The housing crisis has at least a couple of sides -- the homeowners being one, the banks another. The Occupy movement has gotten results from camping out in yards of the former, with foreclosure defense around the country. Now they're moving into the foyers of the latter, making the case that banks lured many thousands of people into loans they couldn't pay and then threw them out of their homes without a clear legal right to do so.
Today we got more evidence that the good-natured, singing, laughing people setting up camp in the Bank of America are on to something. The New York Times reports on a new study about from the inspector general at Housing and Urban Development:
At Bank of America, which until late last year was the nation's largest mortgage servicer, two employees testified that they had raised concerns about whether documents were being properly notarized, but managers told them to proceed. One vice president said documents in her department were checked only for "formatting and spelling errors," not the underlying figures or facts in the case."Bank of America did not establish effective control over its foreclosure process," according to the report, to be released Tuesday. And as foreclosure cases multiplied, Bank of America's management turned up the pressure on employees to move faster. "Despite management representations to the contrary," the report says, "employee performance reviews demonstrated that Bank of America used defined goals and metrics to evaluate performance-based production in its document execution group."
The report, due out tomorrow, also outlines problems at Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.
Occupy Wall Street's Fight BAC group plans protests in several cities Thursday. They're calling it F* the Banks, with the "F" standing for foreclose. You get the feeling that the longer the protesting and the investigating go on, the smarter people are becoming about what went wrong and what to do about it.
(H/t Mother Jones)