As I read more and more about the foreclosure mess, the most amazing thing (to me, at least), is how the banksters, in their greed, managed to screw up even the most basic of things:
At JPMorgan Chase & Company, they were derided as “Burger King kids” — walk-in hires who were so inexperienced they barely knew what a mortgage was.
At Citigroup and GMAC, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on home foreclosures was outsourced to frazzled workers who sometimes tossed the paperwork into the garbage.
And at Litton Loan Servicing, an arm of Goldman Sachs, employees processed foreclosure documents so quickly that they barely had time to see what they were signing.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of the loan,” a Litton employee said in a deposition last year. “I’m not a loan officer.”
As the furor grows over lenders’ efforts to sidestep legal rules in their zeal to reclaim homes from delinquent borrowers, these and other banks insist that they have been overwhelmed by the housing collapse.
But interviews with bank employees, executives and federal regulators suggest that this mess was years in the making and came as little surprise to industry insiders and government officials. The issue gained new urgency on Wednesday, when all 50 state attorneys general announced that they would investigate foreclosure practices. That news came on the same day that JPMorgan Chase acknowledged that it had not used the nation’s largest electronic mortgage tracking system, MERS, since 2008.
That system has been faulted for losing documents and other sloppy practices.
Meticulous paperwork, a sense of security, and the confidence they are professionals is why people go to banks. This is the most basic service they screwed up. Not processing loan documents accurately or carefully is akin to a mechanic pouring motor oil in the wiper fluid receptacle or a professional cook not being able to make a roux.
They’ve literally fucked up everything they have touched.