Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

January 11, 2013

New York Times Criticizes $8.5b Foreclosure Settlement

By Michael Liptrot

The New York Times published a story announcing an $8.5 billion settlement with 10 major banks to settle about four million foreclosure actions. The money will be split in two, with $3.3 billion going directly to 3.8 million homeowners, and the rest going towards lowering interest payments and loan amounts. The settlement is controversial, however, because in addition to the payout the settlement will also end the federal government’s review of those foreclosures, and the money is going to be split evenly amongst consumers regardless of whether harm was actually determined. Some believe that the settlement is the result of a flawed and incompetent review process, which became so costly and slow that the government decided to give up on the review. Others think that the rough justice achieved by the settlement is the closest that regulators can come to making victims of unlawful foreclosures whole again. Former FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair was quoted in the article stating that the government is “mak[ing] the best out of a very bad situation.”

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