New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Monday suggested that big banks were not afraid of skirting the law because they didn't believe law enforcement would target them.
But he plans to change that.
Schneiderman announced a lawsuit against Wells Fargo and Bank of America earlier in the day. He alleged the two major banks repeatedly violated the terms of a mortgage settlement reached by the Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Urban Development and 49 state attorneys general last year.
"The problem is the banks have overwhelming confidence that law enforcement is not taking this seriously," he told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. "They have overwhelming confidence that whatever the rules are, they won't be followed up on."
Schneiderman noted the Obama administration had created the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) Working Group to investigate what the attorney general described as "the conduct that blew up the American economy."
"Keep in mind, these are the same guys who issued all the mortgage-backed securities to get us into this mess in first place and lost -- we lost $7.4 trillion in home equity, that's why we're dealing with so many foreclosures," he explained.
"So they just don't believe that anyone in law enforcement will go after them. I am working with my colleagues. There are folks that want to go after them. I'm trying to work with all of them and to nudge along some other folks who are a little more reluctant. They're seeing action now. We filed several major lawsuits against them. The SEC has filed actions. The Department of Justice will be following along."
Watch video, courtesy of MSNBC, below: