A deal that wouldn’t sting
After months of back and forth, a deal that is supposed to punish large financial institutions for foreclosure misconduct may be nigh. While the exact terms remain under wraps, some aspects of this agreement — between banks on one side, and the federal government and a raft of state attorneys general on the other — are coming into focus. Things could change, of course, and the deal could go by the boards. But here’s the state of play, according to people who have been briefed on the negotiations but were not authorized to discuss them publicly. Cutting to the chase: if you thought this was the deal that would hold banks accountable for filing phony documents in courts, foreclosing without showing they had the legal right to do so and generally running roughshod over anyone who opposed them, you are likely to be disappointed.