The most glaringly obvious elephant in the room is 16 year old me doesn't belong on that chart. The average American citizen is not treated the same as a corporation. We're not equal. Taking me out of the equation, we can see Lawysky's pulled punch more clearly:
Crime |Fine |Crime/Fine
- Standard Charter: $250B | $340 | 0.14%
- Force-Placed Insurance: $45B | $14 | 0.03%
- %Change| 79.77%
What this tells me is that Benjamin Lawsky hit a British bank dealing with Iranian money a huge fine, but someone got to him and he's been tamed. He pulls punches when it comes to defending his own community. Countless American homeowners were forced out of their homes and into foreclosure because of the Force-Placed Insurance product and hidden escrow fees (often on loans that borrowers don't even have an escrow account on). The process is being applied to more and more consumer products.
Assurant (whose largest shareholders include Vanguard, State Street Corporation, and AQR Capital Management, among others) and the
Balboa/QBE First collective run the same processes, products, and procedures on auto loans, cell phone insurance, etc. Any collateral loan is at risk. I was so annoyed thinking about it that I had to email Joy Feigenbaum, a DFS Superintendent who questioned the banks with Lawsky during the Force-Placed Insurance hearings last year. We met and spoke a few times before and during the hearings.
I explained to Feigenbaum how annoyed I am that the DFS, CFPB, FHFA, NAIC, and every other regulator I tried working with in this country fails to see the problem with Force-Placed Insurance. She hasn't responded yet, and I don't know (or particularly care anymore) if she ever will. I'm at the point where I'm tired of even trying, so this is the last time I explain what I've been trying to explain since the first time: There are 5 parties involved in Force Placed Insurance:
- The Consumer - You. You are also the Taxpayer.
- The Investor - Usually Fannie/Freddy/VA/FHA...i.e. the Taxpayer...i.e. You.
- The Loan Servicer - Bank of America, GMAC, Wells Fargo, etc. ("The Banks")
- The Insurance Tracker - Assurant/QBE First...contracted by The Banks to manage all insurance processes and transactions (and so much more)
- The Force-Placed Insurer - The Insurance Companies we're all focused on during this scandal, Assurant and QBE First