US Justice Department Sues S&P Over Ratings Given to Mortgage Securities

Dept. of Justice Sues S&P

By Sean Coffey, Program Manager at Foreclosure Help

The Wall Street Journal broke the news that the U.S. Justice Department is suing Standard & Poor’s over the ratings that the firm gave to mortgage securities.   According to the New York Times, (“U.S. Accuses S. & P. of Fraud in Suit on Loan Bundles” February 4, 2013), the lawsuit happened after settlement talks between the U.S. Department of Justice and Standard & Poor’s broke down over the settlement amount.

Emails cited in the NYT article don’t paint a very flattering picture of the analysts who were rating the securities, and it has been widely charged that the ratings they assigned to the securities were wildly inaccurate.  Reuters reports (“U.S. suit against S&P includes Talking Heads parody” February 5, 2013) that one of the analysts even penned his own version of “Burning Down the House” about the work, which ends with

“Subprime is boiling over
Bringing down the house.”

While it is interesting to read about, it’s also important to remember the context of the ratings agencies and the role they played in enabling the sub-prime securitization monster to continue growing until reality finally set in and the bubble burst.  This burst bubble had disastrous effects on individual families, retirees and their retirement accounts, the economy, and more.

It’s interesting that this news broke on Monday, just a few weeks after “The Untouchables” aired on FRONTLINE, where the focus of the program was on the lack of prosecution for any folks on Wall Street for the subprime meltdown.  Since the episode aired (it’s excellent, free to watch, and I recommend it), the head of the US Justice Department’s Criminal Division stepped down, and senators have asked the Department of Justice if Wall Street is really “Too Big to Jail?”

If you are struggling with foreclosure in San Jose or Sunnyvale, please give us a call. The sooner you pick up the phone, the sooner we can help, and the earlier you start in the process, the more options you will have to create a plan forward.

If you are a homeowner living in San Jose or Sunnyvale and are struggling with your mortgage, please contact ForeclosureHelpSCC, a program funded by the City of San Jose and the City of Sunnyvale at (408)-293-6000 or visit our website:

Our HUD-approved counselors can help you evaluate your options, learn more about federal and state programs that may help you with your mortgage issues, and will help you create a plan forward.

Please note: All content included in the ForeclosureHelpSCC blog is provided for information only and should NOT be considered legal or tax advice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on our hotline: (408)-293-6000, or visit our website: or send us an email:

Si usted es dueño de una casa en San José o en Sunnyvale y están luchando con su hipoteca, por favor póngase en contacto con ForeclosureHelpSCC, un programa financiado por la ciudad de San José y la ciudad de Sunnyvale, al (408) -293- 6000, o visite nuestro sitio:

Nuestros consejeros aprobados por HUD puede ayudarle a evaluar sus opciones, aprender más acerca de los programas federales y estatales que pueden ayudarle con sus problemas de hipoteca, y le ayudará a crear un plan para seguir.

Por favor, tenga en cuenta: Todos los contenidos incluidos en el blog ForeclosureHelpSCC se proporciona únicamente a título informativo y no debe ser considerada como consejo legal o fiscal. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, por favor no dude en contactarnos a nuestra línea directa: (408) -293-6000, o visite nuestro o envíenos un correo electrónico:

Nếu bạn là một sinh hoạt chủ sở hữu nhà ở San Jose hoặc Sunnyvale và đang đấu tranh với nợ nhà, xin vui lòng liên ForeclosureHelpSCC, một chương trình được tài trợ bởi thành phố San Jose và thành phố của Sunnyvale ở (408) -293-6000 hoặc truy cập trang web của chúng tôi:

Nhân viên tư vấn của chúng tôi đã được HUD chấp thuận có thể giúp bạn đánh giá các lựa chọn của bạn, tìm hiểu thêm về các chương trình của liên bang và tiểu bang có thể giúp bạn với các vấn đề thế chấp của bạn, và sẽ giúp bạn tạo ra một kế hoạch phía trước.

Xin lưu ý: Tất cả các nội dung trên Blog ForeclosureHelpSCC được cung cấp thông tin duy nhất và không nên coi là hợp pháp hoặc tư vấn thuế. Nếu bạn có bất cứ câu hỏi , xin vui lòng liên hệ với chúng tôi qua đường dây nóng: (408) -293-6000, hoặc truy cập vào trang của chúng tôi: hoặc gửi email cho chúng tô

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