When Rohr was training as a banker, “before we got out of the training class, they put me with a mortgage person and we went out for a mortgage foreclosure,” Rohr recalled near the beginning of his speech on Monday.
“We went to see a police officer, he called a couple of guys and we went over to a house. He knocked on the fellow’s door [and when] he answered the door, [the officer] grabbed him by the shirt, pulled him out of the house and said, ‘If you ever go back in there again, I’m going to throw you in jail for the rest of your life.” He sent two guys in there – they took everything out of the house and put it on the curb. He locked the door… and said, “The house is now yours.” And then he turned to the fellow sitting on the stoop and he said, “I’m coming back at 4 o’clock with a can of gasoline. If any of that stuff is on the curb, I’m going to light it on fire.”
“That was what foreclosure was,” Rohr concluded, to scattered chuckles. “It took about 15 minutes, or maybe a half hour, and then we were in possession of the house. Today it takes… two years to foreclose on a home.”
Our pal Maria Aspan reports that James Rohr, the executive chairman and former chief executive of PNC, decided to tell the anecdote above during a speech to risk-management executives about “improving banks’ reputations.” Many of the regulatory reforms that have extended the foreclosure process were put into place after the financial crisis to protect struggling homeowners.
Rohr later explained through a PNC spokesperson that his anecdote was “about a time before regulatory reforms when things were done differently, and not better, and this is one example of how risk management as a practice has changed through the years….. He is on the record as supportive of positive regulatory reforms for the mortgage industry.”
Photo: The Fixer