From yesterday’s New York Times, by Russ Buettner:
A mortgage company has agreed to pay more than $3.5 million to settle allegations by federal prosecutors that it charged higher interest rates and fees on mortgages to nonwhite borrowers than to whites with similar financial backgrounds, federal officials announced on Tuesday.
Andrew L. Sandler, a Washington lawyer who represented GFI [the mortgage company] in the lawsuit, said the company denied that the discrepancy in average rates cites by the government amounted to discrimination. He said the company had wanted to settle the case, but could not afford to do so until the government offered a lower settlement figure last week.
I just love the above paragraph, don’t you? But in a nutshell, it does describe the way a lot of settlements are reached: one side whines that it isn’t guilty, won’t openly admit to being guilty, “no, no, we’re not guilty don’t ask us!” and the other side decides to stop the whining. I mean, listening to whining and lies can be really irritating, as I well know. Some of us, though, would rather listen and laugh at whining than settle just to shut them up.
Still, it’s one more victory for Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan and parts north). Having just written about the awful possibility that rich Republicans will be buying and taking over our government in January, though, I need to warn you that if Romney wins, highly intelligent, aggressive and ethical U.S. attorneys like Preet Bharara will be out of their jobs, because those jobs are remnants of the federal government spoils system.
Oh, hell, obviously I’m just gloomy today. Read the whole piece here: GFI to Pay $3.5 Million to Settle Mortgage Bias Case – NYTimes.com.