Daily Archives: September 22, 2012

Connecticut Couple Claims Bank of America Would Only Modify Terms of Mortgage If They Kept Quiet About It

Very interesting….

WEST HAVEN — Ronni and George Mandell won’t go out with a whimper in the fight to keep their home. And they say because of that, Bank of America won’t modify their mortgage terms to a payment they can afford.

Bank of America offered the couple a chance to modify the loan on the Jones Street house they’ve owned for 10 years in order to make payments more manageable, but only with conditions that include essentially agreeing to a gag-order when it comes to the deal and the financial institution. That means keeping quiet about opinions of the bank on Facebook, blogs, websites and in the media, and taking down any existing postings — something that may be unexpected in a document relating to a financial matter.

The Mandells rejected the settlement.

“I cherish my rights to free speech,” George Mandell said. “We’re prepared to lose the house if we have to, but we’re going to fight it. We’re standing firm not just for ourselves, but hopefully for the rest of the people in the country. Because it’s gotta be cleaned up.”

Read on.

Federal judge entered a consent order that the U.S. government reached with Wells Fargo Bank over racial discrimination claims

WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge entered a consent order that the U.S. government reached with Wells Fargo Bank over racial discrimination claims.
In its July complaint, filed simultaneously with the motion to enter the consent order, the United States said that Wells Fargo discriminated in mortgage rates against more than 34,000 black and Latino homebuyers from 2004 to 2008.
The consent order does not require Wells Fargo to admit any wrongdoing, but it does force the bank to set aside $125 million for alleged victims and pay another $50 million providing down-payment assistance to low-income borrowers in metropolitan areas hardest hit by the subprime loan foreclosure crisis.

Read on.

Exclusive: RBS Heads For Insurance Exit

The taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is trying to extricate itself from a giant insurance scheme before it is forced to pay tens of millions of pounds more for cover it has publicly labelled “worthless”.

I have learned that RBS hopes to secure approval from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Treasury in the next few days to exit the Asset Protection Scheme (APS), which was set up during the turbulence of the banking crisis more than three years ago.

The scheme was intended to provide insurance against losses on more than £280bn of toxic assets on RBS’s balance sheet, with the bank paying for losses of up to £60bn.

Stress tests conducted by the City regulator earlier this year suggested that RBS would only make a claim under the APS if economic conditions deteriorated to resemble those of the Great Depression.

RBS has now sold or run off the majority of the assets originally insured by the APS. With the bank now having paid the minimum £2.5bn fee to the Treasury that was agreed when the APS was set up, the scheme no longer provides any economic value to the bank.

RBS’s existing premium expires on September 30, after which it should – under the terms of its agreement with the Treasury – pay the next quarterly instalment of a rolling £500m annual fee.

Executives at the bank have told the Treasury and the FSA that paying a further £125m, or more, would be “dead money”.

Read on.

Standard Chartered Finalizes $340M Settlement of Money-Laundering Probe

Standard Chartered Bank has finalized a $340 million settlement with New York’s top banking regulator to settle charges the bank laundered hundreds of billions of dollars for banks and others in Iran.

The pact, which Standard Chartered consented to preliminarily in August, stems from allegations the bank tried to hide from regulators roughly 59,000 transactions worth $250 billion it processed for Iranian customers over a six-year period beginning in January 2001, according to an order signed Friday by Standard Chartered and Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s superintendent of financial services.

Read on.

California AG announces arrests in real estate investor scheme


Four suspects in California face multiple charges after setting up a real estate investment company that bilked vulnerable investors out of $2.3 million, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Thursday.

The suspects – Philip Lester, 65; Ellen Lester, 65; Susan Lafert, 58; and Jonathan Blinder, 58 – are accused of using their Gold Country Lenders platform to sell securities backed by interests in real estate projects that never materialized.

The Golden Country Lenders platform allegedly promised investors that their interests would be secured by first or second deeds of trust on the property.

The suspects face charges of securities fraud, conspiracy and elder abuse.

Harris’ office claims the group operated a ponzi scheme that promised investors 8% to 12% returns. Rather than the money going towards real estate development, the accused used funds from new investors to make payments to older clients.

The Shuman Law Firm Investigates Lender Processing Services, Inc. For Alleged Illegal Activity in DocX

BOULDER, Colo., Sep 21, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The
Shuman Law Firm announces that it is investigating potential claims
against certain officers and directors of Lender Processing Services,
Inc. (“LPS” or the “Company”) (NYSE: LPS).
LPS provides integrated technology and outsourced services to the
mortgage lending industry in the United States.

The firm’s investigation primarily concerns allegedly illegal activity
that occurred at LPS’s subsidiary, DocX LLC (“DocX”) from 2007 through
2010. On August 2, 2012, the Missouri Attorney General’s office
announced a settlement with LPS of criminal charges of forgery and
making false statements by DocX and DocX’s former president. These
charges arose out of the mortgage document surrogate signing scandal
(robo-signing) which became public in 2010. As a part of the settlement,
LPS agreed to pay the state of Missouri $2 million.

Read on.


(Reuters) – Iranian hackers have repeatedly attacked Bank of America Corp (BA.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Citigroup Inc (C.N) over the past year, as part of a broad cyber campaign targeting the United States, according to people familiar with the situation.

The attacks, which began in late 2011 and escalated this year, have primarily been “denial of service” campaigns that disrupted the banks’ websites and corporate networks by overwhelming them with incoming web traffic, said the sources.

Whether the hackers have been able to inflict more serious damage on computer networks or steal critical data is not yet known. The sources said there was evidence suggesting the hackers targeted the banks in retaliation for their enforcement of Western economic sanctions against Iran.

Rest here…

Arkansas Lt. Gov. in foreclosure dispute with bank

Proving that politicians aren’t immune to the foreclosure crisis, Arkansas’ lieutenant governor Mark Darr is facing a lawsuit filed by a bank alleging he is late on his payments, Jonesboro, Ark.-based ABC affiliate KAIT reports.

Darr claims he is not late on his payments although the lawsuit alleges he missed four consecutive payments in a row from Signature Bank of Arkansas, according to KAIT

Click here to read more.

OCC worried banks are padding profits

Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry is concerned banks are padding profits by releasing too much of their reserves for loan losses.

Collective bank earnings increased higher than the year before for 12 straight quarters now, he told a Wall Street lobbying group the Financial Services Roundtable this week. This shows a finance industry recovering well from the crisis, but he said banks are adding provisions to their reserves at historically low levels, and it remains below what losses they’re charging off.

“I worry that too much of the increase in reported profits is being driven by loan loss reserve releases,” Curry said in his speech.

Banks earned a collective $34.5 billion in the second quarter, up 17% from one year ago, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

At the same time, loss provisions declined by more than 26% to just over $14 billion while operating revenue increased less than a full percentage point, FDIC data also shows.

Read on.

Romney vows to make foreclosure prevention easier

In his latest housing plan, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney promised to abolish President Obama’s foreclosure prevention programs in order to spark more private deals between banks and their borrowers.

“A Romney-Ryan Administration will make it easier for homeowners to get alternatives to foreclosure, such as short sales, deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure and shared appreciation,” according to a policy released Friday.

A Romney administration would change accounting issues in order to make shared-appreciation more attractive to banks. For instance, lenders might be able to sell the future appreciation separately from the first mortgage or could hold it at market value on its balance sheet, according to a source familiar with the plans.

Read on.