Senior Republicans accused the Obama administration of a “regulatory shakedown” on Wednesday and called for a halt to the mooted $20bn settlement of the foreclosure crisis.
Richard Shelby, the senior Republican on the Senate banking committee, said a planned fine on the largest US banks and a proposal to force banks to write down outstanding debt on homeowners’ mortgages was a shakedown that would “politicise the financial system”.
And everybody was happy, because mortgages were cheap and they sold a shitload of them. But nobody had ever sat down and thought about, "hey, what would happen if tons of mortgages went bust at once?"...
Last fall, my wife and I refinanced our mortgage with Citibank. Sixty days later, we received a "cancellation notice" from our homeowners insurance company "for non-payment of premium."
Turns out Citibank, which had been collecting hundreds of dollars a month from us to pay the insurer, hadn't made the payments. It was, I later learned, one of the usual tricks mortgage servicers use to squeeze more cash out of their customers. About a month later, I learned of another trick: Citibank informed us that it was increasing our monthly payment by nearly $300.
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