This is must-see TV. Please watch all of it, it’s a segment of “All In with Chris Hayes” from a day or two ago. Here’s the back story, via MSNBC:
What the numbers show are banks foreclosing on military service members who were entitled to relief, and banks foreclosing on homeowners who had been approved for a loan modification. The numbers even show banks foreclosing on homeowners who were not behind in their payments and not in default. [...]
According to the findings posted just Tuesday by a federal bank regulator as part of a settlement agreement with a number of major banks, between 2009 and 2010, foreclosure proceedings that were wrongful or in some way contained bank error commenced against nearly four million homeowners.
About 30% of those homeowners had to battle potentially wrongful efforts to seize their homes, and more than 244,000 eventually lost their homes… But given the scale of the deception and error, the amount of money is, in most instances, cartoonishly small.
The entire segment is astonishing.
Which brings us to this morning at a Senate Banking Committee hearing where Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked regulators why they won’t reveal how often big banks broke the law by illegally foreclosing on homeowners. Surprise! The answer was, they didn’t exactly know pre-settlement and, per Think Progress, “were now unwilling to publicize the error rate.”
Gee, who could have predicted that would happen?
Elizabeth Warren was her usual sharp-as-a-tack, unrelenting, driven self, and the regulators got the brunt of it. Where would we be without her to look out for us?
On Tuesday, regulators released new information suggesting that banks may have made errors in as many as 30 percent of all loans that qualified for a review,” the Huffington Post reported.
Watch Warren rip into the Big Bank Bodyguards, and watch them get all slithery and squirmy and resistant and small:
This is what “competent” looks like, Congress. Pay attention:
WARREN: So you have made a decision to protect the banks but not a decision tell the families who have been illegally foreclosed against?
RICHARD ASHTON (FEDERAL RESERVE): We haven’t made a decision about what information we would provide to individuals. [...]
WARREN: So I just want to make sure I get this straight. Families get pennies on the dollar in the settlement for having been the victims of illegal activities or mistakes in the banks’ activities. You now know individual cases where the banks violated the law, and you’re not going to tell the homeowners, or at least it’s not clear whether or not you’re going to do that?…
I thought this was about transparency… People want to know that their regulators are watching out for the American public, not the banks.
No, as I said, watching out for the American public seems to be falling on Elizabeth Warren’s shoulders. We need 100 more like her.