Monday, August 22, 2011

Eric Schneiderman Remains a Beast

It's increasingly difficult to find politicians that don't suck, but Eric Schneiderman continues to prove that it's actually possible to take on the biggest financial interests in the United States. Unsurprisingly, this does not make you popular among the rich and powerful. His actions have put him under fire not only from the banks themselves, but from people who are carrying their water, in this case, the Obama Administration.
Eric T. Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, has come under increasing pressure from the Obama administration to drop his opposition to a wide-ranging state settlement with banks over dubious foreclosure practices, according to people briefed on discussions about the deal.

In recent weeks, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and high-level Justice Department officials have been waging an intensifying campaign to try to persuade the attorney general to support the settlement, said the people briefed on the talks.

Mr. Schneiderman and top prosecutors in some other states have objected to the proposed settlement with major banks, saying it would restrict their ability to investigate and prosecute wrongdoing in a variety of areas, including the bundling of loans in mortgage securities.

But Mr. Donovan and others in the administration have been contacting not only Mr. Schneiderman but his allies, including consumer groups and advocates for borrowers, seeking help to secure the attorney general’s participation in the deal, these people said. One recipient described the calls from Mr. Donovan, but asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.

Not surprising, the large banks, which are eager to reach a settlement, have grown increasingly frustrated with Mr. Schneiderman. Bank officials recently discussed asking Mr. Donovan for help in changing the attorney general’s mind, according to a person briefed on those talks.
He's currently refusing to sign on to a deal that would give the big banks immunity from prosecuting their fraud. He doesn't want a deal because unlike Geithner or any of the people pushing for a quick settlement, Schneiderman ACTUALLY WANTS TO PROSECUTE THEIR FRAUD. This difference isn't made particularly clear in the story and is extremely important. One side wants to prosecute the massive fraud that occured at the big banks, one side doesn't. It's essential to remember that when those defending the banks spout of BS like this:
“Eric and I agree on a tremendous amount here,” Mr. Donovan said. “The disagreement is around whether we should wait to settle and resolve the issues around the servicing practices for him — and potentially other A.G.’s and other federal agencies — to complete investigations on the securitization side. He might argue that he has more leverage that way, but our view is we have the immediate opportunity to help a huge number of borrowers to stay in their homes, to help their neighborhoods and the housing market.”

And Alisa Finelli, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department. said: “The Justice Department, along with our federal agency partners and state attorneys general, are committed to achieving a resolution that will hold servicers accountable for the harm they have done consumers and bring billions of dollars of relief to struggling homeowners — and bring relief swiftly because homeowners continue to suffer more each day that these issues are not resolved.”
The idea any of these people care about keeping people in their homes would be laughable if we weren't talking about people being kicked out of their homes. Marcy Wheeler:
You see, the Administration has an “immediate opportunity to help a huge number of borrowers stay in their homes,” without any action from Eric Schneiderman. They have a way to do so more swiftly, in such a way the servicers actually would be held accountable. It would involve offering refis with principal reductions to all the underwater homeowners whose loans are owned by Fannie and Freddie. That would not only help a huge number of borrowers stay in their home, but it would be massive stimulus.
That, along with HAMP, a program that was designed to prop up the banks rather than helping homeowners, doesn't give the Administration a leg to stand on when it comes to their credibility about "helping people stay in their homes". Their actions speak for themselves, and show that they see the foreclosure crisis as a problem in terms of the solvency of the megabanks, but don't really give a shit about the human/economic toll of mass foreclosures. Instead, they're spending their time going after one of the few people who isn't following the marching orders of the banking industry.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, Eric Schneiderman for president.

1 comment:

  1. Stand Strong Mr. Schneiderman!!
    Just read an article about how Mr. Schneiderman helped clear the credit history of numerous american soldiers. They were decieved from "SmartBuy",a company that took advantage of the service members using deceptive practices.
    I do believe Mr. Schneiderman is our present day Abe Lincoln.