Are banks accountable for other claims not covered by this settlement?

A:

Yes! This agreement holds the banks accountable for their wrongdoing on robo-signing and mortgage servicing. This settlement does not seek to hold them responsible for all their wrongs over the years and the agreement and its release preserve legal options for others to pursue. Specifically, this settlement does not:

  • Release any criminal liability or grant any criminal immunity.
  • Release any private claims by individuals or any class action claims.
  • Release claims related to the securitization of mortgage backed securities that were at the heart of the financial crisis.
  • Release claims against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems or MERSCORP.
  • Release any claims by a state that chooses not to sign the settlement.
  • End state attorneys general investigations of Wall Street related to financial fraud or the financial crisis.

The agreement settles only some aspects of the banks conduct related to the financial crisis (foreclosure practices, loan servicing, and origination of loans) in return for the second largest state attorneys general recovery in history and direct relief to distressed borrowers while they can still use it.

State cases against the rating agencies and bid-rigging in the municipal bond market, for example, continue. Claims and investigations against MERS and how Wall Street packaged mortgages into securities also continue.

On January 27, 2012, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder along with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Director of Enforcement Robert Khuzami and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the formation of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group. The working group will investigate those responsible for misconduct contributing to the financial crisis through the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.


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