Link to Original Article from The Wall Street Journal
As a major HUD-approved home counseling organization that has been highly critical of the regulators and the financial institutions handling the foreclosure crisis, as well as a long-term critic of Countrywide, we respectfully disagree with the focus of your editorial “The Foreclosure Shakedowns” (Jan. 8).
Having served 9,000 homeowners in distress in California and attempted resolutions with almost all of the 14 major servicers, we disagree with your criticisms of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve regarding their surprisingly modest $8.5 billion settlement with the major servicers.
The 6.5% of affected borrowers that you contend suffered financial harm is an erroneous figure by bank consultants who were paid $1.5 billion by the banking industry. Our estimate is more than 50% that suffered some type of harm.
You are correct that the settlement is clearly imperfect. But it is imperfect because the settlement was developed two years ago by an acting comptroller of the currency who was hesitant to regulate the banks.
Today, however, the OCC, with a strong comptroller in charge, faced the possibility that none of the 4.3 million victims would have received timely relief and that the bank consultants lacked the ability to identify who the victims were. Therefore, the OCC’s decision to support very modest relief to a broad range of victims may have been preferable to allowing none of the real victims to receive any relief while ensuring that the so-called independent consultants reaped billions of dollars in unnecessary consultant fees.
The real problem may be that the Obama administration wasted almost three years in putting into place a potentially strong Comptroller of the Currency who was willing to regulate the so-called too-big-to-fail banks. Therefore, the recently confirmed comptroller, Thomas Curry, may have had little choice but to make the best of a bad situation. For this, we commend him.
President & CEO
National Asian-American Coalition
So Justice squeezed a few billion out of banks for selling bad mortgages to Fannie. What a farce. After Barney Frank enjoys decades squeezing his pals at Fannie, the liberals now shake down the banks for doing what they were told to do or else. Barney Frank and Chris Dodd shook them down for contributions to their campaigns for making sure they had a place to resell the huge volumes of liar loans which, of course, were done so that “all Americans can have a home.” Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? We ought to clean our own house at home.