San Francisco Chronicle: California can’t divert mortgage relief finances to pay off state debt

In a former task, Neil Barofsky’s identify turned into SIGTARP – the Special Inspector General overseeing the Troubled Assets Relief Program. He becomes one of the maximum feared guys on Wall Street, appointed with the aid of President George W. Bush in 2008 to screen the $seven hundred billion bailouts of a number of the nation’s largest banks.

Now, Barofsky is returned making headlines, even though this time as a lawyer in non-public practice. According to a tale in the San Francisco Chronicle, a California appeals courtroom, this week sided with Barofsky to force the nation to use $331 million of the price range it received six years ago in the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement for the purpose intended: assisting house owners.

The banks in the agreement had been a number of the identical Barofsky had overseen as SIGTARP: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and GMAC. California took the cash from the 2012 agreement and, in preference to dispensing it for loan comfort, used it to stability the kingdom’s financial ledgers. Some of the budgets paid off state housing bonds and debts owed by way of state corporations that cope with the bonds, in line with the Chronicle tale. We desire the governor doesn’t keep wasting taxpayers’ money.

Barofsky, now a lawyer with Jenner & Block LLP, advised the Chronicle. “$331 million can help a lousy lot of homeowners. This is the second move-spherical for the court’s loan-relief decision. In July, the identical court in Sacramento, the country’s capital, issued a comparable order: the price range should be used to useful resource foreclosure victims. In reaction, kingdom lawmakers rewrote price range-related regulation to try to make the redirection of the cash prison, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed it.

This week’s court ruling said the legislative work-around changed into a no-go. Money became unlawfully diverted from a unique fund in contravention of the functions for which that unique fund became installed,” the appeals court docket said in its 3-zero decision. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Brown’s sdecidess deciding whether or not to conform with the ruling or take the case to the country Supreme Court, in step with the Chronicle.

Nice try, Sacramento, however the policies don’t paintings that way in terms of diverting public money to ease bureaucratic pain,” the Chronicle’s Editorial Board stated in an opinion piece regarding the country’s capital city.

Eddie Bowers
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