Obama Mortgage Deal Frontman Sounds Off
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller believes he is tougher on the banking industry that many news reports would have you believe.
Little known outside his home state until bank foreclosure practices became an issue of national concern, Miller led negotiations on behalf of state attorneys general with the five largest U.S. mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses that resulted in a $25 billion dollar settlement earlier this month.
|Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller led the negotiations with banks resulting in a $25 billion mortgage settlement and is a co-chair on the Obama Administration's national reelection committee.|
A common narrative in press and bank analyst reports during the more than yearlong negotiations suggested Miller and a majority of other attorneys general were willing to settle the matter with the banks for $20 billion or less while granting them broad immunities regarding a wide range of mortgage-related abuses.
A smaller group of attorneys general, including New York's Eric Schneiderman, publicly announced they would not go along with a deal that granted those broad immunities, implying Miller and the others were willing to do so. At one point, Miller ejected Schneiderman from the group's executive committee, arguing New York's attorney general sought to "undermine" efforts of the other AGs to reach a deal.
In an interview last week, Miller wasn't ready to concede that he isn't as tough on the banking industry as Schneiderman or others, such as California's Kamala Harris, who were among the last ones to sign an agreement with the banks.