by Brian Mahany
Banks as model citizens. Some folks might laugh but we know of many, well run small community banks that are model citizens. It’s the big banks that really frighten us. Whether they are “too big to fail”, “too big to jail”, or simply “too big to care”, most big banks are not model citizens. With that as a backdrop, we were amused when we began seeing the British print media claim that Barclays Bank had become the new model for the banking industry.
Not to long ago, the British Parliament’s Commission on Banking Standards claimed that Barclays “had its finger in every scandalous pie.” Now, Barclays’ new CEO claims he can turn the bank around within 5 years and not by making more profits. No, he says that profits must take a backseat to personal accountability and integrity. By developing the public’s trust, he believes that in the long run Barclays profits will soar.
We hope his efforts don’t take 5 years. American banks need a new role model. Unfortunately there has been a revolving door on this side of the pond between big banks and Washington’s halls of power. From the Treasury Secretary on down, many of the regulators have made their money inside the banking industry. Those that haven’t court favor with the industry so they have a comfortable place to retire.
While positive role models are needed throughout American society, industry and politics, we believe the best hope for the banking industry in the immediate future is the American jury system. Juries usually get it right and as powerful as BigBanks maybe, they are scared to death of facing a jury. In today’s economy, it is next to impossible to find 12 people who haven’t lost a home or know someone that has lost a home. In almost everyone of those cases, there are wrongfully denied HAMP modifications, toll free hotlines at banks that remain unanswered, missing mortgage documents and robosigned affidavits.
Until George Bailey (the fictitious bank president in the Christmas classic “It’s A Wonderful Life”) takes over Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, the only way to level the playing field is to find an attorney willing to take a case to a jury trial. In almost every instance, the bank will blink first. Especially if the bank is one of the notorious big banks.
The bank fraud lawyers at Mahany & Ertl sue banks and mortgage companies. We represent both individuals and businesses. If you were defrauded, wrongfully forced to sign a personal guaranty or had a loan called without justification, give us a call. Most cases can be handled on a contingent fee or hybrid basis.
We presently have one of the largest cases against a lender pending in the United States, the $2.4 billion federal false claims action filed on behalf of HUD against Allied Home Mortgage. Obviously, not every case is nearly that large but large or small, we take our bank fraud cases seriously and banks know it.
Mahany & Ertl – America’s Fraud Lawyers. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Minneapolis, Minnesota and San Francisco, California. Fraud recovery available in many jurisdictions.
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