Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden says “No” to Settlement

TOM HUDSON: One of the states not signing onto the settlement, at least
not yet, is Delaware. Beau Biden is the attorney general. He joins us
tonight from Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney General Biden, nice to see you
and welcome to NBR. Any chance you’ve changed your mind tonight and
decided to go along with most of your attorney generals?

BEAU BIDEN, DELAWARE ATTORNEY GENERAL: My staff is currently working
with the folks on the other side of the table and our partners in the
Federal and state partnership that we have. We are not on board yet. I like
a number of attorneys general are not quite there yet. They can speak for
themselves but I’m not. If you look at this right now Tom, it should be no
surprise to you that of the 10 states that are reported in the press that
are not participating are the biggest and most affected states. When I
last right now, California is not on board yet. Nevada is not
on board yet. Florida has questions. These are states,
Arizona, states that are very affected. And the other states that are not
on board yet are the states that actually are along with those states that
are investigating those things. You see about 10 states that are either
aggressively investigating or deeply affected by this that have not signed
on yet and questions that remain.

HUDSON: For homeowners in Delaware, what do you say to them? What
terms do you want? Your state would be on the line for up to $32 million
for homeowners under the deal that’s on the table. What would you like to
see instead?

BIDEN: I want to make sure of a couple things. One there has to be
accountability, accountability on the part of the banks. Your report that
led into this segment is very good. I think to call this robo-signing is
benign. Mistakes made on foreclosure documents is too benign a way to put
it I’d say respectfully. This is one of the biggest tens upon
tens upon tens of thousands of false affidavits and false notorizations
lying to the court have been perpetrated. That is not a small offense.

HUDSON: Would you like to see civil charges and maybe criminal
charges as well?

BIDEN: What I was very pleased to see is my colleague Chris Koster,
the attorney general of Missouri indicted the president and CEO of one of
the companies that helped perpetrate this fraud on the American people. A
company called DOCX was indicted. The president that was indicted on
Friday in Missouri, I think you’re going to see the attorney general
continue to pursue the criminal investigation. One of the questions I have
and I’m working through with the folks is making sure that our
criminal investigative rights are preserved, that we don’t – can’t waive
and give up your job. My job is a law enforcer and a consumer protector.
The other issue that I’m very focused on is kind of in the weeds , but
your show and that is my ability to continue my lawsuit against
a company called MERS which I believe is engaged in a deceptive practice.
MERS is kind of at the heart and soul of the central nervous system that is
supposed to allow and facilitate the foreclosure process.

HUDSON: This is the mortgage electronic registry service. The deal
that has been on the table that the majority of the attorneys general that
have agreed to it, does that take away your ability to criminally prosecute
anybody involved in fraudulent foreclosures?

BIDEN: No it does not. No it does not. There are a couple of little
things that I need to button down on that to make sure. But as it stands
right now, I’m relatively assured that our ability to criminally pursue the
investigations we have currently and other states have, Nevada and Missouri
to name two, will be able to pursue the criminal investigations. I need to
make sure though that my civil investigative authorities are not undermined
in any way especially as it links to the lawsuit I filed last fall against
MERS. You saw Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in New York sue MERS and
the banks on Friday last. And the banks – it made them — I’m not sure what
kind of reaction they had. I know that there is real concern on the banks’
side over their use of MERS. Look, MERS is an organization, keep this in
mind. It’s important for the American people to know. Less than 60
people, less than 60 people are in charge of watching — keeping track of
30 million mortgages. Thirty million mortgages are held in the name of
MERS. Tell me how 60 people in an office park in suburban Virginia can
keep track of that. That is the recorder of deeds offices are for. That’s
why Eric Schneiderman and I —

HUDSON: We’ve got to leave it there here. But as you continue your
negotiations, we’ll invite you back on NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT to explain
where you are at in those negotiations and the terms that you would like to
see either individually or with your other colleagues. Beau Biden, we
appreciate your time tonight from Delaware. He’s the attorney general of
that state.

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