Monday, November 8, 2010

Week of 11/08/2010

Too Big For Jail Too?
– by David Matthews 2

Adlantus Newton was the victim of auto theft.

The Tacoma mother had just worked to pay off the loan she had on her 1999 Chrysler LHS and had gotten the title to the car back from the bank when her car was stolen from her.

It wasn’t hard to find her car or the people who stole it from her. In fact they were pretty blatant about stealing the car and were preparing to resell the stolen property.

She went to the police, but they weren’t any help. In fact the police sided with the criminals!

She was finally able to get her car back, but it would take the fear of exposure for it to happen, and, even then, NOBODY will go to jail for this heinous crime. Justice will clearly NOT be served in this case.

Because the criminal in this case is not a hardened gang member or professional auto thief looking for a quick score.

The criminal in this case is her bank.

The same bank whose loan she had paid off and gave her the title was the one that then declared her in “default” of that loan and sent the repo men to seize and try to re-sell that car.

Legally, the bank engaged in auto theft. That is a felony under Washington State law. They did not have ownership of that vehicle, they had already transferred the title to the rightful owner of that vehicle, and yet they still seized it and attempted to re-sell a vehicle that was legally not theirs under the false pretense that it was.

It took a television reporter and the fear of bad publicity to convince the bank to give Adlantus’ car back to her, with an empty gas tank no less. And the reporter ended his report with a chilling footnote: that his office has been hearing PLENTY of these kinds of crimes.

Even more disturbing is that law enforcement in the area not only ALLOWED this blatant criminal act to go through right under their noses, but they WILL NOT bring these admitted criminals to justice! By doing that, the police are guilty of being an accessory to a Class B felony under that same state law.

Then again, the government is protected from accountability. They have a built-in “Get Out Of Jail Free” card called sovereign immunity.

What’s the bank’s excuse?

Adlantus’ plight is the most blatant example of the systematic abuse of power and the continued and seemingly malicious action being carried out on behalf of banks against the very people they claim to be their clients. Adlantus was one of many people who did everything according to “the rules”. She paid off her loan. She got her title as proof of that completion. And yet the bank was determined to take her car away, by hook or by crook, simply because the payments stopped.

Across America, hard-working people who also tried to play by “the rules”, who struggled to keep up with payments, are suddenly finding themselves served with foreclosure notices, even though they’ve been keeping up with payments. They find themselves the victim of a bank foreclosure machine that doesn’t even bother to determine if they own the loan on the people they’re taking action against. And even when proof exists that these abuses are happening systematically, the banks are more interested in keeping the process going than to determine if they actually are right.

And they are allowed to get away with all of this with complete impunity… because governments large and small REFUSE to do their jobs!

In Pennsylvania, a debt collection company is being accused of sending out sheriff deputies to bring in people for debts they claim are due. They are taken to a courthouse and told that they could face jail if they do not settle those debts on the spot. Except the deputies are fake, the courthouse is fake, and the “judges” are fake. This is false imprisonment and false impersonation of law enforcement, both serious criminal charges.

And yet Attorney General Tom Corbett is only filing a “consumer protection lawsuit” against this predatory company. No criminal charges; just civil ones.

Yeah, that’s really “taking a bite out of crime”, huh? That’s showing you “REALLY” mean business!

Let’s get brutally honest here… the negligence of law enforcement to take action regarding these blatant criminal acts being committed by or on behalf of banks is UNACCEPTABLE! These are CRIMINAL actions!

If it was a street gang that stole Adlantus Newton’s car, do you really think that the Tacoma police would be sitting back and doing nothing? Or would they be reaching for their flack jackets and hauling out the heavy assault rifles? If it was a gang of grifters pretending to be sheriff deputies and judges, do you really think that AG Corbett would be wasting his time with civil lawsuits? Or would you see him handing the State Police the battering ram and looking for a trophy to impress the media with?

But no, we’re not talking about street gangs or a gang of grifters. We’re talking Big Corporate. We’re talking the all-mighty BANKS! And they’re special, aren’t they? They can’t be touched. After all, they’re “too big to fail” according to the federal government!

Forget plutocracy; this is KLEPTOCRACY we’re talking about here! This is government by THIEVES, of THIEVES, and for THIEVES! This is the same kind of selective governing you see in African nations.

And it’s not just a local problem. Big banks are getting big bailouts and getting a blind eye by the government for their abusive treatment of the very people whose taxes are supposed to be PAYING for those bailouts. Rather than prosecuting them for their predatory ways, they’re actually NEGOTIATING with those banks.

Remember the romanticized bank robberies of the 1930’s? Names like Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde were propped up as heroes not because of what they did, but of whom they targeted… banks. They were seen as GOOD GUYS because of the unrepentant predatory nature of the banks. Those sentiments are back again, and, in case you’re wondering, bank robberies are once again on the rise.

In order to turn around our collapsing economy, we need CONFIDENCE, not just in the lending institutions, but also in government in being able to DO THEIR JOBS! The various lending institutions need to be held to account for their actions. There needs to be ARRESTS! There need to be executives from these predatory businesses frog-marched out in front of the media. And if these branches of government FAIL to do their jobs, then they need to have their sovereign immunity stripped from them so they too can be prosecuted and convicted for their roles as willing accomplices in these criminal acts! Our society will continue to degrade until there is actual JUSTICE.

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