Thursday, April 18, 2013

Chicken Feed

Trey Smith

Last year, Obama announced that the government had concluded a “landmark settlement” with the banks that would “deliver some measure of justice for those families that have been victims of their abusive practices.” The Politico newspaper called the $26 billion deal “a big win for the White House.” $26 billion. Sounds impressive, right?

So…the envelope, please.

How much will the banks have to pay? What will people whose homes were stolen — there is no other word — receive? Now we know the details.

Remember what we’re talking about. Your house is your biggest asset. You own tens of thousands, in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars in equity. One morning the sheriff comes. He throws you and your family out on the street. Your possessions are dumped on the lawn. You have nowhere to go. Your kids are crying. If you were struggling before, now you’re completely screwed. And the bank that did it had no legal basis whatsoever to do what they did.

They took your house, sold it, and pocketed the profits.

What would happen to you if you walked into Tiffany’s and stole a $200,000 necklace?

The details:
  • Even though they qualified for federal loan modifications, the banks seized 1.1 million homes, making 1.1 million families homeless after they were approved for refinancing. Since the average foreclosed home was worth $191,000, the banks stole $210 billion in homes. Under the “landmark settlement,” these wrongfully evicted Americans will receive $300 or $500 each, the value of a modest night out at a nice restaurant in Manhattan (two tenths of one percent of their loss).
  • 900,000 borrowers who were entitled under Obama’s Make Home Affordable program to refinancing were denied help and lost their homes. They get $300 or $600.
  • 420,000 homeowners who lost their homes while the banks intentionally dithered and “lost” their paperwork get $400 or $800.
  • 28,000 families who were entitled to protection against foreclosure under federal bankruptcy law, but got thrown out of their homes anyway, get $3,750 to $62,500.
  • 1,100 soldiers entitled to protection against foreclosure because of their military status get $125,000.
  • 53 families who weren’t late on their mortgages, never missed a payment, but got thrown out anyway, get $125,000.
So we’ve got more than 2.4 million families — that’s 5 million people — whose homes got bogarted by scumbag banksters. They’re getting a thousand bucks each on average. A thousand bucks for a two hundred thousand dollar theft! Not to mention the heartbreak and stress they suffered.
~ from Lose Your House, Collect $300: Why Aren't Rioters Burning Down the Banks? by Ted Rall ~
I have made this point before and undoubtedly will make it again, but I want to note that this settlement was authored by the so-called socialist president! Yes, the fellow who is so left leaning. He insured that corporate criminals weren't hauled off to jail and they got to keep the lion's share of their ill-gotten gains. All he afforded the victims was chicken feed, pennies on the dollar.

If George W. Bush had made this sort of "settlement," we all know that so-called liberals would be up in arms. They would rightly call it akin to a highway robbery. But since the author was one of them -- a Democrat -- they call it just and fair.

If nothing else, this sordid affair should prove to readers, once and for all, that we live in a nation with a two-tiered justice system. If we steal something (even if it's merely a loaf of bread!), all efforts are made to apprehend us and then we often are punished to the full extent of the law. If the elite steal something, no effort is expended to apprehend them -- UNLESS they steal from other members of THEIR class -- and they are "punished" with a tepid slap on the wrist. What is even worse is that they are allowed to keep almost everything they stole and they stole quite a lot.

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