Another new scandal: Wells Fargo employees altered documents about business clients

Height Capital Markets senior banking analyst Ed Groshans discusses whether investors should still keep Wells Fargo in their portfolios, despite the recent report that the bank’s employees altered documents about business clients.

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Banks are working to woo new doctors into home mortgages

When Dr. William Ngo was shopping for his first home two years ago, he ran into a problem: He got rejected for a mortgage because he had about $250,000 in student debt and little savings.

So the surgeon applied for a loan specifically designed for doctors that came with a higher interest rate but no money down, and just a future work contract as proof of income.

Mortgages tailored to doctors have grown more popular in the last few years, according to the lenders who offer them. Bank of America said it has seen the dollar volume of physician mortgages it issued between 2008 and 2017 increase ninefold because of greater awareness from consumers.

Smaller banks also report increases. Stillwater, Oklahoma-based Bank SNB, owned by Simmons First National, issued $50 million in physician home loans last year and is on track to double that amount this year, said Drew Daniels, a mortgage sales manager who launched the loan program.

Read on.

America’s Housing Crisis Is Spreading To Smaller Cities

“Have you considered the racket and the lights and the crowds and the traffic, and everything that’s going to happen to those of us who live here?”

It is a familiar sight in America: the public meeting, the angry residents, the housing developer trying to explain himself over the boos.

Except this is not San Francisco or L.A. or Boston. It is Boise, Idaho.

And it is a preview of the next chapter in the housing crisis. Rising rents, displacement and, yes, NIMBYism are spreading from America’s biggest cities to those in its middle tier. Last year, according to an Apartment List survey, the fastest-rising rents in the country were in Orlando, Florida; Reno, Nevada; and Sacramento, California. Another survey, by RentCafe, found exactly one city with a population greater than 500,000 ― Las Vegas ― in the top 25.

Small cities are starting to face the same challenges as larger ones. Renting a two-bedroom apartment in Jacksonville, Florida, requires earning at least $18.63 per hour ― $10.53 more than the state minimum wage. In Tacoma, Washington (pop. 211,000), a property management company is evicting low-income residents so it can flip their building into luxury units. Boise, where downtown condos are going for $400,000, was the seventh most unequal city in America in 2016, a jump from 79th place just five years earlier.

Read on.

Wells Fargo accused in suit over suspected fraud

Jonalin Depakakibo has something to add to the long list of consumer and regulatory grievances against Wells Fargo Bank, which was slammed last month with a $1 billion fine for consumer abuses in its auto-lending and mortgage businesses.

The resident of Bridgeport, Montgomery County, fell prey in March to a “government-grant scam,” after a fraudster hijacked a coworker’s Facebook Messenger app and convinced Depakakibo to deposit a $6,700 membership fee into a Wells Fargo account — under the name Adeboye Oresanya — to get a $155,567 grant.

Within an hour of making that deposit at Wells Fargo’s King of Prussia branch on March 5 and after talking to other coworkers about whether they had gotten the grant, she realized she had been duped and rushed back to the bank to alert bank personnel of the suspected fraud and to see whether she could get her money back. It was still in the account.

She said she got promises of help through a fraud alert, but no action.

Read on.

CREW FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST MICK MULVANEY

It’s about time…

Click here to read the complaint.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 30, 2018

CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 | jlibowitz@citizensforethics.org

Washington—Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), should be investigated for misleading the Senate during his confirmation process and failing to pay debts lawfully owed by his company, according to a complaint filed today with the Senate Committee on the Budget and the inspector general of the Federal Reserve by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

In his confirmation, Mulvaney represented that a foreclosure proceeding involving one of his investments was “uncontested,” but it appears that he knew that to be inaccurate. In addition, it appears that he violated his ethical obligations by taking complex, unusual, and potentially dishonest steps to avoid paying debts his company owed related to the property at issue in the foreclosure.

“As acting director of the CFPB, Mulvaney is expected to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “His real estate dealings, and his apparent failure to come clean about them to the Senate, appear to be at odds with his legal and ethical requirements and run directly counter to the basic principles he is expected to uphold at the CFPB.”

Read on.

CFPB considers ending public access to bank complaints

Mulvaney is dismantling CFPB piece by piece and getting rid up transparency…

The WSJ’s Yuka Hayashi reports that CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney addressed his intention of eliminating access to the database on Tuesday during an address at the American Bankers Association’s conference, saying it contains information the government hasn’t fully vetted.

“I don’t see anything in here that says I have to run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government,” Mulvaney told an audience at the conference while holding up a copy of the Dodd-Frank Act, according to the report.

Read on.

Sean Hannity linked to property empire aided by foreclosures, HUD: report

Fox News host who said Trump’s fixer ‘knows real estate’ has a portfolio that includes support from Department of Housing and Urban Development, a fact he did not mention when interviewing secretary Ben Carson last year

When Sean Hannity was named in court this week as a client of Donald Trump’s embattled legal fixer Michael Cohen, the Fox News host insisted their discussions had been limited to the subject of buying property.

“I’ve said many times on my radio show: I hate the stock market, I prefer real estate. Michael knows real estate,” Hannity said on television, a few hours after the dramatic hearing in Manhattan, where Cohen is under criminal investigation.

Read on.