by Brian Mahany
Every day we are contacted by at least 2 homeowners struggling to keep their home. Although we are not mortgage foreclosure defense lawyers, we do sue banks and bankers for fraud, foreclosure abuses and wrongful HAMP denials. Business is booming, unfortunately.
The so-called mortgage crisis began when the housing market melted down in 2007 – 2008. Immediately after taking office, President Obama created a mortgage fraud task force. Local efforts were started around the country as well. For whatever reason, the problems are worse today than they were 4 years ago.
Reuters ran a story last week titled, “Exclusive – U.S. Mortgage Task Force To Take Action Soon – N.Y. A.G.” That headline might have worked in September 2008 but it means little today to the millions of Americans who have already lost their homes.
Some of our frustration is directed at federal law enforcement, of course. The federal bureaucracy has become so large that it takes years to bring a criminal case to trial. The real blame isn’t with the FBI, IRS and HUD agents (among others) that are investigating these cases, however. Politics is responsible.
Putting a couple middle age, white collar mortgage bankers in prison might make us feel better but it doesn’t solve the underlying problem. Years of lax oversight allowed the banks to get in this mess.
We support the efforts of the mortgage fraud task force and of the aggressive prosecutors and agents that are seeking to put some of the culprits in prison. Preet Bahara and some of the other United States Attorneys have done a great job of bringing civil sanctions against banks as well.
There is no easy solution to the problem. The one bright spot are the growing number of homeowners who are suing banks for their part in this mess. Bankers were once highly regarded in American society. For those old enough to remember black and white TV, their is the 1946 Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. In 2012, however, every neighborhood is dotted with abandoned houses. Everyone knows someone who has a horror story about the way they were treated by Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Fill-In-The-Blank Big Bank.
It’s not easy suing a large lender. They have lots of money for fancy lawyers but get the case in front of a jury and chances are good that the jury will find the truth.
Every case is different, of course and just because the bank can’t find your paperwork doesn’t mean that you get a “free house.” If you have been the subject of wrongful bank conduct, let us know. The more homeowners come forward the more the banks will have to listen. There is safety in numbers and you certainly are not alone.
Although we 100% support the efforts of the mortgage fraud task force, don’t rely on law enforcement to get you out of this mess. Putting those responsible for this mess behind bars or shutting them down doesn’t get your home back nor does it put money back in your pocket. Suing the banks may be your best hope for relief.
The fraud lawyers at Mahany & Ertl help people sue banks and mortgage companies for wrongful foreclosure or HAMP loan modification denials. We also represent whistleblowers within the banking industry who wish to come forward (in many cases there may be a cash reward available through the federal false claims law or the SEC).
All inquiries are kept in strict confidence and protected by the attorney -client privilege. We only publish stories about some of our cases IF we have client approval or if we are asked to. For more information, contact attorney Anthony Dietz at or the author, attorney Brian Mahany, at (414) 704-6731 (direct dial).
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers (c) Proudly Giving Homeowners a Voice. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Services available in many jurisdictions.