Okay, I’m baffled here, so perhaps some of our savvy, industry veteran readers can help out by posting a comment or two. The settlement talks I refer to in the title are, of course, all stemming from that messy robo-signing scandal. Every state attorney general office in the nation has gotten involved in this one. In fact, they are now at the point where they are collectively sitting down with the nation’s largest mortgage servicers (Bank of America, GMAC, Wells Fargo, etc.) this week to negotiate a settlement agreement.
The biggest issue remaining seems to be about how much the fines should be and the states would like to use this money to help future distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure. Rumors are the combined fines are in the $5 to $20 billion range.
But get this, according to the respected Wall Street Journal, servicers say they are only willing to pay up to $5 billion! Really? So the next time I get a speeding ticket, I can go to court and say I only feel like paying $50, instead of the $100 they want to charge me? When did we start allowing those who have infringed upon or blatantly disregarded procedures and the law to have a say in their punishment?
I’m not even sure why these attorneys general are sitting down with them to hammer out changes and fines. If Bank of America and the lot want to behave like spoiled children who have no disregard for the plight of others, then they should have to take whatever new regulations, changes or fines are thrown at them (and thank their lucky stars that it wasn’t worse).