Toronto After years of big banks essentially flipping off their customers and borrowers fighting foreclosures in no small measure because banks were more than willing to take the money and run on the government’s bailout, but were heedless of the damage they were doing to their borrowers’ lives and communities, Gretchen Morgenston in the New York Times reported several cases of judges finally being in on the game and being as sick of it as the rest of have been for years.
I particularly loved the case she cited where a judge has ordered Wells Fargo to produce a corporate resolution signed by its CEO and board saying that they have knowledge and approve of the conduct of their lawyers. Having dealt with the two-faces of Wells Fargo for years in instance after instance where they seem willing to do anything to keep from settling now matter how egregious the bank’s conduct is, I loved the report that the judge raised the issue in that case of the huge gap between the bank’s advertising and their predatory, corporate culture.
In another case she cited a judge who ordered Bank of America and its services to stop harassing a borrower who had successfully gone to bankruptcy court to clear the debts on their mortgages, though the harassment of the bank’s agents continued nonstop and unabated. The judge ordered the bank pay the borrowers $10,000 per week until it stopped. Eventually that family will be able to buy a new house with cash, because the bank doesn’t seem to know how to stop.
Though she didn’t mention it, the fact that the arrogant JP Morgan Chase and its CEO Jamie Dimon also have to come up with billions because they thought they were a law unto themselves is also gratifying.
Maybe the feds and the judges will finally crawl out of the pockets of the bankers and give us some justice. As for the bankers, they best get the message, because they were lucky in this mess not to have to do time, but with their record of misbehavior continuing, it seems like it’s only a matter of luck and timing that more of them are not behind bars, and that’s the fire next time.