The Banksters are getting off easy...
The banksters could be forced to pay tens of billions of dollars more in settlements for crashing our economy. But, these fees are just a small fraction of the price that American taxpayers paid for the economic collapse. So far, the too-big-to-fail banks have forked out about $80 billion dollars in legal fees related to the crisis, and the ratings agencies predict that the banksters will be on the hook for another 50 to 100 billion.
Although that sounds like a lot, it's simply a drop in the bucket compared to the $6 trillion dollars that their gambling cost our economy. And, many of these settlements were so-called “no-admit-no-deny” agreements that did not even require the banksters to admit to their crimes. To make matters even worse, many of these settlements could be written off of banks' taxes, which means that the actual amount that banksters are responsible for is even less than that $80 billion.
The vast majority of the cost of the last economic collapse fell to the taxpayers, and the too-big-to-fail banks have been able to consider their fees as just another cost of doing business. And, most of our lawmakers aren't doing much to prevent the next crash, let alone hold the banksters accountable for the last one. As Senator Elizabeth Warren says, the system is rigged, and Americans are fed up with the banking oligopoly. If we want any chance at stopping the next economic meltdown, we must break up the banks, and start throwing the banksters in jail for their crimes.
Just now I was going through the e-mail messages to have accumulated in my in-box since yesterday. From Change.org I've received one from a woman named Rebekka whose home is being foreclosed on by Bank Of America. Her story is so awful, so gut-wrenching, I am compelled to share it here. Given the topic of the day, this should further illustrate the depth & breadth of criminality - and sleaze - the banking industry has come to since deregulation.
Right after Rebekka lost her mother to cancer, she did what any responsible person would do. She called Bank of America to let them know her mother had died, and that she would be taking over the $800 mortgage payments.
"But I never should have told them", she says. "From that point on, they absolutely refused to accept any payment. By law, as the heir, if I had tried to pay off the mortgage in full, they would have had to accept it, but if the heir can only afford to continue the payments, it is up to the bank's discretion as to whether or not they will accept payment, or foreclose on the home."
The bank chose to take her home. When she tried paying over the phone, they refused. Her checks got returned. No amount of pleading did any good. After the bank filed for foreclosure and had her literally backed into the wall, they called Rebekka to offer her a "deal" that included a new mortgage rate, more than three times higher than the old rate, and with higher interest. Apparently this is common practice; it is how people in Rebekka's situation get treated by Bank of America!
This house is sixty years old and has been in her family since it was built.
Rebecca's mother sounds like a wonderful person. She originally owned two homes and used the other home to shelter homeless people off the streets. Rebekka kept that going until the bank foreclosed their second home. Now she is facing homelessness herself... for no reason except for Bank of America's arbitrary, outrageous greed.
Here is a link Rebekka has passed on. Please sign her petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/bank-of-america-stop-foreclosure-on-my-home-and-accept-my-money
If any of you have accounts with Bank of America, I highly recommend transferring your assets to a small community bank or a credit union. These people are not to be trusted. - Aliceinwonderland
I didn't say what I'm about to say:
Sixty year old houses aren't exactly fireproof; and this time of year accidental fires happen quite often. Woulldn't it be a great Christmas treat if BOA forclosed on a pile of ashes?
But I didn't say any of this.
Right on, stecoop! Sentiments much appreciated. But I hope you click on that link and sign the petition, if you haven't already.
Were I in Rebekka's shoes, I'd just stay put in that house and refuse to leave. And I'd get me a gun and learn how to use it.
I didn't say any of that either... tsk. - Aliceinwonderland
Just running with it because these are real life situations.
A person being foreclosed on gets a little too depressed because of legalized theft.
A person then gets a little too drunk and stands there ground so to speak.
Then I am sure more than one person has lost their life or had an armed show down with the police defending there own home.
YET NOT A SINGLE BANKSTER WILL SEE A DAY IN JAIL. PEOPLE NEED TO SIGN THAT PETITION.
AND AMERICAN POLITICIANS NEED TO STAND UP TO BANKSTERS OR WE NEED NEW POLITICIANS
OR WE NEED A NEW SYSTEM BECAUSE THEFT IS THEFT. NOTHING WILL CHANGE THAT.
SOCIETY WILL HAVE MORE CRIME WITHOUT FAIR LAWS.
Right on, Douglas!
I'm not into guns and never have been; at least, not since I was nine years old and used a pellet rifle for target practice. I got to be a pretty good shot and it was a lot of fun, just picking off tin cans at a distance. But then I abruptly became nearsighted at the age of ten, which put an end to that in a hurry. Once I'd started wearing glasses, the thrill was gone.
Besides the obvious issue of corporate legally-sanctioned theft, there's another reason Rebekka's story hit me so hard. I would rather be dead than homeless. If our house were ever foreclosed on, those thugs would not be carrying me out of here alive. And I'd do my damndest to take down at least one of their enablers before they got to me.
It's been over twenty years since my husband & I were renters. But the shit and trauma landlords put us through, and how it disrupted our lives, remains a vivid memory. It'll be one freezing day in hell before I pay rent to anyone, ever again. - Aliceinwonderland
"... their fines as just another cost of doing business"
I've been meaning to say this for some time: Simple conjunctions such as "and" and "but" should not be followed by a comma (unless the following phrase is a parenthetical remark).
Mathboy, I have had the same thought but neglected to express it. Along with "and" and "but", you can ad "or" to that list!
Aliceinwonderland ~ I signed that petition. I recently experienced a similar problem. I learned that such problems can be resolved by the asset owner placing the asset in a living trust. If no trust or will exists--and there is only one legal heir alive--then the asset becomes what is known as uncontested. Uncontested is when there are no other heirs to contest inheriting the assest. If that is the case Rebekka could look for paralegal services such as document preparers who could conduct a mini-probate at a reasonable cost. Once the court appoints Rebekka the new legal owner of the property, the bank will have no choice but to treat her as such. It is at least worth a shot. A phone call to a paralegal is free.
Thank you Marc! Every little bit helps. And thanks for the excellent tip! Did you pass that on when you signed the petition? There is actually a blog that follows the petition. If you like, I'll pass it on for you. - AIW
Aliceinwonderland ~ No, I didn't; but, if you can, please do. An uncontested probate isn't so bad. The paralegals do all the work for modest fees. She might not even have to show up in court. It took my friend about 6 months--mostly time spent waiting for appraisals and hearings. It might be a little more involved for Rebekka. It's the contested probates that can drag on forever and cost a fortune. The bank isn't going to give you sound legal advice that you can use against their interests. In this case it certainly pays to seek out that advice from a non interested third party. When she gets her house back suggest she immediately put it in a living trust. The same paralegal that does the probate can do the trust papers for a couple hundred dollars or so. That way the person she leaves the house to will have no hassles whatsoever when she dies. She can transfer the title with a few stamps. (Again, another reason we need the USPS) Just make sure her Trustee has a copy of the papers and doesn't lose them. A safety deposit box is a good investment. I wish her the best of luck.
Marc, I did pass your message on to Rebekka. And thank you.
We may end up taking that advice ourselves; there happens to be a very greedy, manipulative person in our family who would just love to get his grubby hands on our house, if only to add on to his daughters' already substantial inheritance. Ain't gonna happen!
I know it's just a pipe dream my friends, but I wish we lived in a culture where greed wasn't encouraged; where the greedy were ostrasized. Life would be so much sweeter for the rest of us... - AIW
Aliceinwonderland ~ I definitely advise using a living trust for anything you want to leave to anyone; if only, to avoid inheritance taxes. Definitely to avoid internal conflicts. Don't feel bad every family has at least one... "special" person. I just found out that at least half of my family are Republicans. I guess nobody is perfect. Now I understand why my father moved us 500 miles away. He never told me why. I guess it's just been our family's dirty little secret. Maybe he was too embarrassed to mention it. Go figure. Now I get to reconcile the truth alone.
Protect yourself and your loved ones from financial predators. When you are gone you never know who or what is going to go after your precious assets. It could be the government, the state, the city, greedy financiers, your own family, or your own families friends. Some predators make a career out of "claim jumping" grief stricken heirs. Some do it for revenge. Many times your true loved ones don't even know what you are worth when you die. They tend not to make that their business if they truly love you. One good friend of mine lost her house because of a greedy ex wife after her husband died. After going through probate she got sued for half and lost. Make it simple and easy for your loved ones and impossible for your potential enemies. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. A living trust is easy, cheap, and provides you and your loved ones a sense of security nothing else can. I highly recommend it.
By the way, along with a Trustee you will want to set up a successor Trustee in the same document. Something to think about beforehand. Also, make sure your Trust includes all assets, property, jewelry, and monetary. State each asset by name and send copies with cover letters to any and all holding sources demanding the asset be placed under power of Trust. Your preparers can walk you through the process. Keep copies of all documents and make sure your successor Trustee and Trustee have them too. Make sure you provide them with a list of all your assets too. Specify on that list that you want to leave all these worldly belongings exclusively to them and sign it. Ask your preparer whether a notary is necessary in your state. It is very helpful for grief stricken heirs to have a simple list of things to claim when the time comes. The memory isn't reliable when grief stricken; and, the people who really love you don't always care about being exact about all your possessions after your death. When the time comes to change title they will have to provide copies of the trust documents along with your death certificate and the appropriate forms. (Through the USPS of course.) Change of title is automatic and hassle free. Hopefully, that time is a long, long, long time away.
Marc, thank you. I am quite ignorant about such matters, and I really appreciate you taking the time to explain all this. Presently, I am overwhelmed with other issues in my life that are more urgent, that will have to be resolved first. But once my efforts pay off and our circumstances have stabilized, this will be the next order of business. Thanks again for your excellent, common-sense advice. - AIW
Aliceinwonderland ~ You're most welcome!
The reason we call them the banksters is because they commit legal crimes.
They control the country's money supply, and therefore the economy, because we have been using the bankers' school, debt-based money system which percolates financial gain to the top.
For a discussion of this system and the alternative, public-monied currency school system of money, have a visit to German prof of economic sociology Dr. Joseph Huber's website at sovereignmoney.eu
It's the money system. That's how they do it.
joebhead -- And even worse they do it illegally. For example, UBS laundering drug money.
I listen to your comments at the start of your show today. Your point is spot on about the media. I will confess, your show by having Dish network here in Lexington is the very reason my viewingship of MSNBC has faded. From 6am to 4pm. I find myself debating on c-span/facebook on the 7am topics to 10am. I find myself baffle out the misinformation out there. Doing those debates,people would call me a commie,socialist and fascist. They would bring up GOD and soforth. Yesterday, i answer them by showing them post tying in corporations and fascism governments. No one answer me or no conservative feedback to my post and comments. I did the same with Ayn Rand and the Christian and no conservative feedback. At the sametime, every conservative point of view i read is from a internet blog. A internet right leaning site. Fox news, right wing radio and Blaze tv. I feel the network you are speaking of has no spine from 6am to 4pm . It changes tone at 3pm. Before i go, the 1st time in American History since the 60s seeing people hell bent against other Americans as if some Americans are more than other Americans pushing for a corporation run nation with no rules and corporation run god controling our faith.