Monthly Archives: August 2012

UBS under investigation for money laundering (translated in English)

Translated in English:

The first bank Swiss UBS is within the scope of investigation for criminal suspicion of money laundering, said Friday, August 31 the Ministry of the Attorney General (MPC Attorney General), said a spokesman for the prosecutor Jeannette Balmer .

Open Wednesday particularly in the light of Article 305 bis of the Penal Code, which deals with money laundering, the investigation is “linked to the criminal complaint filed in mid-June by the Fund Bruno Manser “ , an association for peoples of the rainforest, she said, but declined to give details on the investigation.

The Bruno Manser Fund accuses the UBS laundering money from bribes bribes in the clearing of rainforests in the Malaysian state of Sabah, according to the website of the organization based in Basel, Switzerland . According to the complainant, the head of government of Sabah, Musa Aman , demanded bribes wine forestry groups in exchange for the granting of forest concessions and export of tropical timber

Lenders not engaging in Oregon foreclosure mediation program

Headline Story |

SALEM — Private Oregon mortgage servicers have so far refused to participate in Oregon’s new foreclosure mediation program, declining even to respond to requests for mediation.

The state’s contractor charged with running the mediation program told an advisory committee in Salem on Wednesday that 132 eligible homeowners applied for the program on the grounds that they are at risk of foreclosure. The law allows at-risk borrowers to request a meeting with their lender even before they’ve missed a payment.

But none of the mortgage servicers responded to the requests within 15 days as required under the law that created the program.

“They just don’t want to play,” said Jonathan Conant, who is managing the state mediation program on behalf of the Florida-based Collins Center for Public Policy. He added that the five largest lenders operating in the state have indicated they won’t participate in the mediation process “under any circumstances.”

There is no penalty for banks that don’t participate in mediation with “at-risk” borrowers, a term that isn’t defined in the statute. Once the borrower is in foreclosure — provided it’s an out-of-court foreclosure — the lender could be barred from selling the home at auction if it doesn’t participate in mediation.

Meanwhile, lenders have also stopped filing out-of-court foreclosures. More are proceeding with court-supervised foreclosures, avoiding the mediation program altogether through the traditionally slower and costlier judicial foreclosure process.

Citibank Settles Borrowers’ Home Equity Credit Line Suit

Citigroup Inc. (C) will allow customers to challenge suspension of home-equity loans and provide $120 apiece to some ex-borrowers whose credit lines of credit were cut, in a settlement of a class-action suit over its practices.

The accord, disclosed today in documents filed in federal court in San Francisco, resolves a group lawsuit in which the bank was accused of improperly suspending or reducing home equity lines of credit for thousands of customers.

Read on.

Another day, another lawsuit. JPMorgan Sued By Louisiana Pension Fund Over Forex Trades

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) was accused in a lawsuit of manipulating clients’ foreign-exchange transactions for its own benefit.

The Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System filed a complaint yesterday in Manhattan federal court alleging that the bank took advantage of investors by causing them to pay what were often the worst currency rates available on a given trading day.

“JPMorgan’s scheme allowed it, in violation of its contractual and fiduciary obligations, to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit risk free profits from its clients under the guise of FX trading,” according to the complaint.

Read on.

JPMorgan Won’t Detail 500,000 Loans, Trustee Says

A JPMorgan Chase & Co. unit refused to give mortgage trust investors more than 500,000 loan files that would show them how many of the loans are bad and must be repurchased, a trustee said in a court filing.

A unit of Deutsche Bank AG said it has a right to the files as trustee for the investors. The investors own 99 mortgage-backed-securities trusts that were built on loans made by Washington Mutual Bank before it was seized by regulators and sold to JPMorgan in 2008 for $1.9 billion.

“These access rights are unqualified and have been unequivocally breached by JPMC,” Deutsche Bank said in court papers filed in federal court in Washington on Jan. 14.

Mortgage-bond investors and bond insurers have accused loan sellers like WaMu and JPMorgan or bond underwriters of often misrepresenting the quality of the underlying debt. Those misrepresentations can trigger contractual or legal provisions requiring repurchases, investors claim. So-called mortgage putbacks may cost banks and lenders as much as $90 billion, JPMorgan bond analysts said in October.

Read on.

Wells Fargo completes 35% of AG settlement relief

Wells Fargo ($33.83 -0.24%) said it provided 35% of its homeowner relief required under the robo-signing settlement struck in March.

The San Francisco bank agreed to provide $4.3 billion in total relief and expects to complete the entire commitment within one year of the settlement. Bank of America ($7.85 -0.15%) made the same claim this week after the monitor released its first report Wednesday.

Through June 30, Wells completed or started relief totaling a gross dollar amount of nearly $1.5 billion. The gross amount will be credited differently toward the $4.3 billion based on the type of relief given. But based on Wells’ own calculation, it’s more than one-third of the way there.

Read on.

Can mortgage lenders hold your insurance money hostage?

If your home has been seriously damaged or destroyed, your insurance company will release a check made out to both you and your mortgage lender to pay for the necessary repairs.

“Lenders have a substantial investment in the property, sometimes more than the homeowner, especially if the homeowner has made a small down payment,” says Michael Barry, vice president of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute in New York City. Mortgage lenders have an equal right to the insurance check to ensure repairs are made, says Barry.

Yet, while Michael Northagen, vice president with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Minneapolis, Minn., agrees, saying “the desire of the [mortgage] lender is always to have repairs made to a property,” a consumer advocacy group has come out and said otherwise.

A small number of homeowners who lost their homes last year to the wildfires in Bastrop, Texas , reported that their mortgage lenders made them pay down or pay off their mortgage balance with insurance money, instead of applying the funds towards rebuilding.

Insurance money used to pay down mortgages

According to United Policyholders, a consumer advocacy group for insurance customers based in San Francisco, approximately one-third of the homeowners who responded to the group’s post-disaster survey said their lender wanted some or all of their insurance money to be used to reduce their mortgage balance before releasing funds for rebuilding.

“We’re continuing to monitor these complaints and are working with the Texas Attorney General’s investigation,” says Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders. “Three homeowners gave us additional information and all three said they were up-to-date on their mortgage payments.”

Bach says one of the homeowners received the remaining balance of the insurance proceeds after her loan balance was paid down, but the other two had their entire insurance check applied to their mortgage. The homes of all three were completely destroyed.

Rest here…

Principal reductions under AG settlement remain in the dark

Mortgage servicers already wrote down principal on loans bundled into private bonds in order to satisfy the robo-signing settlement, but not even the monitor will know how many for some time, according to those familiar with the agreement.
A total of 7,093 borrowers received principal forgiveness through a completed modification from four of the five largest servicers JPMorgan Chase ($37.30 0.17%), Wells Fargo ($34.07 -0.03%), Citigroup ($29.91 0.57%) and Ally Financial, according to an initial report from the monitor Joseph Smith.
Read on.

BofA says it will complete AG settlement relief within first year

Bank of America ($8.00 0.04%) claims it will provide all $8.5 billion in robo-signing settlement relief within one year of signing it.
“The agreement term is 36 months, yet within the first year, we believe we will reach or exceed all program targets under the agreement,” a bank spokesman said.
BofA committed to providing $7.6 billion in relief through modifications, short sales, forbearance and other options. The bank must refinance another $948 million in mortgages for eligible borrowers.
Read on.

Title Company Says Court Ruling Could Cloud Home Ownership for Thousands

(Source: By Christopher Quinn, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (MCT) A company providing services to lenders and home buyers says a recent Georgia court case that tightened the enforcement of foreclosure laws will raise questions about the ownership of thousands of homes, create uncertainty in the housing market and result in many lawsuits.

The July court ruling says foreclosure documents and public foreclosure notices need clear identification of the loan owner or those legally able to negotiate for the owner, which many recent documents lacked because of the complex ways in which loans were created and sold to investors.

“…the Court of Appeals’ decision will cause great uncertainty in Georgia foreclosures as to the validity of a foreclosure, particularly those foreclosures that have occurred since 2008…” said attorney William Brown in a brief filed to encourage the Georgia Supreme Court to review the ruling.

Read on.