FBI looking at foreclosure mess, as much as the big banks want to end the mess and move on; as much as the country NEEDS this mess to be over, it looks like it’s around for a while. Attorneys general in all 50 states are jointly investigating whether lenders violated state laws, lawyers for evicted homeowners are preparing lawsuits against major lenders, state judges have signaled they will review the banks’ foreclosure documents with skepticism, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill plan to hold hearings. On top of all that, now and unnamed official has told CNBC that the FBI is in the initial stages of trying to determine whether the financial industry may have broken criminal laws in the mortgage foreclosure crisis. The law enforcement official says the question is whether some in the industry were acting with criminal intent or were simply overwhelmed by events in the wake of the housing market’s collapse.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is just getting under way. Hundreds of judges around the country have the authority to penalize bank officials who violate their procedural rules. They could also force thousands of foreclosure cases to go to full trials rather than issue a quick ruling. “There could be some serious consequences,” including criminal charges, Zoeller said. Even if there aren’t, lawsuits are likely to continue for years, said Guy Cecala, publisher of trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance. “Some of these plaintiffs’ attorneys clearly smell blood in the water,” Cecala said.
- Banks unlikely to quell foreclosure-document mess (sfgate.com)
- Summary Box: Banks can’t quell foreclosure mess (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Summary Box: Banks Can’t Quell Foreclosure Mess (abcnews.go.com)
- FBI Reportedly Investigating Foreclosure Crisis (dailyfinance.com)
- Ind. sues foreclosure consultants, alleging scams (sfgate.com)
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