The mortgage fraud settlement being announced today is a slap on the wrist for the big banks and a slap in the face for homeowners (click here for the full story).
It does not do justice for the millions of homeowners who lost their homes or hold the banks fully accountable for their crimes. For homeowners who were defrauded and lost their homes, $2,000 is too little, too late. It is a paltry down payment toward full relief for homeowners.
Despite its flaws, the settlement announced today is stronger than it would have otherwise been because of grassroots groups and the courageous stance of Attorneys General from California, New York, Nevada, Delaware, and Massachusetts, who fought hard to bring more relief to homeowners and make sure that any settlement does not allow the banks to avoid accountability for fraudulent activity not yet investigated. Due to their work and the work of many allies, momentum is building toward broad-scale relief for homeowners.
This fight is not over. The Obama Administration needs to make sure that its task force goes the distance and delivers at least $336 billion in principal reduction on underwater mortgages and $50 billion in restitution for affected homeowners.
What happens next is critical. Washington CAN! and the New Bottom Line will continue to push for a strong settlement that will provide real relief to homeowners and that will truly hold the big banks accountable for their crimes. As we move forward, this is the President’s chance to show he is a champion for the 99%.