Bank stole your house? Have 10 pitchforks’ worth of compensation

Alexis Goldstein is listing items victims of wrongful foreclosure can afford with piddling OCC settlement sums SLIDE SHOW

Topics: slideshow, forclosure, occ, U.S. Government, U.S. Economy, Real estate, Finance, Poverty, ,

Bank stole your house? Have 10 pitchforks' worth of compensation (Credit: Shutterstock/Andy Dean Photography)

First as tragedy, then as farce. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) announced Tuesday details of how much money the banks will pay homeowners who were found to be wrongfully foreclosed on, or who suffered financial harm at the hands of the banks. Just as a sampling, individuals who had loan modifications approved by banks but were still foreclosed upon will receive a paltry $300. Six hundred seventy-nine people were faced with foreclosure even though they were never once in default; they will be compensated $5,000.

Former Wall Street V.P. and current Occupy Wall Street activist and member of Strike Debt Alexis Goldstein took it upon herself Tuesday to put the payouts in a little context. She created a site detailing “What You Can Buy for Having Your House Stolen,” on which she lists a varied taxonomy of items the compensation can afford wrongfully foreclosed individuals — all the items that are not your house back. Goldstein told Salon via email, “I’m hoping to (1) draw attention to the OCC, one of the lesser-known banking regulators who are completely captured by the banks. (2) point out how egregiously low these settlement numbers are.”

We thought we’d pick out some of Goldstein’s choice examples to drive the message home in the following slideshow. (All slideshow text from Goldstein’s forhavingmyhousestolen.tumblr.com)

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    Stuff you can buy with foreclosure payouts

    "Yeah, sure, you are only getting $500 for being foreclosed on even though the bank approved your loan mod. Hey, you know, the banks mess up sometimes! And sure, the consultant who reviewed your file & your tale of heartbreak made $10,000. But think about it! With that $500 you can buy TEN PITCHFORKS and go visit the offices of Promonotory Financial Group (Where The Bank Regulators Go To Get Rich™)."

    Stuff you can buy with foreclosure payouts

    "If you were foreclosed on because of “dual-tracking,” where one part of the bank approved your loan mod, but the foreclosure department, uh, didn’t talk to them, the @USOCC is really sorry! They’re going to make the banks pay you $300! You can buy 300 boxes of Kleenex with that, to help dry all your tears! YOU’RE WELCOME!"

    Stuff you can buy with foreclosure payouts

    "Sure, you were wrongfully foreclosed on by a bank whose loan modification dept can’t comunicate with its foreclosure dept. But come on! With your OCC settlement of $300, you can buy like 2.3 months of storage in DC!"

    Stuff you can buy with foreclosure payouts

    "Yeah, you are not in default, and thus the foreclosure you are STILL IN is TOTALLY ILLEGAL! But come on, the OCC is gonna make the banks pay you $5000 for this foreclosure the bank is illegally conducting. $5000! DO YOU SEE THIS TENT YOU CAN BUY WITH $5000?!? WHO NEEDS A HOME WITH A TENT LIKE THIS?!"

    Stuff you can buy with foreclosure payouts

    "A homeowner who had a loan mod APPROVED, but was STILL FORECLOSED on gets $300-500. You may have lost your home, but don’t worry, you can still buy this nice dollhouse."

    Stuff you can buy with foreclosure payouts

    "Yes, maligned homeowner, one of the megabanks screwed you. You had a loan modification request APPROVED, and yet you were STILL foreclosed on... But don’t worry! The OCC has a solution! They’re gonna make the banks pay you between $300 and $500!"

    Stuff you can buy with foreclosure payouts

    Definitely not your house back.

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Natasha Lennard
Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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