Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Victim Compensation Fund With No Admission of Guilt

Even the headline should give you pause.

States, Mortgage Lenders in Talks Over Fund For Borrowers in Foreclosure Mess:

By "mess" you mean, "crimes."

State attorneys general and the country's biggest lenders are negotiating to create a nationwide fund to compensate borrowers who can prove they lost their home in an improper foreclosure, state and industry officials said.

The fund would present a solution for both sides, helping banks avoid lengthy and costly court challenges from homeowners and aiding state investigators in their efforts to seek relief for homeowners who were wronged, the officials said.
By "wronged" you mean "victimized."
Discussions are continuing over the size of the fund, who would administer it and what kind of proof homeowners would have to present to get access to the money. But there is a consensus between the lenders and state officials that some sort of financial remedy is necessary to avoid the turmoil that could result from homeowner challenges.
By "challenges" you mean "criminal prosecutions."
The fund, the first of its kind in the mortgage industry, would mirror victim-compensation efforts set up in recent years in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the shootings at Virginia Tech and the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Those were all administered by a specially appointed czar, Kenneth Feinberg, who had the tough task of figuring out what each victim should receive.
It would mirror them, but it would not quite be called a "victim compensation fund" because calling it that would require Big Mortgage and Big Banking to admit the obvious: foreclosure has become a massive criminal enterprise, and the Foreclosure-Industrial complex is a bastion of thieves, con artists, and bottom-feeding thugs in suits who have victimized thousands of people.

Nah, instead, we'll just call it a "fund" for "distressed homeowners."
A quick settlement may be the best solution for the industry, homeowners and state and federal investigators, given the uncertainty the foreclosure mess has cast on the health of the banks and, more broadly, the housing market, officials said.

"It is in everyone's best interest to get this settled and behind us," Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan said Tuesday at a financial services conference in New York.
Snicker. It's in your best interest to get it settled, but probably not the thousands who have been robbed of and evicted from their homes the past three years.

Incredible. "Settling" a brazen, violent crime (which I warned would happen). Worse, they are shifting the burden of proof from the criminals (Big Mortgage) to the victims (foreclosed homeowners).

It would be like prosecutors and accused child molesters getting together to create a "fund" for any alleged victims who can "offer proof" that they were victimized. If you can prove you were molested (or gang raped in foreclosure, as this commenter argues), then we'll give you a financial payoff and...that's it.

The molesters will remain free to continue doing their "business," and law enforcement can move on to other such pressing issues, like investigating standardized test cheating scandals, or busting bartenders for serving underage customers.

Because you can bet on one thing: the school cheats and wily bartenders will receive more punishment than Big Mortgage and Big Banking are ever likely to.

No comments: