Daily Archives: July 20, 2012

Now It’s the Big Banks That Are Getting Foreclosed On

Call it a case of man bites dog. Since the start of the housing crash, millions of Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure. Many of them lived inhomeowner or condo associations.

These are organizations that collect monthly dues to pay for amenities, like added security, maintenance and recreational areas; one in five Americans currently lives in an association-governed community.

These associations have been hit hard by thehousing crisis, as many delinquent borrowers stopped paying their monthly HOA dues. In some cases, HOA’s, which do have the authority in many states, managed to foreclose on properties even before the banks, by using the back dues as liens.

Now the homeowner associations are taking it one step further. They are going after the banks, claiming that several of the largest lenders are not paying monthly HOA/condo fees on homes they’ve repossessed and now hold as bank-owned properties (Real Estate Owned, or commonly called REO’s).

Read on.

Ex-BofA Executive Indicted For Fraud In Municipal Bond Probe

A former Bank of America Corp. executive was indicted for allegedly participating in what prosecutors said was a “far-reaching conspiracy” to defraud municipal bond investments through bid rigging.

Phillip D. Murphy, former head of Bank of America’s municipal derivatives desk, was charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., wire fraud and conspiracy to make false entries in bank records, according to the indictment filed yesterday in federal court in CharlotteNorth Carolina.

Murphy “allegedly participated in a complex fraud scheme and conspiracies to manipulate what was supposed to be a competitive process,” Scott D. Hammond, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said in an e-mailed statement. “The division recently convicted at trial several individuals in this investigation, which is ongoing.”

So far, 13 individuals from banks including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) andUBS AG (UBSN) have pleaded guilty in the Justice Department’s investigation. Bank of America, JPMorgan, UBS, Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and General Electric Co. have paid more than $700 million in restitution and penalties.

Read on.

Former RBS trader Tan Chi Min claims hedge fund asked UK bank to change Libor

The Telegraph with a smoking gun that was promptly buried in the avalanche of sudden media coverage in the aftermath of the Barclays Liborgate settlement.

Tan Chi Min, a former RBS trader who claims he was wrongfully dismissed by the bank after it fired him for allegedly trying to manipulate Libor – the average rate at which banks lend to each other – said he had received the request in 2007 from Brevan Howard. 

 

“Brevan Howard telephoned on 20 Aug 2007 to ask the defendant to change the Libor rate,” according to a paper filed with the Singapore High Court cited by Bloomberg.

Telegraph goes on:

The court filing alleges RBS “received this request without objection”. Brevan Howard is not a party to the lawsuit and is not being investigated or sued for any alleged wrongdoing. RBS and Brevan Howard both declined to comment.

 

Mr Tan claimed in his filing that Scott Nygaard, head of short-term markets finance at RBS, knew about the call from Brevan Howard. However, the filing contained no further details to support his allegations. However, he is reported to have said he would provide further evidence at a later stage.

 

The legal case follows Mr Tan’s firing in December over allegations he had attempted to improperly influence RBS’s Libor-setting staff between 2007 and 2011. Mr Tan, who worked for RBS in Singaporeas head of delta trading, claims he was wrongfully dismissed by the bank.

The plot just gets thicker and thicker.

Mr Tan is claiming $1.5m (£943,000) in bonuses and 3.3m RBS shares that he says the bank owes him in pay. He claims in his lawsuit that asking for changes in Libor was “common practice” among RBS traders and that the bank “took requests from clients” to alter the rate.

And this :

Swiss banking group UBS has already sought to turn whistleblower and apply for immunity from prosecution in Canada.

Court papers filed in the Ontario Superior Court were last month reported to show that UBS was attempting to negotiate a plea bargain-type deal.

JPM lawsuit: elderly couple claims bank threatened foreclosure and harassed them with 75 phone calls a week demanding money, though they were current on their payments

Courthouse News Service.

 

SAN LUIS OBISPO – An elderly couple claims JP Morgan Chase Bank threatened foreclosure and harassed them with 75 phone calls a week demanding money, though they were current on their payments, in Superior Court. A class action in San Jose Federal claims Chase Bank makes similar unfounded demands after short sales.

Here is the lawsuit. Click here.

Exclusive: Banks in Libor probe consider group settlement-sources

(Reuters) – A group of banks being investigated in an interest-rate rigging scandal are looking to pursue a group settlement with regulators rather than face a Barclays-style backlash by going it alone, people familiar with the banks’ thinking said.

Such discussions are preliminary, and it is unclear if regulators will enter these talks, aimed at resolving allegations that banks attempted to manipulate the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a benchmark that underpins hundreds of trillions of dollars in contracts.

Still, there are powerful incentives for the banks to enter joint negotiations.

Barclays Plc was the first to settle with U.S. and British regulators, paying a $453 million penalty and admitting to its role in a deal announced June 27. Its chief executive, Bob Diamond, abruptly quit the next week, bowing to public pressure and erosion of the bank’s reputation.

The sources told Reuters that none of the banks involved now want to be second in line for fear that they will get similarly hostile treatment from politicians and the public. Bank discussions about a group settlement initially took place before the Barclays agreement, and picked back up in the aftermath.

It is unclear which banks are involved in the potential settlement talks. More than a dozen banks are being investigated in the scandal, including Citigroup, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase. They all declined to comment.

Read on.

Libor fraud exposes Wall Street’s rotten core

By Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren chaired the TARP Congressional Oversight Panel from 2008 to 2010. She is the Democratic nominee for a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts.

The Libor scandal is more than just the latest financial deception to come to light. It exposes a fraud that runs to the heart of our financial system.

The London interbank offered rate is a benchmark for a range of interest rates, and the misdeeds making headlines have to do with how those rates are set. If insiders can manipulate the basic measurement of a loan — the interest rate — there is rot at the core of the financial system.

The British financial giant Barclays has admitted to manipulating the rate from 2005 to at least 2009. When the bank made a bet on the direction in which interest rates would turn, the Barclays employees who submit data for calculating interest rates would fake their numbers to help Barclays traders win the bet. Day after day, year after year, bet after bet, Barclays made money by fixing bets for its own traders.

Read on.

Biloxi Buzz for Friday

50 Percent Of Americans Hold Only 1 Percent Of Nation’s Wealth

 

Pentagon To Monitor Major Media Outlets For Defense Leaks

 

RUSSIA, CHINA VETO SYRIA SANCTIONS

 

Diversity Found In An Unexpected Place