The state attorneys general are expected to file the mortgage servicers settlement this week. Hopefully there will be no more delays, as it's been too long to get to this point. And the industry is eager to have a peek. But perhaps more important is the need to see a copy of the original complaint.
I am curious to see to what extent redress is granted in the robo-signing controversy, especially as this relates to the standard-setting expectations this settlement is hoped to achieve.
In the meantime, attorneys at Ballard Spahr hope to get to some of those answers in a webinar Tuesday. In preparation in my role as moderator, I've tossed many ideas back and forth with mortgage banking attorney Michael Waldron.
A great follow-up discussion will take place at the REthink Symposium on Thursday March 22, where I will engage Iowa AG Tom Miller, who headed up the AG negotiations, along with Indiana AG Greg Zoeller.
I welcome the clarity. The part most nagging me is what the settlement represents. First and foremost, it represents the admission of poor quality control on the part of the lenders who settled. Second it puts those same institutions in charge of mitigating the losses of the infringed homeowner. But are these not the same institutions the settlement declares incapable of solid documentation handling? And yet is permission not being granted to deliver sufficient short sales, forbearance, write-downs and other relief? In some ways this could be considered a mortgage servicing vote of confidence.
And so the authors of this settlement may be in charge of regulating this process. What about the federal regulatory body of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
Instinct predicts the settlement will go somewhat toward justice for crimes of the past. Whereas the AGs may be looking to ensure cleaner mortgage operations in the future.
Therefore, the AGs must be willing to engage in a certain level of monitoring in the future.
Waldron points out similar, earlier settlements where afflicted homeowners signed a release before accepting a settlement. That is not the case here, homeowners will not be waiving any rights, we expect.
So the extent of the incentive is unclear, which is why we hope to see a copy of the original complaint.
Only then can we know if the AG settlement goes too far, or not far enough.