Robosigning Woes Alive and Well In the Bay State?

Robosigning Woes Alive and Well In the Bay State?

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 17th, 2014 at 10:03 am

A new case came down from the state’s appellate court yesterday (it can be found here, with a couple clicks, although that’s only a temporary resting place) that looks like it could have a couple interesting wrinkles for local foreclosure law. I’m in the middle of rounding up some legal experts to run over the full implications — some of the issue discussed are  bit technical — but one thing jumps out that could put some fresh grey hairs on the heads of servicers and their attorneys: Robosigning reared its ugly head.

The homeowner in the case,  Joseph Sullivan, challenged the bank’s right to foreclose on his home, saying the lender involved, Kondaur Capital Corporation, shouldn’t be able to foreclose because it didn’t have proper legal title, due to problems with the legal documents used to transfer the mortgage between banks (the assignment). The Land Court judge which originally heard the case bounced it right out of court, saying that the homeowner didn’t even have standing to sue in the matter.

The Appeals Court disagreed. While it rejected some of the homeowner’s claims, it handed them a couple victories as well — first, by saying the homeowner had the right to bring the case in the first place despite the fact that they weren’t a party to the assignment. It also agreed with the homeowner that at least one of the assignments in the case was so flawed it didn’t automatically transfer good title:

“Sadly, the second assignment is further illustration of the phenomenon observed in the concurrence to [the landmark Ibanez case]… ‘what is surprising about these cases is … the utter carelessness with which the [foreclosing lenders] documented the titles to their assets,’” the Appeals Court scolded.


BofA, NYSE, Brokerages Sued Over High-Frequency Trading

BofA, NYSE, Brokerages Sued Over High-Frequency Trading

Bank of America Corp. and the New York Stock Exchange are among dozens of exchanges, brokerages and traders sued over high-frequency trading by the city of Providence, Rhode Island, over claims they rigged securities markets to divert billions of dollars from buyers and sellers of shares to themselves.

Scrutiny of high-frequency trading and whether it gives some investors unfair advantage intensified this year amid government probes and the March 31 publication of “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis.

One defendant in today’s complaint, Virtu Financial Inc., a high-frequency trader that delayed its initial public offering, has received inquiries from the office of New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, according to a person familiar with the matter. Schneiderman announced last month that he’s investigating high-frequency traders.

Revealed: Gov. Christie pleads pension poverty while handing huge subsidies to his major political donors


More from Pando…

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

Funeral For Actor James Gandolfini

Yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) made headlines by slamming his state’s legislators for supposedly paying police and firefighters too much.

“They want to give away more of your money,” thundered Christie.

The irony of the complaint coming from Christie is strong. The Christie administration has been spending record amounts of taxpayer money on corporate subsidies at the exact same time as he claims New Jersey doesn’t have enough money to make required public pension payments.

In short, Christie is using money that should be going to fulfill pension promises to instead pay for large corporate gifts – and not just random gifts, either. A Pando analysis of campaign finance data has found that Christie is giving those huge taxpayer-financed corporate subsidies to some of his major political benefactors.

Looting pensions to pay for gifts to campaign donors

In 2012, a year after Christie pled poverty to justify skipping a pension…

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REVEALED: Recipient of New Jersey pension deal housed charity run by Gov. Christie’s wife


Good job, Pando!

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

mary-pat-christie-hurricane-relief-fundEarlier today Pando published the findings of our investigation into the New Jersey pension fund and its relationship with Chatham Asset Management.

As part of that investigation we have also learned that Chatham made a large in-kind donation to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, which is chaired by the governor’s wife, Mary Pat Christie. That charity has been plagued by allegations that it is a stealth conduit for corporations to buy influence and circumvent campaign finance regulations. 

In an interview with Pando, a spokeswoman for the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund acknowledged that Chatham Asset Management housed the 501(c)3 organization from November 2012 to February 2013, a total in-kind donation value of approximately $15,000.

For his part, Gov. Christie has denied that the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund would be used as a way to wield influence with him.  At a 2013 press conference, he said donors to the charity “know, because…

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Chris Christie’s $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption laws (And now the intended recipient threatens to sue Pando)


All I can say is wow. Book ‘em Danno. Good reporting by Pando.

Originally posted on PandoDaily:

Story updated 2:35pm to include responses from Chris Christie and the RNC (below).

A PandoDaily investigation has discovered evidence that Gov. Chris Christie’s pending deal to award a $300 million pension management contract to a controversial hedge fund is in violation of state anti-corruption laws.

New Jersey state pay-to-play statutes prohibit state contractors from directly or indirectly financially supporting the election campaigns of state officials. Those statutes also explicitly prohibit the use of outside groups or family members to circumvent that ban. 

Additionally, separate Department of Treasury rules appear to prohibit public pension contracts from being awarded to investment firms whose employees have made significant financial contributions to political entities organized to operate in New Jersey state elections. Those laws also bar investment firms doing business with the state from making contributions “for the purpose of influencing any election for State office.”

Yet, late last month, the New Jersey State Investment…

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Section 1 claims dismissed in LIBOR, TIBOR class action

Section 1 claims dismissed in LIBOR, TIBOR class action

On March 28, 2014, Judge Daniels of the Southern District of New York dismissed antitrust and unjust enrichment claims against over 20 banks accused of manipulating prices in the Euroyen interbank lending market by submitting false rate quotes to Yen-LIBOR and Euroyen TIBOR rate-setting organizations. Laydon v. Mizuho Bank, Ltd., No. 12-cv-3419 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 28, 2014).  The plaintiff, a short purchaser of Euroyen TIBOR futures contracts, also brought claims under the Commodities Exchange Act, which the court allowed to go forward.

The court based its dismissal of the price-fixing claim on lack of antitrust standing and failure to allege a restraint of trade. The plaintiff lacked antitrust standing for two reasons: (1) failure to plead antitrust injury and (2) the indirect, remote and speculative nature of his alleged injury—while the alleged misconduct involved manipulating present-day interbank lending rates, the alleged injury was suffered in the futures market. Although the plaintiff alleged that prices were distorted, he failed to allege that the distortion resulted from a reduction in competition. The ruling was partially based on the unique nature of the rate-setting process, which is neither supposed to be competitive nor collaborative.  Instead, “each bank was supposed to independently contribute its submission to be evaluated collectively with other bank submissions.”


JPMorgan To Pay Madoff Victims $218M After Judge’s OK

JPMorgan To Pay Madoff Victims $218M After Judge’s OK

Law360, New York (April 18, 2014, 3:37 PM ET) — A New York federal judge on Thursday finalized a $218 million settlement between JPMorgan Chase & Co. and victims of Bernard Madoff, ending a class action suit that accused the bank of turning a blind eye to the decadeslong Ponzi scheme.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon entered the final judgment and order dismissing with prejudice the claims brought by Paul Shapiro, Stephen Hill and Leyla Hill on behalf of themselves and other investors.