In fact, the settlement has functioned more as loss mitigation for BofA and investors in mortgage-backed securities than as recompense for victims of predatory lending, says Alan White, an associate professor of law at Valparaiso University and an expert on the subprime crisis. “You are not actually asking [Bank of America] to give up money,” says White, who frequently testifies before Congress on mortgage issues. “You are asking them to do something that will make them more money or mitigate their losses. It is a weird way to have somebody pay for past misconduct.”
Read the whole thing.
— Good things happen when reporters start snooping around the courthouses. The Wall Street Journal’s Dawn Wotapka sat in on a rocket docket foreclosure case in Florida and helped right a wrong:
Ms. Cervantes says she and her longtime partner Julio Bermudez fell behind on their mortgage payments two years ago. In August of last year, they applied for and were granted a loan modification from J.P. Morgan Chase, which services the mortgage. Since then, Ms. Cervantes says they never missed the $659.30 payment.
Then, last Saturday, the couple received a letter saying Chase foreclosed and the condo was sold online.
Just a few minutes after 9 a.m., on Tuesday Ms. Cervantes and Mr. Bermudez stood before the judge. In broken English, they tried to explain the situation. “There’s nothing I can do about the sale,” Judge Deehl says matter-of-factly. “You’re going to have to deal with the bank.”
They tried calling Chase many times, they said, but couldn’t get anywhere. After inquiries from The Wall Street Journal, Chase looked into the matter and discovered they made a mistake. In an email, a Chase spokesman said, “We are working to reverse the sale, and are reaching out to the customer to apologize. We have also been reviewing the application for a permanent modification.”