February 13, 2012
We have been receiving literally dozens of e-mails from homeowners inquiring as to what effect the bank settlements with various attorneys general will have on their foreclosure cases. Answer: NONE, for several reasons.
First, the Attorney General claims were just that: claims by attorneys general against the banks. Private litigants were not parties to the litigation, so they are not parties to any settlement. In fact, it has already been reported that the settlements have no effect on and do not preclude an individual pursuing legal relief against a lender.
Second, the settlements are not even finalized yet. They have to be filed in court, and once they are, the states which filed the lawsuits will be free to enact whatever procedures, processes, requirements, etc. they wish as to whether a homeowner “qualifies” for any settlement proceeds. As we all know from the loan mod scam, this process can take months or even years, and there are a million ways that a homeowner can be found to ultimately not “qualify”.
Third, and perhaps most revolting and insidious, is that several of the states have ALREADY announced that portions of the settlements will be diverted to state budgets. Specific instances include Wisconsin’s announcement that it plans to use $25.6 million of the settlement money to “plug holes in the state’s budget”, while Missouri has announced that it plans to put $40 million of the settlement money into the state’s “general fund”.
So, once again, the homeowners get nothing. In fact, it has been separately announced that because the attorney general lawsuits have been resolved that the banks will be ramping up individual foreclosures, obviously now because they will not have state governments and attorneys general examining what they do. Sad, but unfortunately true.
Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com