The government, in this case, the United
States Trustee, which handles bankruptcy stuff
under the Department of Justice, is crowing about the
$50 million settlement it got from Chase’s fraudulent bankruptcy filings.
Let’s look at the breakdown of the settlement, as disclosed on the U. S. Trustee’s own website:
Chase will provide $22.4 million in credits and second lien forgiveness to about 400 homeowners who received inaccurate payment increase notices during their bankruptcy cases.
What’s not to like?
Well, as I’ve blogged before, in many Chapter 13 cases you can strip off, get rid of, second mortgage liens.
From what I hear from my bankruptcy attorney friends across Michigan and these United States, the credits Chase is giving are on second mortgages that are already being wiped out by Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
I bet the U. S. Trustee is unaware.
Chase will pay $10.8 million to more than 12,000 homeowners in bankruptcy through credits or refunds for payment increases or decreases that were not timely filed in bankruptcy court and noticed to the homeowners.
“credits or refunds.” You know what that means; they are not writing a check, just making some bookkeeping entries.
Chase will pay $4.8 million to more than 18,000 homeowners who did not receive accurate and timely escrow statements. This includes credits for taxes and insurance owed by the homeowners and paid by Chase during periods covered by escrow statements that were not timely filed and transmitted to homeowners.
Here we go again. “credits.” How will we know this money gets paid? The way Chase, and the other big boys operate, applying for these type things is a tortuous maze full of hurdles.
Chase will pay $4.9 million, through payment of approximately $600 per loan, to more than 8,000 homeowners whose escrow payments Chase may have applied in a manner inconsistent with escrow statements it provided to the homeowners.
Ahhh! Finally, some payments. $600 per loan is less than the guy in the shirt pictured above got, and he ain’t happy.
Again, how does one qualify for this payment? Who is administering the payments? The U. S. Trustee’s office?
Chase will contribute $7.5 million to the American Bankruptcy Institute’s endowment for financial education and support for the Credit Abuse Resistance Education Program.
Again, real money being paid, but, not to the aggrieved homeowners.
By the way, what exactly did Chase do to draw the attention of the U. S, Trustee?
Chase acknowledges that it filed in bankruptcy courts around the country more than 50,000 payment change notices that were improperly signed, under penalty of perjury, by persons who had not reviewed the accuracy of the notices. More than 25,000 notices were signed in the names of former employees or of employees who had nothing to do with reviewing the accuracy of the filings. The rest of the notices were signed by individuals employed by a third party vendor on matters unrelated to checking the accuracy of the filings.
Chase also acknowledges that it failed to file timely, accurate notices of mortgage payment changes and failed to provide timely, accurate escrow statements.
Hmmm. One might say they got off easy.
In the “gag me with a spoon” department:
“It is shocking that the conduct admitted to by Chase in this settlement, including the filing of tens of thousands of documents in court that never had been reviewed by the people who attested to their accuracy, continued as long as it did,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery.
Gee, maybe the government agency in charge of overseeing this stuff could have been on the ball.