Morgan Stanley makes big push into mortgage originations

Morgan Stanley plans to bring its mortgage origination business in-house, as the bank ramps up the business to create a bigger presence in the mortgage market.

According to the Reuters article by Olivia Oran, Morgan Stanley wants to bring the business in-house to improve customer service and generate more mortgages, citing two people familiar with the matter.

“Morgan Stanley executives hope that handling originations in-house will smooth out the process and give the bank a chance to market other products and services to wealthy clients,” the article stated.

Before bringing the business in-house, Morgan Stanley used PHH Corp. as a third-party provider for its originations.

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CitiFinancial to Pay $907K for Seizing Soldiers’ Cars

DALLAS (CN) – CitiFinancial Credit has agreed to pay $907,000 to settle claims it illegally repossessed cars belonging to active-duty service members, federal prosecutors said Monday.

The Department of Justice says at least 164 cars were repossessed between 2007 and 2010 in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which shields members of the military from certain civil actions while they are serving.

“During the investigation, the Department learned that CitiFinancial conducted repossessions without court orders even when CitiFinancial had evidence in its own records suggesting that a borrower could be a protected servicemember,” prosecutors said in a statement. “In several cases, loan servicing notes indicated that CitiFinancial was informed that the borrower was in military service or had received orders to report for military service. CitiFinancial, nevertheless, continued repossession efforts and eventually succeeded in repossessing the servicemembers’ vehicles.”

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How JPMorgan Chase Is Cashing In On Private Prisons

National Memo:

Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is increasingly vocal in public about his newfound ethical concerns. He made a very public statement distancing himself from President Trump over Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has also described himself as “pro-immigrant”: an opinion that is hard to square away against his roles as a financier, underwriter and bond-holder of private prison corporations like GEO Group and Core Civic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America). Both corporations oversee Immigrant Detention Centers throughout the U.S., many of which house undocumented migrants.

JPMorgan Chase’s investments in private prisons certainly make economic sense: the private prison industry is worth about $5 billion, and the election of Donald Trump has caused the profits of the sector to balloon further. Almost immediately after Trump’s inauguration, the Department of Justice rescinded the Obama administration’s order to phase out federal private prisons from the criminal justice system.

Quote of the day

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master. “—-George Washington  !st President of United Stayes

After the Crash, Big Banks Got Bailouts. Abacus Faced Charges.

It’s a little-known chapter from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression: In 2009, shortly after the housing market crashed and the markets melted down, the owners of a small community bank in New York City’s Chinatown discovered fraud within their loan department.

The bank’s owners, the Chinese-American Sung family, fired a loan officer — and reported the fraud to their regulators at the federal Office of Thrift Supervision.

But two-and-a-half years later, the bank was accused of mortgage fraud by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office — making Abacus Federal Savings the only U.S. bank to be prosecuted in relation to the financial collapse and the first bank indicted in New York since 1991.

Why did Abacus face charges, while the biggest banks on Wall Street all avoided prosecution for fraud related to the sale of bad mortgages?

That’s the question at the heart of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, the newest film from acclaimed documentary director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, The Interrupters). Fresh off of a robust international film festival run and national theatrical release, the documentary has its national broadcast premiere tonight on FRONTLINE.

In vivid detail, Abacus chronicles the Sung family’s quest to clear their names, the district attorney’s case against the bank — and how 19 of the bank’s ex-employees, largely immigrants, were treated by the justice system. 

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Iowa Attorney General investigating Wells Fargo over unauthorized accounts

The Iowa Attorney General’s Office is investigating Wells Fargo after its employees opened up millions of unauthorized accounts.

“I think it’s pretty clear that opening accounts in people’s names without their authorization or knowledge would be an unfair, deceptive act or practice,” said Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan, who works with the office’s Consumer Protection Division.

 

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Wells Fargo is facing law suits for discriminating against blacks and Latinos in Philadelphia

Janice Rivers found her dream home on Souder Street in northeast Philly. The 52-year-old teacher’s assistant for the Philadelphia School District bought the two-floor condominium in the winter of 2001 for $66,000. It had everything she was looking for: two spacious bathrooms, a deck for barbecuing, and a finished basement large enough to act as a workspace. This house is where she had planned to spend her golden years. But despite the memories she’s made here over the past 16 years and all the hopes she had for it, Rivers is now on the verge of losing her beloved house.

Rivers is one of the numerous black and Latino homeowners in Philadelphia who believe Wells Fargo has ripped them off. She’s been on the brink of homeownership disaster for the past two years, and she says it is due to the runaround Wells Fargo has given her on a loan modification that would have cut her monthly payments almost in half. Now, facing monthly mortgage payments of about $1,000, Rivers doesn’t see a realistic scenario in which she can consistently pay off the loans.

To make ends meet, she’s tried to turn every room in the house into a revenue generator. In the basement, she runs a daycare business. Upstairs, she makes gift baskets and party decorations. But despite her efforts, the financial burden has become unbearable.

“I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights wondering what would be the outcome of my home,” she says. “I didn’t want to spend money. I didn’t want to do a vacation or work on my home. I didn’t know how much I would need to save my home, and if I would need to save it… Every penny mattered.”

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