Here are three things that illustrate the problem:
Close to 1.2 million borrowers, or about 30 percent of the more than 3.9 million households whose properties were foreclosed on by 11 leading financial institutions in 2009 and 2010, had to battle potentially wrongful efforts to seize their homes despite not having defaulted on their loans, being protected under a host of federal laws, or having been in good standing under bank-approved plans to either restructure their mortgages or temporarily delay required payments.
There’s no doubt that millions of homeowners were the victims of shady foreclosure practices at the country’s biggest banks when the recession hit. So many of those people were likely hoping for a positive resolution to their woes when the government said it was going to figure out how to compensate homeowners with its Independent Foreclosure Review, an investigation into banks’ mistakes in servicing mortgages. But after waiting years for an answer, about three million eligible borrowers will only be seeing checks for between $300 and $500.
As if going through the nightmare of foreclosure proceedings wasn’t bad enough, some of the victims who have been compensated as a result of a settlement between big banks and U.S. regulators can’t even get their darn checks to cash. Most of those borrowers only received between $300 and $500, and have been told their checks were rejected when trying to get their money.
Perhaps we could help the banks out by enrolling them in an overdraft protection program. We’d only have to charge them about $32 billion a year — that’s apparently the going rate.