The National Association Attorneys General announced that 49 state AGs are joining together to launch a foreclosure-gate investigation.
We don’t have a national moratorium on foreclosures in this country, but for all intents and purposes it feels like there is one right now.
Meanwhile, Diana Olick’s piece on CNBC yesterday about the potential ramifications of foreclosure-gate — which quoted analyst Josh Rosner as saying we could see another “Lehman weekend” — continues to get a lot of talk.
Emptywheel at FireDogLake has a good explanation of why this is such a big deal and a potential catastrophe:
The problem is that the problems exposed by foreclosures in judicial states are problems that exist throughout mortgages that were securitized in the last 6-10 years. The reason the servicers are going to such lengths to make up for deficient paperwork–including robo-signing affidavits or counterfeiting notes–is presumably because for at least a significant portion of mortgages that were securitized, the paperwork is not in order. What we’re seeing through the foreclosure process is just what is getting exposed through the random sampling of foreclosure, and any other random sampling of securitized mortgages would presumably have the same level of deficient paperwork.
And the ability to frame the issue, at this point, is the ability to control the timing of how this unravels. If it’s true the issue is the underlying mortgage paperwork and not just the foreclosure paperwork, then the framing that happens now will affect whether we deal with this catastrophe based on a one-page proposal over a panicked weekend (as we did in fall 2008), or whether we start planning for the best way to unwind a gigantic rupture to our system of private property. It will affect whether we, as a country, get input into the way to deal with the catastrophe created by the banksters, or whether the banksters and a few Administration officials do so in private. It will affect whether we get to impose some conditions on the banksters before we bail them out this time, or whether the real people continue to bear the burden of the banksters gambling.
Also, for what it’s worth, the one AG who hasn’t joined the investigation is from Alabama.