from the inbox:
Today, the Department of Justice and state Attorneys General reached a settlement with the five largest U.S. mortgage lenders over rampant fraud and foreclosure abuses. Iraq war veteran and former prosecutor Patrick Murphy issued the following statement in response to that deal:
“While I recognize progress was made during negotiations and appreciate the work done to reach this mortgage settlement, I believe it fails to get justice for the millions of homeowners who fell victim to one of the most severe and widespread cases of fraud in American history. This settlement was our single best opportunity to recover what was stolen from the American public. Mortgage lenders stole money, stole homes and, like any other criminals, must be held fully accountable and make their victims whole. This deal falls short of that threshold, and therefore, I cannot support it,” Murphy said.“When I was serving in the 82nd Airborne in Fort Bragg, NC, I prosecuted a Staff Sergeant for theft and fraud. He was convicted, and sentenced to jail time. He also had to pay back the money he had stolen. That's the way the justice system should work. When a thief is caught stealing, that thief must make his victims whole again,” Murphy said. “The same should be true for mortgage lenders. But $25 billion is not enough. It’s possibly less than a penny for every dollar lost by American homeowners. The $2,000 some homeowners are set to receive does little to help or comfort the Pennsylvania families who lost their homes. Also, one out of every four mortgages is underwater but only a small fraction of those homeowners may get help. ”“The banks need to be held to the same standard as everyone else. As Attorney General, I will aggressively investigate mortgage fraud in Pennsylvania and work with law enforcement across the country to ensure that homeowners get justice for the crimes committed against them,” Murphy added.