Like a truffle hog rooting for delicious evil, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been ordering thorough investigations of the five largest mortgage services in the US robo-signing and forging documents to kick Americans out of their homes. Bank of America (among others) and even the Obama administration are pushing for a settlement deal that they say would help homeowners, but would preclude any further litigation related to robo-signing and other odious aspects of the toxic mortgage-backed securities business. Now, because they mean business, Schneiderman's opponents have removed him from the group of Attorneys General charged with negotiating the foreclosure settlement.

"New York has actively worked to undermine the very same multistate group that it had spent the previous nine months working very closely with," Iowa's Attorney General tells Bloomberg. Schneiderman's behavior "simply doesn't make sense, is unprecedented and is unacceptable."

A more apt description of "unacceptable": protecting banks that willfully break (present tense!) the law in their quest to turn a profit by booting people from their homes as expeditiously as possible. Those who argue that approving the settlement would help homeowners can't argue with the numbers. As the Times points out, the mortgage providers would pay a total of $20 billion in the settlement (plus the priceless privilege of not being investigated). But 14.6 million homeowners owe $753 billion more than their homes are actually worth. Indeed, "how far does the administration think $20 billion would go?"

Schneiderman's press secretary tells Bloomberg that while Iowa's Attorney General had the right to remove Schneiderman from the group, “we will continue to be an active voice on these issues as a part of the 50-state coalition and in other forums.” At least one other Attorney General, Delaware's Beau Biden, stands with Schneiderman: “I believe that the events leading up to the mortgage crisis must be fully investigated, including origination and securitization practices, before any broad immunity is granted—the American people deserve an investigation.”