Elizabeth Warren deliciously grills bank regulators on illegal foreclosures (video)

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, yesterday at a Senate Banking Committee hearing, grilling federal officials about illegal bank foreclosures:

ELIZABETH WARREN: Would it be helpful, if you’re going against one of these big banks, would it be helpful to these families to have the information about their case that’s in your files?

RICHARD ASHTON, DPTY GEN COUNSEL, FEDERAL RESERVE: It would be helpful, obviously, to have information related to the injury – yes it would.

Elizabeth-Warren2

ELIZABETH WARREN: So do you plan to give the families this information? That is, those families that have been victims of illegal foreclosures, will you be giving them the information that’s in your possession about how the banks illegally foreclosed against them?

RICHARD ASHTON, DPTY GEN COUNSEL, FEDERAL RESERVE: I think that’s a decision that we’re still considering making. We haven’t made a final decision yet.

ELIZABETH WARREN: So you have made a decision to protect the banks, but not a decision to tell the families who were illegally foreclosed against?

Here’s the video. She’s good.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • NWLefty

    Jeff Merkley is also in his first term. Elizabeth Warren rocks, obviously.

  • Craig Usas

    SUE asc and wells fargo…sue the hell out of them!

  • On2it

    On the one hand, the first emotional response is to say, “Wow, someone is finally standing up to the bankers! There is hope!” But the reality is that this means nothing. I’m surprised that it doesn’t have more MSM coverage to give people a sense that their elected officials are actually doing something that is not destroying this country. Amazing how many people react based on emotions and not common sense. I’m sure that the drug cartels and bankers (legal cartels) are now shaking in their boots. Perpetuate the status quo America.

  • On2it

    And much easier if law abiding citizens are disarmed.

  • On2it

    And you think she’s going to make a difference? While you’re fixated on the superiority of Democrats vs Republicans, both are using you and people like you to accomplish their purposes.

  • On2it

    And you think it’s actually going to make a difference?

  • On2it

    Sorry, but the guillotines aren’t meant for the rich.

  • ROBBED!

    Senator Elizabeth Warrens for President!

    FINALLY! Someone in Washington is actually doing her job instead of joining the “Old Gentleman’s Club.” THANK YOU Ms Warrens for fighting for the Justice we were promised as US citizens, “And Justice for All”. I cant tell you how ANGRY I am that our home/house was illegaly foreclosed on and our family shattered. Not because we couldn’t pay our mortgage but because we were TOLD NOT to pay our mortgage in order to qualify for a loan modification (a process which was dragged out for 3 yrs). We didn’t know America’s Servicing Company profits from late fees AND is owned by Wells Fargo!

    Ms. WARRENS IS ABSOLUTLY RIGHT in assuming that Americans have LOST FAITH IN BANKS and don’ t trust their book keeping. I’d rather risk keeping my money under a matress or in a jar in the dirt rather than EVER trusting a bank again. I’m certain the BILLIONS Americans who’s homes were taken by these monsters, feel the same way. AND….

    … WHY HASN’T OBAMA ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE?

    …WHY aren’t these issues of illegal foreclosures, Bank Regulators and Illegal Banking practices SPREAD ACROSS EVERY NEWSPAPER in AMERICAN? This is a MASSIVE ISSUE!

  • ezpz

    I’ve read your story – so sorry for what they’ve done to you. What a nightmare!

    I commend you for your efforts and perseverance, and yes, I do know why “the big banks aren’t afraid of the US citizen.” It’s because our govt is working hand in hand with them, and the ‘laws’ are created to favor the banks, not the people. That was exactly my point. When I said ‘what is anyone actually doing to fix this’, by ‘anyone’ I meant those in Congress who are supposed to represent US, and not collude with the banks to do the kinds of things that Wachovia/Wells Fargo has been doing to you!

    I trust you’ve contacted your representatives, both at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as the the Attorney General of your state.

    While Senator Warren’s words SOUND good, my point is where are the laws to protect us? As senator, has she actually proposed any legislation to back up her words? I don’t want empty rhetoric. I want to see something done that will not only help you, but will also prevent the banks from continuing these egregious practices, and will hold them LEGALLY accountable. And I don’t mean a token fine that they don’t even feel, and then allow them to carry on as they have been. NO, shut them down, prosecute them!

    Until then, I don’t get excited about sternly spoken words that are accompanied by those winks and nods I mentioned in that comment.

  • wachovialied.com

    We are trying and if you knew how hard it is to hold the banks accountable, you would understand why the big banks aren’t afraid of the US citizen.

  • wachovialied.com

    http://Www.wachovialied.com This is why the banks are out of control…..they are above the law. We are trying to hold wells fargo accountable for their unethical/illegal prcatices but a jury trial we were granted has been put off for 6 years because of their power in our judicial system. HELP.

  • PDQ

    Where are all the other senators?

  • ezpz

    I’ve given up on the dems – the whole lot of them. I don’t care how good they sound at any given moment. It’s their actions and lack thereof, as well as their votes that tell the story. And it’s not a pretty story. I don’t spend much time (very little, in fact) in dissecting or analyzing what they’re doing or why they’re doing it. And I certainly don’t spend much time listening to their lies. It’s a waste of energy, and besides, they’ve become so predictable, that there’s just no need. I spare myself the outrage.

    This past election was the first time I didn’t vote D for anything (not R either, NEVER voted R). Just like Bush made many in his party want to distance themselves from him, so too is Obama destroying the D Party. In fact, I would say that he’s ALREADY destroyed. Many just don’t know it yet. Not only have I lost all respect for the party, but I have serious disdain for it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    hey now, don’t hate on the Bay state. First to legalize gay marriage, high marks in education, lowest divorce rate in the country, one of the best for quality of life. You could do a lot worse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    and sent to the prisons most people are sent to.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    I know! Unless his back is absolutely to the wall, he just stands there allowing the GOP to define the conversation–just like the majority of the Democratic party. Drives me up a wall.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    except when we voted for Romney and Brown. Mass has been snookered by “moderate” Republicans before.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    I don’t think so, though I get where your reasoning comes from. She’s a pretty tough cookie.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    valid point. A frequent commenter on this site named BeccaM has pointed out how loathe the Dems are to play offense and that in most cases they don’t strive to be anything more than the lesser of two evils. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t Dems with spine, though. I lived in MA for seven years and am very pro-Warren; I think she’s proved her mettle and has stayed the course despite obstruction tactics from the GOP who didn’t want her heading the CFPB. I understand your hesitance in supporting her, and whether her taking a hard line with the financial powers will actually result in real penalties and policy changes remains to be seen. Here’s hoping.

  • ezpz

    Well, I guess you could say that. However, the cynic in me – OR – after believing in and then being disappointed by so many so called liberals or progressives, l would say the REALIST in me thinks she may have switched for political expedience.

    Time will tell, but until then, I’m not jumping on her bandwagon – or anyone else’s that is from either ‘side of the aisle’ as you say. Except for some occasional sounding populist rhetoric, methinks the ‘aisle’ is the ONLY thing that separates the two parties.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eve.condon Eve Wartenberg Condon

    I’d argue that it increases her credibility–she’s familiar with both sides of the aisle and made a difficult decision to change parties.

  • weidnerlaw

    how dare she speak such truthfulness…it’s downright…unsenatorial…. the problem with this country is millions of people watch professional sports but only a few hundred thousand people watch this far more important video….

  • Tad Johnson

    Humans have been surviving for about 1 millions years, and banks have not been around for 1 million years only a couple hundred. I’m absolutely positive that we don’t need banks for survival, just saying…

  • hollywoodstein

    Luv her.bundle any day, sorry hillz thisis the real deal.

  • John Frost

    Da Duh Dum!

  • ezpz

    What does it say?

  • cole3244

    there are so few pols left of center in america that i worry about what our nation is becoming and the long term future of america as we used to know it.

  • condew

    I agree with everything except talking about it. I fear home invasions may become more profitable, more common, and much more devastating in the near future.

  • condew

    And each time Republicans do something awful, Obama seems scared to even point it out.

  • condew

    Agreed. No matter how committed Sen Warren is, she cannot do it alone. Where are all the Democrats? They are all AWOL with regard to cutting Social Security and Wall Street cheating as well. Just like 5 years later, the Obama justice department has yet to prosecute one Bush administration lawbreaker. There certainly is a conspiracy of silence among Democrats to let every criminal of the last 10 years walk.

  • condew

    Yes, Senator Al Franken is the invisible man, except when he’s pushing legislation to curtail the freedom of the internet, or voting to cut one of the taxes that support the Affordable Care Act. He looked like he would be a major force for truth and liberal ideas when he was elected, and then, nothing. I fear for Senator Warren.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.schock.1 Dave Schock

    says a lot about the current Republicans

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.schock.1 Dave Schock

    look at Tsongas as an example

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.schock.1 Dave Schock

    being from Mass, she has a good chance of staying clean–voters there are educated and passionate

  • gavbrown01

    Please allow me to correct the most important part of this story> it’s not a squirrel, it’s a prairie dog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.schock.1 Dave Schock

    she isnt fake–she is just from Massachusetts

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.schock.1 Dave Schock

    oh I love watching this woman go after fair treatment for those Americans who have been illegally treated, and bring honesty to a process that has run amok–and bring accountability to those who would make our system not work through corruption and deceipt. God Bless her and the USA

  • condew

    Either that, or they silence her. She obviously getting little or no support from other Democrats, hence the bureaucrats feel they need not replay in full, or sometimes even at all, to her requests. The people she grilled did not look like they feared for their jobs because they crossed congress. They should be terrified and they are not.

  • LuigiDaMan

    Why do I feel, after watching this, that the fix is in? These guys act like they know it’s just business as usual and whatever Elizabeth Warren says isn’t going to matter one bit. We’re screwed. Yeah, and nice squirrel!

  • ezpz

    Elizabeth Warren in an interview with the Daily Beast:

    “I was a Republican because I thought that those were the people who best supported markets. I think that is not true anymore,” Warren said. “I was a Republican at a time when I felt like there was a problem that the markets were under a lot more strain. It worried me whether or not the government played too activist a role.”

    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/189657–liberal-favorite-elizabeth-warren-admits-she-was-a-republican#ixzz2QHLbZamP
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    So the ‘activist’ once worried about too much govt activism.

  • ezpz

    A lot of “shoulds” in there, but aside from the occasional warren type rhetoric, what is anyone actually doing to fix this? I see only winks and nods.

  • ezpz

    I’d stay off those private planes if I were her.

  • ezpz

    I share your sentiments. After the too-good-to-be-true Obama, I’m not ‘falling’ for anyone.
    Plus, the little tidbit that she was a republican until 1995 makes me even more skeptical.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    My guess is that within a year or two, they’ll get to her. No one makes it in Congress with out carrying the considerable weight of a profitable corruption, oh, er compromise.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    We are putting our money in the First National Mattress of Karmanot, even though it doesn’t pay any interest.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    One more why we should have a guillotine tax for the upcoming unpleasantness. We’ll start in the Hamptons and move on to Martha’s Vineyard.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    Call me a cynic, but I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop on Elizabeth Warren. She just sounds too good to be true.

  • FuzzyRabbit

    And while Warren was making it crystal clear to everyone that the regulators are protecting the banks rather than the public, our esteemed “most liberal ever president” Obama was having a nice lunch with the bank CEOs.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Argh, and nobody even noticed the best part of the story – dramatic squirrel! Da dum dum…

  • Stefan Avalos

    If he withholds this information, doesn’t it make him an accessory after the fact to criminal activity?

  • cole3244

    i didn’t see one other senator at the committee hearing with senator warren, i guess the other members don’t want to be seen as supporting sen warren and her questioning of the regulators activities, or maybe the other senators were doing their due diligence and hobnobbing with the banking lobbyists at a place to remain secret.
    sen warren for pres in 2016 is my cry for help.

  • lynchie

    I have a whole list of motherfuckers who I would like to see in Attica. Besides Congress and the WH i would include our pseudo journalists (Gregory, Todd, etc.) Daimon, Bernacke, the list is too long to put down. Agree with all you points. When the smoke turns to fire you know some poor twerp is going away. Just like Libby was cover for Big Dick

  • nicho

    Precisely. In white-collar crime, you go to jail for one of three reasons:

    1. For stealing from the rich. if you steal from the poor, they elect or appoint you to something.

    2. As a sacrificial lamb. If the heat is on and people are getting antsy, they will pluck some middle manager who was just following the lead of his bosses and send him up the river for a few years — to prove that they’re getting tough.

    3. For letting the cat out of the bag. Two examples are Martha Stewart and Leona Helmsley.

    The one percenters thrive on insider trading – but it’s all done with winks, nods, and coded conversations at posh dinners in private clubs or in country club locker rooms. Martha Stewart left traceable phone messages, for crying out loud. You don’t do that. She had to be punished and humiliated.

    The one percenters do their best to avoid paying taxes, but they have to pretend they are overburdened with tax bills and that those bills are bleeding them dry. Leona Helmsley let the cat out of the bag by telling her maid — her maid!! — the truth, that the rich don’t pay taxes. Taxes are for little people. That slip of the tongue earned her the slammer. That, and the fact she was a double-dyed, gold-plated bitch. People were glad to see her get her comeuppance.

  • MichaelS

    She is good, I give her that – BUT, what power does she have to force them to disclose the information? Can she subpoena the the information and make it public for the families? Can the families force the disclosure on a Freedom Of Information request? Or are they just S–T out of luck?

  • lynchie

    but they didn’t find much of what he stole. The only reason he was prosecuted was because he had the audacity to steal from the rich

  • HolyMoly

    I’d settle for prosecuting them and sending them off to jail, maybe seizing their ill-gotten private assets such as happened to Madoff (was it Madoff? I forget).

  • HolyMoly

    Oh yeah, it’s obvious who they’re working for. Just look at their prolonged hesitation to answer her question about whether or not it would be helpful for homeowners to be provided with information from regulators that they had been illegally foreclosed upon. Which is funny, because it was a rhetorical question…the answer was obvious to them, to Warren, and to all of us.

    And as far as the people taking back the government? We’ve got this issue, we’ve got Obama’s desire to gut Social Security, and the possibility of executing a scheme, concocted by U.S. and British economists and already instituted in Cyprus, whereby banks take money from OUR accounts to bail them out should they happen to collapse again (and they will collapse again), FDIC be damned. Yep, that’s the trifecta, and it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The people will move if all of those things happen. You’ll see a new party rise up that will erase at least one of the two major parties and totally emasculate the other. And I for one will not shed a single tear.

  • darklight_413

    It’s obvious who the regulators are working for. Thank god for Elizabeth Warren. Maybe she can bring some sanity to Washington. This has gone on FAR too long and it has to be fixed or you’re going to see the country decline into chaos and the people WILL take back the government. The method is up to Congress but it WILL happen.

  • clarenceswinney

    OBAMA TREATMENT IS JUST CLINTON REDUX
    The General Accounting Agency reported that the Republicans in Congress spent $110,00,000 from 1995 to 2001 on Hearings and Investigations on the Clinton administration in a concerted organized effort to destroy it.
    Obama is getting the same treatment only a different approach. Do not allow him any programs that will help the middle class and poor and build his reputation. It was a disgrace to kill the American Jobs Bill in a severe recession with high unemployment.
    The list of Filibuster set new records by far. The Republican even got so petty they would not pass the Budget Resolution that always passed with ease.

  • Houndentenor

    It’s theft. It’s that simple. It’s a criminal offense and should be prosecuted. Since banks are people, they should be charged with the crime in criminal court.

  • nicho

    In 14th Century Catalonia, failed bankers were kept on a diet on bread and water until their creditors were satisfied. When one banker failed to comply, they beheaded him in front of his bank.

    A bread and water diet — and more extreme measures, if necessary — might concentrate the minds of a lot of bankers.

    Instead, they get $800,000 a month summer rentals in The Hamptons, private jets, servants, and a host of other rewards.

  • Sweetie

    “We need the banks, the economy would collapse without them.”

    I thought the economy did collapse. Ask Iceland about what needs to be done with the banks.

  • MyrddinWilt

    We need the banks, the economy would collapse without them.

    We do not need the bank executives nor do we need the shareholders. The shareholders of the banks should have lost their entire stake during the fiscal crisis. And every one of the executives and the board members of the banks should have been immediately terminated without compensation.

    US corporate bankruptcy law is broken. There is no accountability for the people who are paid enormous sums for their purported accountability. When a company goes into chapter 11 the creditors should have the right to fire the board and executives.

    We don’t need the trading desks either. If a bank gets into trouble then it should not be selling its investment expertise. Close the trading desks and fire the million dollar a year traders who occupied them.

    And there should be a law that caps the redundancy pay of the highest paid worker in a company to no more than ten times that of the lowest paid until all other claims have been met.

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