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Foreclosure-Gate: Zero Attorney General Investigations into Foreclosure Fraud

This is the key snippet from Gretchen Morgenson’s New York Times column today, which inveighs against Iowa attorney general Tom Miller’s unseemly and peculiar haste to get a deal with miscreant banks inked: Two people who have been briefed on the discussions, but who asked for anonymity because the deal was not final, told me last week that no witnesses had been interviewed and that the coalition had sent out just one request for documents — and it has not yet been answered. And the official denial amounts to a confirmation: Mr. Miller declined to be interviewed about the proposal. But Geoff Greenwood, his spokesman, disputed the notion that the attorneys general have done no investigation. “We have dealt with this issue for some three and a half years on a day-to-day, front-line basis with consumers,” he said. “We know what the problems are, and we know what needs to change.” Really? All you have is complaints to various AG offices, which I sincerely doubt have been investigated in a systematic manner. If they had been, we would have seen more wideranging action in more states by now. But all they have is accounts from irate homeowners, along with court cases and horror stories reported in the media. That’s self-reported sample, regularly dismissed by the banks as anecdotal and not consequential. Without an investigation, all we have is “he said, she said.” Despite robo-signing having revealed widespread abuse of court procedures, the AGs seem remarkably unwilling to get to the bottom of things. Since the banks are the ones who have a seat at a table in these negotiations, it’s almost a certainty that their version of the story will get more serious consideration.

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