The Hustle: U.S. Files $1 Billion Lawsuit With Bank of America

Good news — the Department of Justice has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Bank of America for selling bad mortgages to the government between 2007 and 2009.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a civil complaint today in Manhattan federal court, claiming that Countrywide Financial and its parent Bank of America generated and sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac thousands of defective mortgage loans. Bank of America acquired Countrywide in 2008.

The lawsuit is the first by the Justice Department to allege fraud over mortgage loans sold to the two entities, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said today in a statement announcing the suit, which covers conduct from 2007 to 2009.

“The fraudulent conduct alleged in today’s complaint was spectacularly brazen,” Bharara said. “Through a program aptly named ‘the Hustle,’ Countrywide and Bank of America made disastrously bad loans and stuck taxpayers with the bill.”

The Hustle?

More via Reuters

According to a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court, Countrywide in 2007 invented a scheme known as the “Hustle” designed to speed up processing of residential home loans.

Operating under the motto “Loans Move Forward, Never Backward,” mortgage executives tried to eliminate “toll gates” designed to ensure that loans were sound and not tainted by fraud, the government said. [...]

Since paying $2.5 billion for Countrywide on July 1, 2008, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank has lost nearly $40 billion on mortgage litigation and requests by investors to buy back soured loans, Credit Suisse estimated on October 5.

If ‘the Hustle’ was indeed the name of the program, I expect Bank of America to either settle out of court or be embarrassed in the court room.

You have to marvel at the arrogance required to name your fraudulent mortgage program the “Hustle” and expect to never answer for it.

The fact that much of what Wall Street did leading up to the 2008 financial crisis was legal does not exempt them from civil lawsuits.

(h/t Colleen Kirby Attorney at Law)

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  • Ned F

    Since corporations are people too, I hope some individuals can be held responsible and not just the generic company. Somebody(s) came up with “the hustle”.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Well, it could have been worse. They could have called it “Jungle Boogie”.

  • mrbrink

    They knowingly dumped their garbage on Fannie and Freddie, knowing they would take it, thereby freeing them to make bets upon bets– for, and against, their bets upon bets!

    We’ve been saying this all along. Good to know it wasn’t actually Barney Frank and the working poor who destroyed the economy.

    It’s a top to bottom system-wide hustle.

    It’s not just the corporate subsidies, it’s the rewriting of the rules to arrange for the legalization of the ribbon-cutting theft of the country’s collective health, wealth, and happiness. Building their little empires on securitized government loan guarantees at 0% interest, land grants, research and development dollars, and many times over passing on the costs of their morally-repugnant ethics and their criminal exploitation of whole communities and their fears, leaving it up to the people’s government to pick up the pieces, but tying our hands and fucking with our heads when we actually try.

    They send their Rick Santellis in their corporate propaganda sector out into the front yard to run interference on the cops while they finish up stealing every last crumb in the house.

    I will take disruptions to this fucked up system wide hustle anywhere we can get it.

    President Obama has disrupted their cozy little scam jobs all across the board. From regulating derivatives, credit cards, and commodities speculation with Wall Street reform, to going after billion-dollar frauds and the corporate leeches in Medicare, separating banks from siphoning ridiculous sums from the federal student loan program…I can see why they wouldn’t want four more years of President Obama.

    I still can’t believe they called it the Hustle. They spend billions to create national self-doubt and to convince us, against our better instincts, that they are the all-powerful Wizards of Oz! Titans! Masters! Creators! Our betters. But behind the place where a fucking curtain would be if they actually gave a shit about appearances anymore, they’re just bottom-feeding scammers and middlemen skimmers here from Planet Corporate America come to extract our wealth and resources.

    • Brutlyhonest

      Always shocking when they stack the deck and rig the safety net to ensure they get there’s while the public pays the price.

      Public risk and private profit! The height of the selfishness and greed that drives the right wing.