Fine Print: The Real Story on the “$25 Billion” Multistate Settlement

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One of the things I heard from a high ranking official in state government is that only a tiny fraction of the “settlement” is translating into actual dollars from the banks to anyone. In Arizona the $1.3 billion is subject to an “earn-down” as it was described to me and the net amount turned out to be $97 million and then on the website for the attorney general of the state, the $97 million became $47 million.

So I brought up my calculator and discovered that out of the “settlement” the banks were paying themselves around $1.2 billion out of the $1.3 billion (some say it is $1.6 billion, but the net left for the state remains unchanged at $97 million) and that some of the balance of the money is “unaccounted for.” By the way this has NOTHING to do with the Arizona Department of Housing, which is as close to non-political as you can get in any government.

So in plain language, the banks are taking money from their left pocket and putting int heir right pocket and saying it was a deal. This sounds a lot like the fake claims of securitization and assignment of debt on housing, student loans, credit cards, auto loans etc. In the end, no money will move except a tiny percentage because since the banks are simply paying themselves out of their own money how bad can the accounting be for them?

In Arizona, the legislature decided, as per the terms of the “settlement” to take the money and use it as part of general operating funds leaving distressed homeowners with nothing. So now there is something of an uproar in Arizona. Here is a $1.3 billion settlement that could have reversed a downward economic spiral for the state that will be felt for decades, and we end up with only 7% of that figure and then at least half, if not all of that is being taken for uses other than homeowner relief that is essential for economic recovery.

My guess is that they will say they are stopping the move to use the homeowner relief funds for perks to corporate donors and then quietly go out and do it anyway. What is your guess?


By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

State officials agreed Tuesday to delay the transfer of $50 million of disputed mortgage settlement funds, at least for the time being.

Assistant Attorney General David Weinzweig made the offer during a hearing where challengers were hoping to get a court order blocking the move while its legality is being decided by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain. Attorney Tim Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, who represents those opposed to the transfer, readily agreed.

“You don’t want to rush the judge,” said Hogan, whose clients are people he believes would be helped by the funds.

“You want him to take his time on important questions like this,” Hogan said. “And so it’s reasonable to agree not to transfer the funds for a certain period of time to give the judge the opportunity to do that.”

The move sets the stage for a hearing in August on the merits of the issue.

Weinzweig told Brain he believes the transfer, ordered by state lawmakers earlier this year, is legal. Anyway, he said, Hogan’s clients have no legal standing to challenge what the Legislature did.

The fight surrounds a $26 billion nationwide settlement with five major lenders who were accused of mortgage fraud.

Arizona’s share is about $1.6 billion, with virtually all of that earmarked for direct aid to those who are “under water” on their mortgages — owing more than their property is worth — or have already been forced out of their homes.

But the deal also provided $97 million directly to the state Attorney General’s Office. The terms of that pact said the cash was supposed to help others with mortgage problems as well as investigate and prosecute fraud.

Lawmakers, however, seized on language which also said the money can be used to compensate the state for the effects of the lenders’ actions. They said the result of the mortgage crisis was lower state revenues, giving them permission to take $50 million from the settlement to balance the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Hogan’s suit is based on his contention that the settlement terms put the entire $97 million in trust and makes Attorney General Tom Horne, who was authorized by state law to sign the deal, responsible for ensuring the cash is properly spent.

Horne urged lawmakers not to take the funds. But once the budget deal was done, he went along and took the position that, regardless of whether the cash could have been better spent elsewhere, the transfer demand is legal.

Whatever Brain rules is likely to be appealed.

The challenge was brought on behalf of two people who would benefit by the state having more money to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The lawsuit said both are currently “at risk” of losing their homes.





29 Responses

  1. […] Read more… Posted in AZ, Banks, MERS, News Around The Country, States « State Programs with Real Money Going Unused Thankfully, FHFA and Banks Killed Homeowner Bill of Rights » You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. […]

  2. The psychopaths have been allowed off the leash too long. These are the ones “I am Fishhead” refers to. We need to stop being passive and lock and load like we did in the revolutionary war. They understand force, while they don’t get the way normal people feel about being pushed to the knee jerk point where even well adjusted, non-substance abusing, rational people choose their life over the life of a psychopath in self defense. We are at that point. If we choose to ignore their offense, we will wind up poisoned, iradiated, starved, infected and later tossed into those plastic coffins at FEMA camps while they toast our lack of gumption with Crystalle. Shoot ’em or put them in their own guillotines and lop off their sick heads like they did the evil French aristocrats. Passivity will result in death–after horrible suffering. It’s not in our history or our nature to run scared while an enemy slaughters us. The fact that the enemy is wearing Armani suits shouldn’t make a difference, just makes him easier to spot. God is in us and we are in him collectively. What if we are His army to eradicate satan who worships money and cleanse the earth of satan’s followers?

  3. “…The process of disintegration must inexorably continue, and its corrosive influence must penetrate deeper and deeper into the very core of a crumbling age. Much suffering will still be required ere the contending nations, creeds, classes and races of mankind are fused in the crucible of universal affliction, and are forged by the fires of a fierce ordeal into one organic commonwealth, one vast, unified, and harmoniously functioning system. Adversities unimaginably appalling, undreamed of crises and upheavals, war, famine, and pestilence, might well combine to engrave in the soul of an unheeding generation those truths and principles which it has disdained to recognize and follow. A paralysis more painful than any it has yet experienced must creep over and further afflict the fabric of a broken society ere it can be rebuilt and regenerated.”

  4. @Nabdulla,

    This is a very heart wrenching story. Your son needs you as much as you need him right now, to sort out together what you both feel and to understand what really matters to both of you. Don’t let that cause a split between you or any kind of resentment.

    God knows what happened, what was in your son’s heart when he pulled the trigger and why it happened as it did. God may decide to use this experience for the greater good of your family, your community, this country… Keep faith. He can create goodness out of evil. He will.

  5. @nabdulla, Thank You. I truly understand, My Grandfather was a decorated purple heart WW2 vet. He would never talk about the war..EVER althou I begged him many times to talk to my classmates back then! The last thing he said to me before he passed in 2003 was …. Remember Kat, Never trust the goverment. I didn’t understand, the goverment was formed by the people for the people. I trusted them. Much like Neil, I got a reality check 7yrs ago. And only then did I understand what my Grandfather meant. Prayers & Blessings to all Families who face this Very Real Reality….

  6. @ Kathy Charlotte, on June 12, 2012 at 10:40 pm said:

    “….not to mention the Marine we just buried on Sunday who gave his life for his country” and “…. I dispise Greedy people!”

    This is off topic, but I beg your patience and understanding. This is rough for me and no doubt for thousands, if not millions of Fathers. My youngest Son is only 23. He’s a U.S. Marine Recon and he’ll be coming home on the 17th after spending the last 6 months in the ‘God knows where’ middle east. His Mother has flown south to meet him. Every night, I would quietly hold the phone to my ear as she would pour out her worries, fears and tears about ever seeing her “baby” alive again. I have the same worries and fears, but I guess like most Fathers I have the tendency to place more emphasis on his character as a Man.
    About 2 months ago, his Mother called me at 2am and told me she had just spoken with him. She said he was deeply concerned and upset. That he needed to talk to me, but didn’t know how to say what he had to say to me. His platoon had been attacked and He had been forced to fire upon and take the life of another human being. AND, that other human being was a Muslim in HIS home, defending HIS country, HIS family, customs and way of life from the invaders. Now, because I am a follower of Islam and my very own Son has taken the life of a Muslim, we don’t even know what to say or how to speak to each other. The Quran is very specific about the life and property of a Believer (whether they call theirself a Jew, Christian or Muslim).
    I’m not trying to ramble on here, what I want to say is that our Sons and Daughters ARE NOT killing and dying “for their country” – they’re doing it for and because of the “Greedy people”. So now what? “Dad, I’m sorry”? Didn’t no one force you to pick up a gun and shoot people. The person you killed – what about HIS parents, Wife, Children, friends and relatives – did you tell THEM that you’re “sorry”? What a mess our government in partnership with the “Greedy people” has created. And if WE don’t correct it NOW, while there’s still time, it’s our children and grandchildren that will have to face the wrath and pay the price to the rest of the world.
    Please forgive me everyone – just had things to say. Kathy, my deepest and sincere condolences and prayers to the Family of the buried Marine. May Allah be pleased with Him. As Salaamu Alaikum.

  7. @Carie,

    I think you missed my point. All the historical examples I gave took place WITHOUT booze and drugs. The phenomenon of getting stoned solid or of drinking one’s self into oblivion is fairly recent. There was, for centuries, a deeply barbaric aspect in the human psyche that did not get addressed until education was made available to everyone, starting with reading and writing.

    Nowadays, in order for people to replicate the type of violence and cruelty once constant in the human psyche, one needs to be drugged or drunk as a skunk. What that tells me is that we, human beings, have become collectively more civilized. However, drugs (legal and illegal: both come with substantial mind-altering side effects) and booze are a factor in the great majority of human actions patently hurtful to others. It shouldn’t be any wonder that, while all the WS was going on, most of the players were absorbing enormous amounts of cocaine.

    In all probability, without the availability of flowing booze and coke on WS, we would not have seen the rampant fraud we have since uncovered. And keep in mind that America is the greatest drug user of the world. There is a correlation.

  8. RIGHT ON, @enraged. No drugs or booze…they are an escape from from reality—people who can’t handle reality…and it messes up so many things…we don’t need it…in addition to the other things I mentioned, this is the truth.

  9. @Carie,

    We hear a lot more about it but it has, in fact, gotten better worldwide. Except here and in England where money has been the object of veneration for many, many generations.

    Reread what was going on the middle ages in Europe (dark ages), the violence of the Chines society, the cruelty of the ancient Japanese society, etc. And Americans topped it off by wiping out every native tribe but, before that, the conquistadors had done South America in by subjecting the native populations to the most horrendous tortures. The Dutch treatment of its indigenous colonies was horrific (as evidenced by South Africa’s history), France’s handling of Algeria was shameful, and the examples abound. Read how the germanic babarians ramsacked entires cities and killed, raped, tortured just for the fun ot it and how the Catholic church decimated millions of “heretics”. Read what the Turkish (the Ottoman empire) did to central Europe and how they killed 6 millions of Armenians. Now, consider the size of the world population then and its size now.

    Humanity has become much, much more civilized. Except among the Anglo-americans. And the Germans. In fact, think about it: most violence nowadays is committed while people are intoxicated. That’s what happened in Sierra Leone: the kids were drugged to be able to commit the atrocities they committed. Ditto for Ouganda, Rwanda and other African countries. That tells me that, without drugs and booze, people would not have it in them to do it.

    My take on it.

  10. @enraged…I beg to differ. Those values are lacking everywhere in the world…look at every country and what is happening with their governments…

  11. @enraged I like that one as well.

  12. @Carie,

    It’s not the world over. It is the Ango-american society.

  13. @enraged

    It’s not just “American values” that are screwed up—it’s the whole world. Morals, ethics, kindness, compassion, selflessness, courtesy, altruism, truthfulness, mercy, gentleness, high standards, self restraint,
    sincerity, pure motives…and love. These things are are lacking the whole world over…and it has led us to the dire straights we find ourselves in now.

  14. Fire Jan Brewer and her gang of banksters !

  15. @Pie,

    My favored one is : “A penny saved is a government oversight”.


    I don’t think we need to be frightened. We are just in the middle of a major, quiet upheaval. Things are moving worldwide but it doesn’t mean that it will be all bad. Let’s face it: the inequality has been rampant worldwide and pretty much endemic forever. And even then, people with much less than us are happier and better adjusted.

    Honestly, in this country, we have too much of what we don’t need (material things to such an extent that the fastest growing business is… storage unit rental!) People hoard so much, it is making their life incredibly more difficult all the time. And yet, we don’t have any of what we need: infrastructures worthy of that name, public transportation, healthcare affordable to everyone, an educational system that rivals with Japan or Finland. In short, American values have become so screwed up that whatever happens will give us back what we’ve lost: perspective. The day America decided that its biggest asset was money for the sake of money and completely forgot that the people are what counts, America was done. it didn’t take long to get there. it won’t take long to adapt to a different lifestyle. In the end, we will greatly benefit from the change. And it might take down that arrogance a few notches…

  16. Enraged- bloody good job lol, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. i like the perspective, it will save your sanity.
    I still like “its not over till fat lady signs” im not fat and i cant sing but its not over for me yet or my case. judge jones BITE ME

  17. LOL “Birds of a feather”… ha ha.

  18. Enraged, unfortunately your advice will fall on deaf ears. The American people have become so complacent it will take; “getting hit in the head with a BRIC to wake them up”.

    People told me i was crazy when i told them back in 2008 that it would take about four years to work out the conversion rates, and build mutual reserves between BRIC nations, without destroying dollar policy. As early as 2010 we saw major transactions between China and Brazil,whcih theoretically already created a 65% dollar discount on the black market.

    In turn, we witnessed the highest (real dollar) rise in commdities in the history this young nation. We allowed private capital expansion (FRC, FHLB and private pools) to add trillions of credit dollars (off blance sheet accruals) to effectively end our reserve status. We are past the point of redemption and would have to pay down at least 6 trillion in (US balance sheet debt) to get back to the inflection point. We are now forced to inject 1 trillion per year into the money supply to counter self absorbing velocity wind.

    In real terms, the unregulated “exotic” financial intruments, and their derivative features (also unregulated) have allowed the currency to expand far beyond what congress or the FRC can unwind through repo markets and there is no coming back from the committed path, aside from devaluation. Just remember folks, they told the British that the sterling was not in dangerous territory until the moment they announced it being replaced by the Federal Reserve Note, as the conversion currency.

    Finally, you reach a point that commodity costs are better contained though -dollar conversion bypass- and the dollar is viewed as a deterrent to fair trade, versus the standard. Japan & China direct trade is merely the final nail, BRICs have been dollar discounting as high as 35% since 2009.

  19. I stole this from this site.

    Gentle Thoughts for Today

    Birds of a feather flock together . . . and then shit on your car.

    A penny saved is a government oversight.

    The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat have gotten to be really good friends.

    The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

    He who hesitates is probably right.

    Did you ever notice: The Roman Numerals for forty (40) are XL.

    If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

    The sole purpose of a child’s middle name is so he can tell when he’s really in trouble..

    Did you ever notice: When you put the 2 words ‘The’ and ‘IRS’ together it spells ‘Theirs…’

    Aging: Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and start bragging about it.

    Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me. I want people to know ‘why’ I look this way. I’ve traveled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved.

    When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to your youth, think of Algebra.

    You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.

    One of the many things no one tells you about aging is it is such a nice change from being young. Ah, being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.

    Lord, Keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth. AMEN

  20. And so, I was right and it is playing out: Russia (BRICS) and the USA shall wager a war by proxy. Proxy (of course) being Syria to start with. Next will be Israel.

    What better way to fight overpopulation?

    Humanity is blowing its chance to reverse the last 25000 years of constant, mindless, useless wars. What a pity!

  21. JG,

    America really for sale.

    Yves Smith take on it.

    Guys, better run to Yellow Stone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Big Sure, etc. Those are soon to be things of the past.

  22. JG,

    America is, indeed, for sale. Go on the site and you can actually click on the entire contract. And keep in mind: Romney has been pushing very hard FOR it. Tells me everything I need to know. Trade Document Leaked, Revealing New Corporate Powers And Broken Campaign Promises

    “…The newly leaked document is one of the most controversial of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. It addresses a broad sweep of regulations governing international investment and reveals the Obama administration’s advocacy for policies that environmental activists, financial reform advocates and labor unions have long rejected for eroding key protections currently in domestic laws.

    Under the agreement currently being advocated by the Obama administration, American corporations would continue to be subject to domestic laws and regulations on the environment, banking and other issues. But foreign corporations operating within the U.S. would be permitted to appeal key American legal or regulatory rulings to an international tribunal. That international tribunal would be granted the power to overrule American law and impose trade sanctions on the United States for failing to abide by its rulings…

  23. @Lee
    assuming the veracity of the info, the answer can be found in
    enraged’s last cryptic and frightening comment. For what
    shores shall we set sail? “You must leave now. Take what you need, what you think will last. And whatever you think you need, you’d better grab it fast. He understands your orphan with his gun.”


  25. Nationstar Mtg set to acquire $63 billion of Aurora Servicing*

    Nationstar Mortgage agreed to acquire $63 billion in mortgage servicing rights from Aurora Bank, according to a news release.

    The Texas-based servicer said Tuesday it would also acquire other assets from Aurora, though a spokesman for Nationstar declined to comment on further details. Aurora Bank did not respond to a request for comment……

    Newcastle Investment Corp. will fund about $170 million of the purchase price and receive 65% of excess mortgage servicing rights. Both Newcastle and Nationstar are affiliated with Fortress Investment Group.

    Nationstar expects the deal, subject to regulatory approval, to close by June 30. The servicer also expects to launch its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange soon. (Hope it goes as well as facebook’s)

    *One report estimates that Aurora serviced 75 billion at the end of
    2010, making it No. 18 nationwide.

  26. “MFY’s review of the “shadow docket” in Brooklyn and Queens found that, as of April 2012, almost 75% of all residential foreclosure cases filed six months earlier (in October 2011) remained in legal limbo.”

    If people are in the dwelling, where is the rush?

    I think if I were in that situation, I would consult an attorney asap and ask whether that situation gave me legal grounds to simply file for quiet title. In the affirmative, i would go ahead and do it. If attorneys can’t certify the documents provided by their client, they won’t be in any position to oppose the quiet title action either. Now is the time to seriously go on the attack. In a few weeks, it will be too late. Banks will be gone and there won’t be any money. Everything that was in banks’ hands will be subject to eminent domain.

    I don’t want to scare anyone but with Japan and China having started to bypass the dollar in their trade transactions, we have officially lost our position as world monetary currency.

    We are nowhere near BRICS (they won’t touch us with a 20 foot pole) and our closest trading partner, Europe, is licking its own wounds. JPM, BofA and the likes are on their way out in a hurry. Add to that the trade agreement Obama is pushing, allowing any foreign company to come here and follow its own rules while bypassing ours (environmental, legal, commercial, copyright, patent, etc) and we are completely done. It’s been in the making, starting with allowing China two months ago to set up three banks here.

    Fasten your seatbelt and get on the ride of your lifetime! America is selling itself to the larger bidder.

  27. From Brennan Ctr for Justice: Attention New Yorkers…..
    New Report Puts a Spotlight on New York’s Foreclosure “Shadow Docket”
    In response to the “robo-signing” scandal and other problems in foreclosure litigation, New York State instituted a rule requiring foreclosing law firms to attest to the accuracy of the legal papers they file in court. However, as highlighted in a new report from MFY Legal Services, an unintended consequence has been the creation of a “shadow docket” of foreclosure cases, where the lender has filed a complaint and property lien, but not the attestation and other legal papers needed to schedule the case for a court-supervised settlement conference. At least 25,000 homeowners are currently stuck in this legal limbo.
    MFY’s report, Justice Unsettled: How the Foreclosure Shadow Docket and Discontinuances Prevent New Yorkers from Saving Their Homes, concludes that foreclosing law firms are failing to file required paperwork in a timely fashion, to the detriment of struggling homeowners and communities. MFY’s review of the “shadow docket” in Brooklyn and Queens found that, as of April 2012, almost 75% of all residential foreclosure cases filed six months earlier (in October 2011) remained in legal limbo.
    MFY’s study also found that approximately 12% of residential foreclosures are discontinued with no reason given. A lender’s decision to discontinue a foreclosure case without settlement – for example, to clean up legal paperwork in order to refile – leaves struggling homeowners without any court supervision, and often with no understanding of who to contact to negotiate a potential modification as debt continues to mount.
    The full study, including MFY’s recommendations, can be found at:

  28. […] View article: Fine Print: The Real Story on the “$25 Billion” Multistate Settlement […]

  29. “So in plain language, the banks are taking money from their left pocket and putting int heir right pocket and saying it was a deal.”

    No no no! You got it all wrong!

    The banks are taking money from OUR right pocket. They go lend it to our government and get it back with 3% interest. They then put it in their left pocket, after which they transfer it to their right pocket (at a loss, though, since that one transaction did not generate one cent in fee or interest).

    So, of course, all this moving money arround is exerting. I don’t know if you’ve ever carried around suitcases full of paper but it is damn heavy. Also, it takes 150 people per transaction, who need to be paid. Malkes perfect sense, in that complete picture of consummated insanity, that they would be compensated for their inordinate amount of work and effort!

    Sheeesh! How catty can you be! Go listen to Jamie boy explain it all to Congress. Every single cent banks are earning is absolutely le-gi-ti-mate!!! There.

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