What if you robbed a bank and got caught? You then used some of your ill gotten gains to buy enough lawmakers and they passed a law to make your crime legal. That’s exactly what the banks themselves are doing in an attempt to save their hides from mortgage/foreclosure fraud.
Matt Taibbi has an article explaining how the Florida Kangaroo Courts known as “rocket dockets” exist solely to expedite foreclosures by ignoring 100s of years of property law.
The rocket docket wasn’t created to investigate any of that. It exists to launder the crime and bury the evidence by speeding thousands of fraudulent and predatory loans to the ends of their life cycles, so that the houses attached to them can be sold again with clean paperwork. The judges, in fact, openly admit that their primary mission is not justice but speed. One Jacksonville judge, the Honorable A.C. Soud, even told a local newspaper that his goal is to resolve 25 cases per hour. Given the way the system is rigged, that means His Honor could well be throwing one ass on the street every 2.4 minutes.
As Michael W. Hudson explained in The Monster many if not most of the subprime mortgages were themselves fraudulant to begin with and then when those loans were securitized the paper work itself was so sloppy that there is no clear title path. The purpose of the “rocket dockets” is to ignore all that fraud and bail out the very same banksters and finacial terrorists that brought the world to the edge of financial collapse. Over at Zero Hedge Tyler Durden has some robo signer confessions that should be enough to put banksters in prison.
But the biggest fraud may be MERS itself and John Carney at CNBC reports that the lame duck congress and the Obama administration are about to retroactively legalize all that fraud.
When Congress comes back into session next week, it may consider measures intended to bolster the legal status of a controversial bank owned electronic mortgage registration system that contains three out of every five mortgages in the country.
The system is known as MERS, the acronym for a private company called Mortgage Electronic Registry Systems. Set up by banks in the 1997, MERS is a system for tracking ownership of home loans as they move from mortgage originator through the financial pipeline to the trusts set up when mortgage securities are sold.
The system has come under scrutiny by critics who charge MERS with facilitating slipshod practices. Recently, lawyers have filed lawsuits claiming that banks owe states billions of dollars for mortgage recording fees they avoided by using MERS.
If courts rule against MERS, the damage could be catastrophic.
Perhaps even more devastatingly, some critics say that sloppiness at MERS—which has just 40 full-time employees—may have botched chain of title for many mortgages. They say that MERS lacks standing to bring foreclosure actions, and the botched chain of title may cast doubts on whether anyone has clear enough ownership of some mortgages to foreclose on a defaulting borrower. The problems with MERS system led JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to stop using MERS for foreclosures in 2008.
Now it appears that Congress may attempt to prevent any MERS meltdown from occurring. MERS is owned by all the biggest banks, and they certainly do not want it to be sunk by huge fines. Investors in mortgage-backed securities also do not want to see the value of their bonds sink because of doubts about the ownership of the underlying mortgages.
So it looks like the stage may be set for Congress to pass a bill that would limit MERS exposure on the recording fee issue and perhaps retroactively legitimate mortgage transfers conducted through MERS private database.
So is it still called bank robbery when it’s the banks with the help of lawmakers who are doing the robbing?
Cross posted at Newshoggers