As it stands, the actual details and specifics of the mortgage fraud settlement reached by the five biggest lenders in the US today have never appeared more certain. However, it appears equally as certain that the agreement will not be put in motion anytime soon, therefore with no specific resolution to speak of, president Barack Obama instead made an alternative yesterday.
“Tonight, I’m asking my Attorney General to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorney general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis. This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans.” said Obama as part of his State of the Union address.
So to summarize the state of the fraud settlement fiasco, there was supposed to be a full and ‘fair’ settlement in place long before now and it appears as though a deal has indeed been ironed out.
However, Obama’s speech has made it clear that yet another extensive and potentially expensive investigation is to take place, in order to hold Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and others accountable for their actions.
Should the settlement come to pass, the $25 billion headline figure may seem large on the surface, but less than half of the foreclosure victims affected are set to benefit – with those who do earmarked for a paltry $1,800 or so each.
Of course, a settlement of any description now seems entirely improbable at any point in the near future, at least until the next investigation has run its course…however long it may take.