The Real Deal New York

Schneiderman says nod to head joint investigation was no surprise

February 06, 2012 06:30PM

When Eric Schneiderman took over as New York attorney general, he learned that banks wanted “as broad of a release as possible that grants them immunity from all of their alleged misconduct… [including] things that created the bubble in the housing market and brought about the crash,” he told City & State magazine. And when the newly appointed attorney general sat down with federal agencies, he realized there was a lot that could be done if their offices collaborated, and they began talking about the possibilities of a joint investigation.

So when he was tapped just last week to new co-chair President Barack Obama’s joint mortgage-fraud investigation unit, he was not as surprised as everyone else, he told the magazine.

And what about rumors that the settlement with banks will be for around $25 billion? The issue is not so much, how much money, as how many claims the investigation unit will be able to pursue, Schneiderman said. “If you give up narrow claims like robosigning and foreclosure abuse, you get strict rules going forward …and you get some relief for homeowners in the form of principal reductions, but you [shouldn’t] give up your ability to go after the securities-fraud claims.” [City & State]