Via David Dayen, at least one federal regulator wants to do something about the foreclosure crisis. Federal Deposit Insurance Commission Chair Sheila Bear has proposed implementing rigid standards for mortgage services in the financial reform regulatory rulemaking. She's advocating the idea of a claims commission for homeowners.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair wants a foreclosure claims commission set up, similar to the one established during the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico last year, to help homeowners victimized by improper foreclosures....
Lenders and servicers have restarted foreclosures from the robo-signing scandal and have begun refiling thousands of affidavits. Chase said it would mail out $2 million in refunds to those families.
But Bair wants to consider more in compensation and in new regulation.
"The mortgage servicing industry is fundamentally flawed and in desperate need of reform. It does not provide significant incentives to provide borrowers enough loss mitigation needs," Bair said.
She added that some servicers have become too big to succeed. Since 2000, the five largest servicers grew their market share from 32% to more than 60% today, Bair said, adding that these companies were either incapable of or reluctant to commit the resources necessary to implement effective loss mitigation practices.
As the 50 state attorneys general continue their investigation into the servicing industry, Iowa AG Tom Miller has said a fund to compensate borrowers victimized by robo-signers is on the table, but not necessarily pending.
It's good as far as it goes for those who've already been victimized by the mortgage servicing industry, but there's an immediate need to stop these unwarranted foreclosures and prevent their being further victims. Dday:
A nationwide compensation fund is fine, but in the end it’ll probably end up as just a payoff, the cost of doing business for the banks. You have to add to that real modifications with principal reductions, to reset the entire housing market and stabilize it. And you have to provide consequences for illegal behavior, which is in the background of virtually every foreclosure action over the past several years. Judge Arthur Schack is taking on foreclosure lawyers because they are lying in his court and breaking the law. The remedy for that is to throw those people in jail, and that needs to go all the way to the top. “I’m not going after lawyers, I’m out to do justice,” Judge Schack said. “We have something called due process of the law.” And there’s no justice without actual sanctions for criminal behavior. “We’re not Animal House,” concluded Judge Schack. “Some animals, like banks, are not more equal than others, to bring George Orwell into this.” It was Animal Farm, but have I mentioned that I love Judge Schack?
It's a start, and a good thing that someone in the administration is talking about doing something, anything on this issue. But it is just a start.