Last week, I wrote a post titled Banksters Wells Fargo And Others Sued For Ripping Off Veterans. This story was about a whistle blower case filed by mortgage processors that claimed Wells Fargo and 12 other banks were charging Veterans illegal closing fees, and ultimately taxpayers for the houses went into default. Last Friday, while Guest Hosting on AM 950 radio, I interviewed an attorney for the case, Marlan Wilbanks – the podcast can be heard here.
On Sunday, The Washington Post, who first broke the story last week, ran this story:
Hill staff begins probe of alleged mortgage loan fraud of veterans
By Steve Vogel, Published: October 16
The chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee ordered his staff to begin an investigation Friday into allegations that some of the nation’s largest lending institutions have cheated veterans and taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of dollars by charging illegal fees in home refinancing loans.
Committee staff members met Friday with officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs to discuss the charges, which are made in a whistleblower lawsuit unsealed this month by a federal court in Atlanta.
“I will reserve judgment on the appropriate next course of action, to include the potential for a full Committee hearing, after having the opportunity to review the results of the staff investigation,” Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), chairman of the committee, wrote in a letter Friday to Rep. Bruce Braley (Iowa), the ranking Democrat on the committee’s subcommittee on economic opportunity.
OK, you know – KNOW – there’s got to be some fire in the smoke, when a GOPer (Rep. Jeff Miller) agrees to a staff investigation into the GOP’s Boardroom Base.
The key to this is making sure the GOPer-led Committee “staff investigation” doesn’t morph into a GOPer whitewash. Fortunately, Rep. Tim Walz is a member of the Committee. On the Senate Side, Veterans Affairs Committee Members Senator Sherrod Brown and Senator Jon Tester have spoken out:
From Mortgage News Daily:
Whistleblowers Charge VA Loan Fraud; Sue 13 lenders
Oct 5 2011, 10:51AM
UPDATE: In response to news of the lawsuit, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection, has called for action from the VA and the Department of Justice. Brown said, “No consumer should be forced to pay illegal fees, but it is particularly disgraceful to impose such extraction schemes on our veterans.” He asked the agencies to release full information on any internal investigations and responses to the suit.
From Senator Tester’s Facebook page:
I’m calling for an investigation into big banks accused of bilking veterans
by Senator Jon Tester on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 3:34pm
(U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester is pushing the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the nation’s biggest banks for allegedly adding illegal fees to the home loans of veterans and their families.
A recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuit alleges that Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and J.P. Morgan Chase disguised fees that are specifically forbidden under VA rules on veterans’ home refinancing loans.
Now, Gentle Readers, why am I worried about a GOPer whitewash of ripping off Veterans? Because when the methods Banksters such as Wells Fargo used to rip off Veterans come to light, I happen to believe, and have reason to believe, that some of those same methods used to rip off Veterans were also used to rip off Granny GrayHair and Joe SixPack and a whole bunch of other average Americans.
This investigation of ripping off Veterans has the chance of being a real Pandora’s Box, which is something the GOP’s Boardroom Base does NOT want to be opened.
So support the Occupy Wall Street crowds, and let your representatives know it’s time to hold Banksters accountable.
For a quick primer on what Wells Fago did to rip off Veterans, link here to VAMortgageFraud.com.