Attorneys General from all 50 states recently announced a $26 billion settlement with the largest home mortgage servicers in the nation – Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Ally Financial and Wells Fargo (all which qualify for our Mega-Bank Hall of Shame) – for improper foreclosure practices. While $26 billion sounds like a lot of money, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the fact that Americans collectively owe $700 billion more on their mortgages than their homes are now worth. In addition, the banks can use the funds to write-down bad mortgages (which they might have done anyway). Also, while some homeowners will see a bit of relief from the settlement (and some of the worst foreclosure practices will be curbed), millions of homeowners will still face foreclosure in the years to come. Considering the massive harms that mega-banks caused, and the ongoing harms that resulted, the settlement starts to look puny.
More needs to be done to expose fraud in the banking industry, to hold the responsible executives accountable, and to help homeowners whose lives are being wrecked by the foreclosure crisis. As a consumer, you can play your part by closing your accounts with mega banks and shifting your funds to community development banks and credit unions instead. Take action with our Break Up With Your Mega-Bank campaign (www.BreakUpWithYourMegaBank.org) today, and start using your savings to build communities that mega-banks so callously wrecked.