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Andrew Longstreth reports: "New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was removed on Tuesday from a committee of state attorneys general probing mortgage abuses, Iowa's attorney general said."

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks to the press. (photo: Marcus Santos/NY Daily News)
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman speaks to the press. (photo: Marcus Santos/NY Daily News)

NY Attorney General Kicked Off Mortgage Abuse Committee

By Andrew Longstreth, Reuters

24 August 11


Schneiderman removed from committee. Iowa says New York has "undermined" gov't coalition.

ew York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was removed on Tuesday from a committee of state attorneys general probing mortgage abuses, Iowa's attorney general said.

Schneiderman's removal follows his statements in recent months voicing concerns over a proposed deal between major banks and a coalition of federal and state officials over claims of foreclosure abuses.

"Effective immediately, the New York Attorney General's Office has been removed from the Executive Committee of the Robosigning multistate," an attorney in the Iowa Attorney General's office, which is leading the investigation, said in an email on Tuesday to other lawyers involved in the probe.

The removal is the latest sign of discord between Schneiderman and the state and federal coalition on mortgage abuses. On Monday, the New York Times reported that the federal government was pressuring him to agree to a settlement with the banks over abuses such as submitting allegedly false documents to remove borrowers from their homes.

Schneiderman has said that he opposes any deal that gives participating banks a release from other litigation surrounding their mortgage activities. Attorneys general from other states have also questioned aspects of the deal, including Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden.

In a statement, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said that New York had been a member of the executive committee since it was formed in October 2010. But he said that New York declined an opportunity to be part of a smaller negotiation committee formed in June 2010.

"Since that time, New York has actively worked to undermine the very multistate group that it had spent the previous nine months working very closely with," he said.

Miller added that allowing New York to remain on the committee "simply doesn't make sense, is unprecedented and is unacceptable."

Danny Kanner, a spokesperson for Schneiderman, said the attorney general is "committed to a comprehensive resolution that will provide homeowners meaningful relief to stay in their homes, allow the housing market to begin to recover, and get our economy moving again."

Kanner also said that "investigations by attorneys general cannot be shut down by efforts to settle quickly and those responsible must be held accountable."

Separately, Schneiderman has been pursuing his own investigation into another aspect of the mortgage business, the securitization practices at large banks. He recently sought to intervene in Bank of America Corp's $8.5 billion mortgage-backed securities settlement, which he called "unfair" and "inadequate."

(Reporting by Andrew Longstreth; editing by Carol Bishopric.) your social media marketing partner


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+22 # jon 2011-08-24 11:16
This is outrageous.
+47 # Bruce Roberts 2011-08-24 11:17
Sounds as if the rest of the committee has been bought by the banks. Stick to your guns, Schneiderman!
+29 # angelfish 2011-08-24 11:25
What KIND of Government is it that we HAVE in this,once GREAT, Country? Laws can be bent for the Mega-Wealthy and aggressive, COMPETENT lawyers can be summarily dismissed because they want to DO their jobs? I'm beginning to think it's time to bail on this "Republic" now TOTALLY owned by Special Interests and RICH financial rapists, who are, evidently, unable to be dragged from the Public Trough! May our good God DAMN them to Hell for their avarice and sheer GREED!
+9 # noitall 2011-08-24 12:17
Amen Angelfish!
+8 # William Bjornson 2011-08-24 12:17

2 things. America has always favored the rich throughout our history. That's kinda who the founders were at that time albeit Jefferson was broke.

And, it's not necessarily the republic we need to abandon, we just need to clean house. But, you know what that means. America is not quite 'blood' angry yet although you and I certainly are. Maybe you and I could go together on a guillotine manufactury. There might yet be a market...and what better political statement than a guillotine in every front yard, waiting. We might actually get some circumspection from the parasites...'sp ection' not 'scision' as in cervical circumscision. That will be OUR job.
+6 # angelfish 2011-08-24 13:26
Actually, Mr. Bjornson, MOST of the Founding Fathers were Farmers with little if any CASH wealth. There WERE a few elitists like Alexander Hamilton but MOST believed in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for ALL men, except of course, for the Southern Plantation owners who needed free labor in the form of Slaves. THIS is what is happening in our Country today. The Wealthy "Owners", who own 98% of the Wealth, 5/9 of our SCOTUS and EVERYTHING in between want to keep us all DOWN on the Plantation working for crumbs while THEY feed at the Public Trough on OUR DIME!
0 # Ken Hall 2011-08-28 02:40
angelfish: I think Mr Bjornson is the more correct about the origins of the US Consititution. Zinn's "Peoples' History of the US" is an invaluable resource. You mention leaders who wanted "...Happiness for ALL men, except of course, for the southern plantation owners...". Southern plantation owners included Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Mason, Henry, Lee, and others who were important to the framing and acceptance of the Constitution.
+14 # William Bjornson 2011-08-24 12:23
Oh, one last thing...AG John Kroger of Oregon: Follow Schneiderman and you certainly get MY vote. Semper fi.
+11 # noitall 2011-08-24 12:23
I wonder if these people's families know what scum their relatives really are. In all due fairness, Attorney General Tom Miller, you should clue them in. You are definitely in line for a large hunk of tarsand oil in your stocking next Christmas. I'm sure you've earned it.
+12 # William Bjornson 2011-08-24 11:55
From Wikipedia:

"From 2010 Miller has coordinated the national investigation into improper foreclosure practices by major financial lenders. After the beginning of the investigation, he has raised $261,445 from finance, insurance and real estate contributors. That is 88 times as much as he received over the previous decade. Al Gore’s attorney David Boies, Donald Flexner and Robert Silver, partners in the firm Boies, Schiller and Flexner – donated to Miller a total of $60,000."

+12 # dasverma 2011-08-24 12:15
The crooks are buying out the less committed and opportunists. I hope NY AG will continue in the great traditions NY AG with determination & competence, and will win.
We pray you victory for our sake.
+5 # DPM 2011-08-24 12:26
Once again the "bullies" seem to have it their way. We have a government directed by "legitimized" criminals.There by becoming criminals, themselves.
I know that we all want a reasonable, peaceful way to overcome the abuses of big business and government, but I have a feeling that until, regrettably, there is real violence, the oppressed will continue to be oppressed. After all, what real incentive do the oppressors have to change?
+6 # Tee 2011-08-24 12:34
The corporate elite, which includes the banksters don't want the people to be represented in any form.

This is a perfect example of how most of our elected officials flinch when confronted by the corporate elite. I can feel the gripe of the corporate elites hands grabbing the balls of our president.

This is why I look to the day when our system becomes bankrupt from the weight of our 14 trillion dollar debt.
+4 # 2011-08-24 14:11
Attorney General Tom Miller has shown his loyalty. I hope he's been well compensated. The coward!
+5 # Merschrod 2011-08-24 15:53
There is reforming blood in NY and AG Schneidermann is part of the great tradition. Spitzer was too, but the banksters caught him with his pants down! The gentleman from IA seeems to have joined a conspiracy - sort of racketeering No?
+6 # stonecutter 2011-08-24 18:51
A courageous prosecutor could go after all these white-collar bums under RICO statutes currently on the books; wouldn't it be stunning if Eric Schneiderman was that guy? Why hasn't RICO been applied to any of these systematic, coordinated criminal activities related to mortgage securitization and foreclosure abuse?

What differentiates these activities from the worst abuses by "Organized Crime" 20,30,40,50 years ago? That is, other than the ethnic makeup of the perpetrators, their establishment pedigrees, their political juice?

I've said it before: it is a rigged game. Eliot Spitzer just wrote a hard-hitting article for Slate, naming names, and boom, he gets slapped with a $90 million libel suit brought by people who are attempting to deny history and their own collusion in documented illegal activities.

Frankly, the continuation of these efforts to sanitize and whitewash ongoing criminal activity by banks and their subsidiaries by "settlement", under the auspices of various state Attorneys General, is itself beneath contempt and very likely criminal. Let's hope Schneiderman sticks to his guns on this. (Sing) I Love New York!
+1 # Toby Touby 2011-08-24 19:37
AG Tom Miller is a pawn of DOJ's Shaun Donovan, and the Obama cartel.
0 # Toby Touby 2011-08-24 19:47
OOOOOOOOPS! Shaun Donovan is not DOJ.
He is the Secretay of Housing and Urban Development, another branch the Obama corporate dynasty. Sorry
+1 # Rick Levy 2011-08-24 23:15
The Abuse Committee should be investigated for abuse.
+2 # Litchfield 2011-08-25 07:25
Yes, all those who want to show support for Schneiderman can write to him/his office via email. I have done so. Do a search for his office, then use the email contact link. Easy peasy. I wrote that I am a registered Dem in Mass., that I suport his efforts and that I and many like me see his pursuit of these criminals as one of the few bright spots on the political horizon. Don't give up!!! I see him as a national-level actor who has the attention of the whole country. He is in good company. Eric and Elizabeht, our two most courageous public figures. Let Schneiderman know that he has wide support.
0 # jaycarrigan 2011-08-27 07:47
Congratulations Mr. Schneiderman! Add his name to the list of unbloody martyrs in this violent takeover of the US democracy.
0 # amye 2011-08-28 15:24
Apparently Attorney General Schneiderman is just about the only last honest good lawyer left in the country! Everyone else is obviously a sell out to the rich banksters once again! Thanks Obama for all that "change"! I guess thats what we are getting... the change from the pockets of super rich!!

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