We were a bit taken aback by the news that Prince, now on tour and in the midst of 21-dates in LA, happens also to be “singing the same tune as millions of American homeowners: The Foreclosure Blues.” Apparently, the 20 acres that he owns in Minnesota, where his home once stood, has been scheduled for auction to satisfy his mortage, althought the Star-Tribune reports “Prince contended Thursday afternoon that the ‘payment has been made’ for the full amount and was sent to the Bank of New York Mellon Trust Co. ‘about four or five days ago.’”
So the big question is, will the bank even care? Clearly for most Americans, they could care less.
For example, JPMorgan Chase just settled for $56 million a class action brought by 6,000 active-duty miliatary families, “who were overcharged on their mortgages. [The bank also] cut interest rates on soldiers’ home loans and return homes that were wrongfully foreclosed upon.”
There is also an investigation by all 50 state Attorneys General of foreclosure scandals like “robo-signing,” where banks hired people to forge official names on documents so they could take away people’s homes without verifying any facts. Iowa AG Tom Miller, who is in the midst of crafting a major settlement with the banks, has gotten into a bit of a campaign finance mess due to donations to him from “out-of-state lawyers who make a living representing big banks” but Miller objects strongly to the implication of a conflict. At least he's trying to hold the banks accountable, so much so that “Oklahoma’s attorney general said he is prepared to break ranks” with the settlement that Miller and the Justice Department are crafting. He doesn't like banks being forced “to pay at least $20 billion in fines and use the money to reduce the principal on mortgages of ‘underwater’ borrowers, who owe more on their loans than their homes are worth. ‘I have asked my attorneys to prepare me for an option that does not require that,' he says." Hope his constituents remember that.
And then there’s the heartwarming story of South Carolina’s Keith Gamble. As the Richmond Post-Dispatch reports, what started as a hobby “is now a risky, exciting, full-time job: buying properties at the monthly foreclosure sale and flipping them." He says, "Some people's bad fortune is other people's opportunity. I know that sounds callous.”
Honestly, when it comes to the foreclosure business, who isn’t?