The foreclosure robo-signing scandal may not have been making headlines until a month ago, but nobody should be surprised that it has finally erupted.
There have been warnings after warnings, all of them ignored by politicians, policy makers and the mainstream media.
Among those who have been ringing the alarm bells is Florida lawyer April Charney, with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, who has traveled the country to train lawyers how to challenge foreclosures. In California, Walter Hackett, of Inland Empire Legal Services, has overseen a listserv for consumer attorneys representing borrowers facing foreclosure. Web sites like 4closurefraud.org have also been relentlessly focused on the issue.
Earlier this year, Mother Jones ran a stinging story, “Can Anyone Stop The Predatory Lenders?” detailing the misdeeds of mortgage servicers. Reporter Andy Kroll pointed out that the feds were basically paying the same shoddy characters who engineered the subprime crisis to fix the mess.
And Bloomberg’s Jonathan Weil cautions against taking comfort from the big bankers who are now trying to minimize the impact of the fiasco they created. “Three years ago, as the subprime mortgage crisis began to spiral, one of the lessons the public should have learned is that the leaders of these companies often have no idea what’s going on inside them,” Weil writes. “We may be witnessing the same phenomenon again. There’s no excuse this time for anyone to be surprised.”