Reuters’ Alison Frankel reports that NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s press conference on the mortgage deal has been ‘postponed indefinitely’. Strange. It wouldn’t be off-base to think something’s going on there.
But… as we know, when it comes to negotiations, deadlines can get fluid.
The national foreclosure settlement — where $25 billion from major banks is on the line — has been no exception. A deal was supposed to be reached on Friday, but what we saw instead was a lawsuit from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accusing JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America of deceptively using a private database called MERS to register mortgages.
Come Monday there was still no deal. Today, though, 40 states have signed on — not the biggest states with the most foreclosures like California, Nevada, New York, and Florida — but as Bloomberg reports, federal officials still want to move forward.
Then again, as they say, it still ‘ain’t over ’til it’s over’. And there was reason to think that federal officials may get the pleasure New York’s company after all, when Schneiderman just announced that he would be making a statement at 6:00 p.m. If he joins, it could mean that that he has to drop the suit he filed on Friday (it depends on the terms of the final nationwide deal).
But as we said, the conference has been delayed.
Bottom line: Banks want Schneiderman to join in. He’s from a state that was hit especially hard by the crisis and he’s a leader among AGs. Let’s not forget, also, that he’s the a co-head of the Department of Justice’s new group tasked with investigating the causes of the mortgage crises. If he’s in the nationwide lawsuit, that means he can’t sue banks for charges covered in the suit. If he’s not, he can sue as he pleases.
And according the Huffington Post, sources involved in the settlement say banks are already scared the current deal doesn’t protect them enough.
We’ll let you know more when we have it.