Schneiderman Heard You

Last week we emailed you to urge you to express your support for New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to hold banks accountable for foreclosure fraud and other abuses.

Over 5,000 of you sent emails, tweeted, and wrote on AG Schneiderman’s Facebook page encouraging him to investigate the banks, stand strong against pressure from financial institutions and Administration officials, and use his authority to hold lawbreakers accountable.

Today, it’s clear: Schneiderman heard you. And he isn’t wasting any time:

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today filed a lawsuit against several of the nation’s largest banks charging that the creation and use of a private national mortgage electronic registry system known as MERS has resulted in a wide range of deceptive and fraudulent foreclosure filings in New York state and federal courts, harming homeowners and undermining the integrity of the judicial foreclosure process.

This lawsuit doesn’t target some small players. Schneiderman is already tangling with the big boys:

The lawsuit asserts that employees and agents of Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, acting as “MERS certifying officers,” have repeatedly submitted court documents containing false and misleading information that made it appear that the foreclosing party had the authority to bring a case when in fact it may not have. The lawsuit names JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Bank of America, N.A., Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as well as Virginia-based MERSCORP, Inc. and its subsidiary, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.

What’s more? This is in addition to Schneiderman’s role as co-chair of the “financial crimes unit” that President Obama announced at the State of the Union. As Dave Dayen points out, the latter role is dealing with “pre-bubble” conduct, activities that lead to the 2008 economic crisis. This lawsuit is dealing with the “post-bubble” world, where banks allegedly took actions to stick it to homeowners just the sky was falling.

Schneiderman, along with fellow Justice Democrats Kamala Harris, Martha Coakley, Beau Biden, and Catherine Cortez Masto, is showing what public service is all about. Thanks for listening to us, Eric – as long as you’re holding banks accountable and fighting for homeowners, our members stand with you.

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