Wells Fargo to restructure my loan, I experienced the terrible incompetence of its system firsthand. Over two and a half years, I was assigned no fewer than 17 people who were supposed to help get my case reviewed. Oddly enough, most of them weren’t very helpful at all. Some of them even seemed to completely lack such basic skills as how to read a bank statement, how to add simple numbers and how to return phone calls.

One wonders how the very same company has managed to keep the paperwork straight and organize all the steps required to facilitate the hundreds of thousands of foreclosures it has committed over the past few years. Of course, we now know there was a special manual created to help Wells Fargo employees fabricate the reams of documents necessary to achieve this profitable outcome.

Perhaps Stumpf and Heid could hire the same people who wrote the Foreclosure Manual to create a Loan Mod Manual. Wouldn’t that be helpful? I wonder why none of their expensive executives thought of that?

Remembering an Attorney General Who Stood Against the Big Banks

Sad news about the death of one of the few people in power who seemed to care at all about the big banks’ glaring fraud in creating and then profiting from the ongoing foreclosure frenzy.

Former Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, died yesterday from brain cancer. He, along with New York AG Eric Schneiderman, was one of very few politicians and law enforcement personnel who worked to bring some justice to the financial crisis and its aftermath.

When information about widespread paperwork fraud (robosigning) came to light, he called for a foreclosure moratorium in his state, where his office already had created a Mortgage Fraud Task Force to help homeowners. He also championed the rights of citizens in his state by filing a deceptive consumer practices lawsuit against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), the company that aided Wall Street in slicing and dicing the housing market for its own profit.

How many of us wish we lived in states where the attorneys general at least appeared to notice that the banksters were taking advantage and harming homeowners? Me, for one. At the beginning of the financial fiasco, Arizona had an Attorney General who was on the forefront of the fight against the big banks. Sadly, he was replaced by a man one Phoenix news outlet compared with Elmer Fudd (which is an insult to the cartoon character.

What the country’s beleaguered homeowners couldn’t have done with a Beau Biden in every state where the foreclosure feeding frenzy swallowed up families and spit them out into the streets. RIP sir.

Wells Fargo’s Fraud Handbook

“When they did the bailout, they bailed out the banks … but they never bailed out the homeowners. The homeowners took the biggest hit.”

None of this comes as a surprise to any of us who have been dealing with the systemic idiocy of Wells Fargo’s mortgage loan modification review “process” over the past seven years or so. Nor, for that matter, anyone who has tried to re-structure a mortgage serviced by any of the “too big to fail” banks.

Falsified paperwork. “Lost” paperwork.Electronic “paperwork.” Paperwork that didn’t count because you didn’t sign it in the lower left-hand corner upside down with your own blood.

“What people don’t understand is this: 49 attorney generals went after
almost every major bank including Wells Fargo.
There was a $25 billion settlement for these kinds of fraudulent practices,but nothing to help the homeowners. That’s what is so crazy.”