No sooner have the preliminary outlines of an inadequate settlement of mortgage servicing abuses been leaked, but the banking industry is engaged in a full court press to stop it.
The astonishing part is that the banking industry continues to maintain that it really didn’t do anything wrong, all it did was make some technical errors. That so grossly understates the degree of its recklessness and malfeasance as to be beyond relief.
It’s no surprise that the so-called Foreclosure Task Force which spent a mere eight weeks reviewing servicer activities and didn’t find much. The timeframe of its exam assured that it would not verify servicer records and accounts against borrower experience and records. It is almost certain that they also did not look at how servicer software credited payments and charges, when there is widespread evidence of violations of agreements with borrowers and RESPA.
And to the extent they looked at “improprieties” in foreclosure documents, it’s a given that they did not go beyond robosigning, when that is arguably the least significant form of malfeasance. There is ample evidence of fraud to cover for the failure to convey notes to securitization trusts, ranging from the misuse of lost note affidavits to document fabrication (bogus allonges being the most common fix).
In addition, pooling and servicing agreements also have specific provisions as to level and procedures for charging certain fees. Yet studies have determined that a specific servicer will apply the same charges across all borrowers and investors, irrespective of the requirements of particular securitizations. So it’s blindingly obvious that this exam was cursory, looking at one or two points of failure in a slapdash fashion and completely ignoring other issues that are at least as important.
And the most important issue that was and continues to be ignored is: why are servicers counterfeiting transfer documents in the first place?
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