Dec. 2, 2011
BOSTON — One day after Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a lawsuit against five major banks, she defended the decision to WGBH News’ Jordan Weinstein.
Federal and state prosecutors from across the country have been negotiating a multi-billion dollar deal with the nation’s leading banks for the past year. That's just too long, Coakley said.
“We just felt that after all this time the banks have not come to the table with an agreement and particularly not an agreement that we think would work for Mass. homeowners,” she said on Dec. 2. Furthermore, “We’ve gotten signals that even if there were to be an agreement there would not be some of the things we thought were really important for Mass.”
When asked whether the lawsuit would derail those national-level negotiations, Coakley said, “I don’t see how that could happen.”
The lawsuit claims that Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and GMAC violated Massachusetts law with "unlawful and deceptive" conduct in the foreclosure process, including unlawful foreclosures, false documentation, robo-signing, and deceptive practices related to loan modifications.
Coakley’s office is seeking “recovery for homeowners that have suffered from the damage the banks have caused,” she said.
On Dec. 2, GMAC announced it would stop purchasing new mortgage loans written by third parties in Massachusetts. GMAC will continue to lend directly to homeowners in Massachusetts. However, most of its business in the state is done through third parties such as community banks, which originate loans and sell them to GMAC.
Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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