Salient to Investors:

Banks that agreed to help troubled borrowers as part of a settlement with regulators over foreclosure misdeeds are spending most of the promised aid on short sales and forgiveness of home-equity loans that allow them to take bad loans off their books.

Arthur Wilmarth at George Washington University said banks have a knack for sidestepping government attempts to have them redress their role in the foreclosure crisis and keep people in their homes – many of these efforts end up helping the banks, not the homeowners.

Fair Isaac Corp said the harm done to consumer credit scores by short sales is the same as going through a foreclosure.

Hamilton Place Strategies said combined profits for all commercial banks in the US rose to a record $130.2 billion in 2012, beating the 2006 peak of $128.1 billion. Patrick Sims at Hamilton said with the improvement in the economy and less troubled loans, banks now can take their capital and apply it to more profit-making activities.

Ira Rheingold at the National Association of Consumer Advocates asked how can anyone say we’ll trust the banks, after their mistakes got us into this situation in the first place?

Alys Cohen at the National Consumer Law Center said banks wrecked the economy, while many people lost their homes unfairly, yet the amount of the payouts falls way short of the amount of harm they have done – banks are getting off really easy.

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