Monday, October 25, 2010

FDIC called upon to put BoA into receivership

HuffPo | Charging that the ongoing foreclosure fraud epidemic is the work of precisely the same unrepentant bank officers whose fraudulent mortgage schemes crashed the financial system in the first place, two leading critics of the financial industry are calling on the FDIC to put some of the nation's biggest banks into receivership -- starting with the Bank of America -- and make them clean house.

William K. Black, a former regulator and white-collar crime expert who cracked down on massive fraud during the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s, and his fellow economics professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, L. Randall Wray, write in the Huffington Post that it's time to "foreclose on the foreclosure fraudsters". They write:
The lenders, officers, and professional that directed, participated in, and profited from the fraudulent loans and securities should be prevented from causing further damage to the victims of their frauds, through fraudulent foreclosures.
They argue that, far from being a coincidence, massive foreclosure fraud "is the necessary outcome of the epidemic of mortgage fraud that began early this decade." The reason for that:
The banks that are foreclosing on fraudulently originated mortgages frequently cannot produce legitimate documents... Now, only fraud will let them take the homes. Many of the required documents do not exist, and those that do exist would provide proof of the fraud that was involved in loan origination, securitization, and marketing. This in turn would allow investors to force the banks to buy-back the fraudulent securities. In other words, to keep the investors at bay the foreclosing banks must manufacture fake documents.... Foreclosure fraud is the only thing standing between the banks and Armageddon."
So the only solution, then, is new management. "We should remove the senior leadership of the banks and replace them with experienced bankers with a reputation for integrity and competence, i.e., the honest officers that quit or were fired because they refused to engage in fraud," Black and Wray write.

They suggest starting with Bank of America, which they call "a 'vector' spreading the mortgage fraud epidemic throughout much of the Western world."

Looming large among Bank of America's sins is its purchase of mortgage giant Countrywide Financial long after it became clear that the company had engaged in massive fraud.

Even the extremely slow-to-anger New York Fed, which bought billions of securitized mortgages that Bank of America improperly represented as fully documented and conforming to underwriting standards, is now demanding that it buy some of them back.