Banks Allegedly Overcharged U.S. Government When Foreclosing on Homeowners

You think you understand the truly depressing extent of conduct of some banks before, during, and after the foreclosure crisis, and then you read this:

"(Reuters) - The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan is investigating at least five banks over whether they overcharged the government for expenses incurred during foreclosures on federally backed home loans, filings and interviews show.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc, PHH Corp, MetLife Inc, Santander Holdings USA Inc and Citizens Financial Group Inc, the U.S. unit of Royal Bank of Scotland, have all disclosed in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that they've received subpoenas. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office is seeking information on claims on foreclosed loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to records reviewed by Reuters." (link)

First banks caused the foreclosure crisis, then got bailed out, then lobbied against the bankruptcy bill that would have helped halt the crisis, then agreed to the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP") but initially refused to actually properly modify mortgages under the program -- all the while foreclosing on homes without the legal right to do so because of improper paperwork and robosigning.

That was not enough?

"The subpoenas, coming years after the height of the foreclosure crisis, seek information about banks' foreclosure-related expenses, which generally include court filings and posting or mailing legal notices.

"You've got a lot of people trying to clean up the servicing industry, but the truth is we are seeing the same servicing problems over and over," said Ira Rheingold, director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates in Washington. "It was built into the model to charge as many fees as they could." (link)

You think you've seen it all . . . and then you see more.