AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka’s Statement on AG’s Settlement with Banks That Caused Housing Crisis

Bank Penalties for Foreclosure Fraud Are Welcome News to Homeowners, But More Is Needed To Make The Banks Pay For
Their Illegal Activities

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–February 9, 2012.  The Attorneys General settlement announced today is a step towards addressing the housing and foreclosure crisis that plagues our country.  The banks broke the law by railroading homeowners through the foreclosure process.  Today’s settlement provides compensation for foreclosure victims without requiring individuals to waive their legal claims. The settlement also includes needed principal write-downs so homeowners can stay in their homes. 

We applaud Attorneys General Eric Schneiderman, Kamala Harris, and others who fought to improve the terms of the settlement.  We also recognize Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan for his hard work. Because of their efforts, these banks have not been released from liability for fraud and other illegal conduct in the creation of mortgage backed securities that were central to the Wall Street financial crisis.  Law enforcers can still investigate and prosecute criminal activity against the banks, and pursue broader civil claims for illegal conduct that brought down our housing market.

We now look to the work of the federal investigative task force and the state attorneys general to investigate the full range of illegal bank activities that caused this crisis, so we can hold fraudsters accountable for their actions. We urge President Obama to provide the federal investigative task force with the resources necessary to address the $750 billion in negative home equity that is the result of illegal conduct by banks.  The 99% demand a fair economy and a judicial system that holds the rich and powerful accountable for their illegal behavior. 

Source: afl-cio,.org