I wonder if you could go to a Bank CEO’s home, break into his house, and throw out all of his personal possessions — family heirlooms, photos, awards — then claim a paperwork error.

That is the excuse they have been using:

“In an era when millions of homes have received foreclosure notices nationwide, lawsuits detailing bank break-ins like the one at Ms. Ash’s house keep surfacing. And in the wake of the scandal involving shoddy, sometimes illegal paperwork that has buffeted the nation’s biggest banks in recent months, critics say these situations reinforce their claims that the foreclosure process is fundamentally flawed . . .

Identifying the number of homeowners who were locked out illegally is difficult. But banks and their representatives insist that situations like Ms. Ash’s represent just a tiny percentage of foreclosures.Many of the incidents that have become public appear to have been caused by confusion over whether a house is abandoned, in which case a bank may have the right to break in and make sure the property is secure.

Some of the cases appear to be mistakes involving homeowners who were up to date on their mortgage — or had paid off their home — but who still became targets of a bank.”

The reason this keeps coming up is the fraudulent, half assed, on the cheap, illegal, mass production of fraudclosures by banks. They made their Ford Pinto calculation, and decided that tossing out a few people illegally — even those who had no mortgages — was worth the cost savings of actually doing this correctly (i.e., legally). I hope that some AG or judge recognizes the systemic bank perjury and tosses some of these jackals into prison.

When I befriended the order of ninja assassins, I had no ulterior motive in mind — I merely thought they did some . . . let’s call it interesting work. (We run some money for them, and they are the last client you want to screw up with). I hope I never have to ask them for a favor — but if this happened to me personally, I certainly would not hesitate to ask . . .

>

Source:
In a Sign of Foreclosure Flaws, Suits Claim Break-Ins by Banks
ANDREW MARTIN
NYT December 21, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/22/business/22lockout.html

Category: Credit, Foreclosures, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

22 Responses to “More Illegal Foreclosure Bank Break-Ins”

  1. Simply stunning that, as long as a corporation does it, it’s okay. Let’s expand ‘Citizens vs. United’ — which treats corporations as people — and start imprisoning these banksters, one way or another.

  2. Moss says:

    I have come to the conclusion that illegal and even criminal behavior by a ‘Corporation’ is in fact a planned business activity where risks of detection are determined and costs such as fines are established. It appears to be no different that establishing the ROI of advertising. It is not just banking.. look at the fines Pfizer has paid over the last 15 years for various illegal activity. UBS, just yesterday paid 550+ million fine for fraud against the IRS. Of course no ‘person’ goes to jail….

  3. contrabandista13 says:

    “When I befriended the order of ninja assassins, I had no ulterior motive in mind ….”

    Funny you should mention this….. I was down in Miami last week mixing it up with some of my Latino friends and the gossip was that BoA had sent their lackey thugs to evict a young family in the Gables. What they were not aware of was that the occupant of the house is the nephew of Manny Torres, the head of the Miami Boys, the largest cocaine, heroin and ganja distribution organization in the continental United States…. Well, per anecdotal gossip, once BoA found out what they had done and to who they had done it to, the story is that the entire company went into panic mode…. I’m told that BoA contacted the family that they evicted and begged them to move into a furnished mansion in Coco Plum where they were told they could remain until they wished to leave or could purchase at a “very” special price……

    Who says crime doesn’t pay…..?

    Best regards,

    Econolicious

  4. Transor Z says:

    @Moss:

    No sleuthing or conspiracy theorizing necessary. Corporate executives must make cost-benefit decisions along the lines you suggest. Otherwise, they open themselves up to liability to shareholders. There’s a famous case in which a southern trucking company’s executives did the right thing and ordered their drivers to stay on major roads to avoid exceeding tonnage limits on local roads. The shareholders successfully argued that taking a shorter/faster route and risking occasional tickets (violations, not misdemeanors/felonies) vs. taking a much longer and more costly route shouldn’t be protected as a “business decision.”

  5. Of course that is a decision protected by the Business Judgement Rule.

    Its precisely the sort of thing — truck routes — that you DON’T want to have investors getting to 2nd guess after the fact; that would be absurd.

    Starbucks healthcare is another example of this.

  6. tonyarko says:

    Barry,

    Based on the recent settlement in California, it only costs a bank $2667 if they are caught throwing people out of their homes and have to settle a class action lawsuit.

    http://www.tonyarko.com/?p=4

  7. Moss says:

    @ Transor Z

    UPS factors in a large number of parking tickets for urban delivers. These types of cost benefit analysis decisions are not criminal. I am talking about criminal behavior; fraud, deception where they weigh the chances of getting caught. Until the penalties are not negotiable this practice will continue. Again just look at Pfizer. They have perpetrated numerous frauds against both Medicare and Medicaid. If the law was enforced they would be out of business. When a private individual is caught defrauding either Medicaid or Medicare they go to jail. Pfizer pays a fine, no one is charged with a crime, illegal activity continues.

  8. “…Again just look at Pfizer. They have perpetrated numerous frauds against both Medicare and Medicaid. If the law was enforced they would be out of business…”

    http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=Pfizer+systematically+overcharging

    ‘Government’ sanctioned RICO.

    We are paying to be stolen from..

  9. Jim67545 says:

    Varney is reporting this story right this minute – on Faux News.

    A few dogs bite so therefore every dog bites. Some planes crash so every plane crashes. Some stocks decline so therefore every stock declines. Some days it rains so it always rains. ??Logical?? Apparently BR has abandoned logic – normally his strong suit.

    ~~~

    BR: I have not abandoned logic — I have insisted that banks follow the law, not perjure themselves 1000s times a day, and make preventable errors.

    Why do you have such a hard time understanding that laws apply to banks also?

  10. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Transor Z Says:

    “Corporate executives must make cost-benefit decisions along the lines you suggest.”
    __________

    All the more reason they should spend many years in prison and at at hard labor. If the corporate business model requires criminality in order to turn a profit, then we, as a society, should drive that business into the ground with massive penalties and jail time for executives. By comparison, it would make angry, litigious shareholders look like a no-brainer.

    Of course, government and shareholders are in line for their share of the loot, so ethical/moral/criminal considerations fall by the wayside.

  11. Moss says:

    ‘Government’ sanctioned RICO.

    That just about sums it up. Systematic fraud, it is in every single major industry group. It is part of the business strategy not some rouge activity.

  12. jjay says:

    Let’s face it.
    The United States has morphed into a place with all the worst features of the old Soviet Union and modern Mexico.
    We are no longer that bright beacon of peace, freeedom, and opportunity.
    There is no going back.

  13. rktbrkr says:

    Business fraud needs to be redefined as an “extra legal” business activity subject only to “cost effective” court approved modifications.

  14. Bokolis says:

    It’s not like the banks- or any financial monolith, for that matter- have much incentive to play by the rules. Change the circumstanes to a civilian, drunk, enters the wrong house (assume the same key works) without realizing it and, in his stupor, does his best bull-in-a-china shop, tearing apart the place. One D&D and some other trumped up charges later, the guy is looking at 30 days in the pokey and some fines and restitution. Assuming our drunkard is not otherwise a vargant, that punishment would still suck, as it would have a long-lasting ripple effect.

    The monoliths, by and large, get away with merely making the victim whole and go on about their business. It enables them to play the role of Cartman.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiKLXHjy5PU

  15. jeff in indy says:

    this sounds like a discussion from the script of Dangerfields “Back to School.”

  16. bergsten says:

    The check’s in the mail, Ritholtz. Invest it in exactly the same way you invest the order of ninja assassins’ money.

  17. donna says:

    They should all be in prison for what they did to our economy. Banksters, indeed.

  18. Sunny129 says:

    I have read so much re how much BANKSTERS are getting away in several well known blogs including Globaleconomicanalysis.com, nakedcapitalism, zero hedge etc for nearly TWO YEARS,

    but it is business as usual out there for Banksters and their crony friends in Regulatory agencies! It is the FUTILITY of situation and utter failure of MSM which is disheartening!

    EXTEND & PRETEND!

  19. Jim67545 says:

    Doubt this will be seen, late late…reply to BR.

    I think banks should be held to the strictest legal standard. Theirs is a business which (should) be based on rigorous and thorough trustworthiness. When they go astray, as in the example you cite (and ones I could cite as well), they should be whacked legally and asked to pay painful compensation the the victem – IF there is either a preventable occurrence (such as ignoring the victem’s attempt to prevent the problem from occurring) or a pattern of behavior.

    My issues are 1. You are attacking large institutions with many employees and, in cases such as these, often outsourced tasks. This is not to excuse the banks for failing to control either employees or contractors, it is just to highlight that there are many individuals involved and 2. It is illogical to blame the entire corporation or industry for an isolated instance – no matter how grevious or make the blind assumption that it is a pattern of behavior. Incindiary yes. Logical no.

    Do banks break into foreclosed homes which they now own through the foreclosure process? Of course. They have contractors or employees who change the locks, winterize the plumbing, etc. Might they find some belongings still in the home? Very frequently. Might they believe the former owner has moved out abandoning the stuff? Yes they might. Does it constitute something akin to throwing the former owner’s possessions on the sidewalk? No it does not.

    And what about the former homeowner who, to raise money and poke the bank in the eye, strips all of the plumbing, appliances, cabinets, baseboard, light fixtures/switches, from the home and sells it prior to the foreclosure? I suppose that sort of thing is a noble thing to do.

    ~~~

    BR: If I were prosecuting these cases, I would treat them like street drug dealers — bust the low levels thugs, and have them roll over on the superiors until you get to the king pin.

  20. subscriptionblocker says:

    I’m no lawyer, not even a “recovering lawyer” – and I guess naively bought into the concept “that can’t happen here”. But the news reports keep coming, and there is no doubt. Yet *no* one has gone to prison – or worse.

    So I’m asking as one who has blown out his circuits (very numb) – just when do you think we’ll see some really horrendous consequences for senior people at these banks? What would it take for our justice system to inflict punishment? Punishment severe enough where a bank exec would do his job constructing *organization failsafes* – lest he feel the mighty consequences of incompetence or sloth.

    What might happen to an organization/”and leaders” which sponsored these assaults within a castle law state – where the homeowner was killed while resisting? Why hasn’t this headline been imagined?

    These are dangerous activities. They must be performed correctly.

  21. Jim67545 says:

    BR: final word (from me.)
    Fine. Bust the front line guy and see if the behavior extends beyond the single instance. But you hurt the bank and get its attention by pricking it financially. Punitive damages, debt foregiveness. Send a collector or two to Devil’s Island will have no effect.
    There are 5,000+ banks (still) in this country. Citing transgressions of one or another of the behemouth banks is one thing. Labeling it as the behavior of “banks” globally is illogical and unfair.

    ~~~
    BR: Single instance?

    I was going to explain the concept of systemic fraud to you, but its apparent you have no fundamental factual basis to analyze this issue.

  22. Jim67545 says:

    Having worked in banking for 30 years, the last 15 as a senior loan officer responsible for collections, foreclosure, etc. and the people who did this, I would maintain that my factual basis, in terms of understanding of the moving parts involved, is sufficient and quite possibly superior to yours.

    Bye.