Brookstone Law PC: Occupy Wall Street Protests Against Banks Could Hurt Homeowners Trying to Save Their Homes

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Media Focus on Protests Ignores Foreclosure Crisis and Struggling Homeowners As Federal Government Prepares a Loan Fix Program Favoring Banks

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“Consumers fighting to save their homes are the ones who need the scrutiny of the media to remain on what is happening with the banks" -- Vito Torchia, Jr.

Despite their claims of victory, the Occupy Wall Street movement is a distraction from the importance of the national debate over how to help homeowners victimized by the foreclosure crisis save their homes, according to Vito Torchia, Jr., managing attorney of Brookstone Law PC.

“While the nation is watching protesters chanting slogans and beating drums, thousands of homeowners hurt by the mismanagement of the banks are desperately trying to save their homes,” said Vito Torchia, Jr. “Because it appears the Federal government is likely to soon impose a solution to the problem that favors the banks, those consumers fighting to save their homes are the ones who need the scrutiny of the media to remain on what is happening with the banks.”

According to media coverage, after protest marchers pounded on the windows of an Oakland Bank of America branch, used markers to write on the glass and blocked customers from using ATMs, the branch was closed.

“We want to see Bank of America held responsible for their misdeeds in causing the foreclosure crisis, but anything that generates sympathy for them works against consumers suffering from the Bank’s misconduct,” said Vito Torchia, Jr. “As more attention is paid to protesters, less is paid to the banks and their role in hurting millions of homeowners.”

Recent media coverage indicates a proposed federally mandated settlement in which the banks would send a letter to several million individual homeowners offering to work with mediators to submit proposals for fixing toxic mortgage loans may derail ongoing efforts by dozens of state Attorneys General to solve the problem and leave thousands of homeowners in danger of losing their homes without a solution.

“There are significant problems with the Federal proposal, the most important of which is that the regulators haven't released information about how they will determine how much to compensate borrowers found to have been foreclosed on improperly,” said Vito Torhia, Jr.

According to recent media coverage, fourteen mortgage servicers acting under orders from federal regulators have begun mailing out letters to potential victims of wrongful foreclosure practices inviting borrowers to submit their cases for a free review by independent consultants that are funded by the lenders but vetted by regulators.

“The program also funds a multi-million dollar national advertising campaign on behalf of the banks and it isn't clear whether borrowers will have to give up rights to further claims if they are compensated in some way,” said Vito Torchia, Jr. “This program clearly favors the banks so homeowners without expert legal help are in significant danger of not getting the help they need if this program is enacted.”

Media coverage indicates that under the Federal program, each mortgage servicer is required to mail one letter to each customer eligible for the review and about 70% of those potentially slated to receive letters are still in their homes. The letters will go out to homeowners who were in foreclosure in 2009 and 2010, a period identified by regulators as the peak of foreclosure misconduct. In addition to the mailings, an advertising campaign will begin shortly to get the word out to people potentially harmed by the errors.

“It is ironic that at the same time as the Government is helping the Banks out at the expense of consumers, a protest movement supported by that same Government succeeds in closing the banks by consumers, if only for a day,” said Vito Torchia, Jr. “We would be happy to help shut those banks down too -- but only after we help those who lost their homes due to the Bank’s blatant misconduct and mismanagement.”

According to media coverage, employees at Bank of America’s main office in Oakland were sent home early to ensure their safety, residents near the protesters have had their lives negatively impacted and businesses have consistently been hurt by the presence of protesters.

“By hurting small businesses, the protesters are doing damage to the common people they claim to represent,” said Vito Torchia, Jr. “While protestors plan additional actions and continue to overrun public spaces with tents, trash and daily reports of violence, the media focuses on them instead of the consumers who are in danger of wrongful foreclosures and losing their homes.”

ABOUT BROOKSTONE LAW, PC

Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., and with offices in Los Angeles, Calif., and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Brookstone Law, PC is a law firm comprised of attorneys with experience and success in business, corporate and personal finance, employment, entertainment and media, art and museum, intellectual property and real estate law. The firm has a network of more than 40 affiliate attorneys nationwide and employs highly trained specialists, paralegals, paraprofessionals and administrative staff dedicated to serving clients. For information, call (800) 946-8655 or visit the Brookstone Law.com web site at http://www.brookstonelaw.com.

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