The Deal Is Done, But Hold the Applause

There’s NO DEAL Between the Banks, Feds and States
By Abigail Field, RealtyCheck, Feb 11, 2012

I’m beginning to think that the last couple of days were April 1st in disguise. I mean, what a crazy practical joke our Federal Government and State AGs just tried to play! What a parade of press conferences, all touting a deal to trade some $25 billion in mostly more accurate accounting for some kind of release of origination, servicing and foreclosure fraud. But it turns out the deal’s not real.

The Deal Is Done, but Hold the Applause
By Gretchen Morgenson, New York Times, Feb 11, 2012

Five big banks finally reached a deal with government authorities last week over dubious mortgage practices and foreclosure abuses. After months of talks, Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo agreed to pay a total of $5 billion in cash to try to remedy this fiasco. They will also help homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages by reducing the principal on their loans by a combined $17 billion over the next three years.

The Top 12 Reasons Why You Should Hate the Mortgage Settlement
By Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism, Feb 9, 2012

As readers may know by now, 49 of 50 states have agreed to join the so-called mortgage settlement, with Oklahoma the lone refusenik. Although the fine points are still being hammered out, various news outlets (New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal) have details, with Dave Dayen’s overview at Firedoglake the best thus far.

For Rentals, No Ceiling in Sight
By Vivian Toy, New York Times, Feb 10, 2012

When the real estate market was booming in 2007, renters showed up at apartments with checkbook in hand, ready to do battle with anyone else who might want the same place. That changed, of course, when the financial crisis hit in 2008. And the heady days that followed, when renters ruled in a down market, are now a fading memory.

For California, Attorney General Insisted on Better Terms in Foreclosure Deal
By Shaila Dewan, New York Times, Feb 13, 2012

Kamala D. Harris, the attorney general of California, could have derailed a nationwide settlement with big banks over home foreclosure abuses when she walked out of talks last September.

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