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No Mortgage Deal but Banks get Free Pass

posted by Alan White

The national mortgage settlement among federal and state regulators and major banks, announced with much fanfare on February 8, still has not produced an actual written settlement agreement, judging by the dead link on the settlement web page. That hasn't stopped the Treasury Department from announcing that Chase and BankofAmerica will receive millions in HAMP payments previously being withheld because the banks were not complying with promises they made in their contracts with Treasury to modify loans. The announcement does not say the banks are now in compliance. This is a bit ironic, given that the point of the settlement was supposed to include improving mortgage servicer performance in preventing foreclosures. It does not bode particularly well for enforcement of any future promises made by the banks in the someday-to-be-released settlement.

Kudos to Arthur Delaney at HuffPo for reading the press release, with the anodine tag line "Obama Administration Releases February Housing Scorecard," all the way through.

Comments

The settlement should contain some type of ability for any interested parties (AG's, press, blogs, citizens) to monitor.

In that regard, there is a well-established and time-honored concept for monitoring similar data without revealing any specific personal information. Almost all medical data is available at some level for research purposes, having first gone through the process of 'anonymizing', by which data is released in a form which strips all identifying information, but which is highly analyzable.

Shouldn't the settlement contain a condition that the settlement management group periodically release anonymized data for real analysis and tracking?

The announcement does not say the banks are now in compliance. This is a bit ironic, given that the point of the settlement was supposed to include improving mortgage servicer performance in preventing foreclosures.

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