Daily Archives: October 25, 2012

Md. AG Gansler says foreclosure talks with more banks ongoing

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) – Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler said Wednesday that more agreements might be coming in the wake of a $25 billion national settlement with five banks.

February’s settlement was reached by 49 states and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers – Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Ally Financial and Bank of America. It was the result of a probe that began in October 2010 into their alleged “robosigning” practices.

Speaking at the 13th Legal Reform Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Gansler, currently the president of the National Association of Attorneys General, said the AGs are “in the process of working with the next group of banks.”

Read on.

Fired Wells Fargo employee rejects company’s reinstatement

Good for him:

10:08AM EDT October 25. 2012 – DES MOINES, Iowa — A man who was fired over a 49-year-old arrest for putting a cardboard dime in a laundry machine, has turned down an offer from Wells Fargo to return to his job.

The bank fired Richard Eggers, a former customer service representative, in July under a federal employment rule for financial institutions that was expanded after the 2007-08 financial crisis.

“If Wells Fargo had agreed to our requests, I would have returned to work,” said Eggers, 68. “But this isn’t just about me — I’m eligible for Social Security — this is also about the thousands of working families with children which have been hurt by the same rules.”
Employment attorneys estimate that as many as 3,000 low-level bank employees have lost their jobs under the rule, which was expanded to include mortgage originators. The rule prohibits employment of anyone convicted of dishonest behavior.

Wells Fargo confirmed Wednesday that it offered to rehire Eggers on Oct. 12 and return him to work in his former position and at his former annual salary of $29,795. He was cleared to return to work in the banking sector by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Sept. 26, after it approved his request for an employment waiver.

A record number of fired bank workers are pursuing such waivers. The FDIC, which handles the waivers, is on pace for a record 189 applications this year and received 151 in 2011. The agency averaged 50 applications a year from 1995 to 2010.

Attorney Leonard Bates, who is representing Eggers for the Newkirk Law Firm in Des Moines, said his client sought to negotiate more humane terms for all Wells Fargo employees fired under the expanded employment rule. Those request included the following:

— Providing waiver application information to workers fired under the employment rule, as well as to workers facing new background checks to enable them to seek a waiver while still employed.

— Automatically approving unemployment applications filed by workers fired under the rule.

— Reclassifying workers fired under the rule to “temporary layoff” or “administrative leave” to allow them to escape the stigma of being fired when seeking new employment.

— Lobbying for the rule to be modified to ease the burden on low-level employees.

Wells Fargo maintains that the terminations were forced on it by the expanded rule, which carries a $1 million-a-day fine for each violation.

Countrywide Leader Named in ‘Hustle’ Lawsuit Now a JPMorgan Exec

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — A Countrywide executive mentioned in the U.S. lawsuit against Bank of America(BAC) Wednesday for allegedly ignoring warnings about the firm’s defective loan origination process is now a home lending executive at JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Rebecca Mairone was Chief Operating Officer at Countrywide’s Full Spectrum Lending Unit, which implemented a new origination process called “Hustle” to fast track the underwriting and processing of loans to boost volume and revenue.

Read on.

Federal judge advances class action suit over botched mortgage modifications

A Yorkville homeowner’s lawsuit alleging that her lender botched her efforts to modify her mortgage will be allowed to proceed and seek class-action status, a federal court judge ruled this week.

The Monday ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman, denying OneWest Bank’s motion to dismiss the case filed by Stacey Fletcher, shows that the door has been opened to homeowners and former homeowners who believe their lenders mishandled applications for participation in the government’s loan modification programs, according to Steven Woodrow, one of Fletcher’s attorneys.

“It really helps the people who are really being strung along,” Woodrow said. “That person may be able to sue the bank for breach of contract.”

Read on.

Here is the complaint. Click here.

Romney plans to use federal blind trust if elected

WASHINGTON (AP) — A week after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney disclosed a fortune worth as much as $250 million, his campaign said Wednesday that he plans to put his holdings in a federal blind trust if he is elected president.

A Romney campaign official said there have been long-standing plans to shift the candidate’s assets from a trust overseen by a Boston attorney to a stricter blind trust overseen by federal officials if he wins in November. Some assets might be disclosed or sold off before such a move, campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said.

“If Gov. Romney is elected president, his blind trust will be terminated and a new federal blind trust will be created,” Saul said. “Any assets that are not fully compliant with federal disclosure and other rules applicable to the office of the presidency will be disposed of.”

Read on.

And meet the man who knows all Romney’s investment secrets could lose the job. Click here.

CFPB To Oversee Debt Collectors Starting Jan. 2

For the first time, a single federal government agency will oversee the debt collection industry starting next year, marking a monumental victory for the year-old Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The agency said Wednesday that starting Jan. 2, 2013, it will begin oversight of the largest debt collectors, making sure they are following the law collecting overdue bills. Most of the nation’s debt collectors, though, are small enough to duck the regulator’s oversight.

Read on.

Bain-Owned Sensata Illegally Threatens Workers For Organizing

Bain-owned Sensata threatened to retaliate and immediately close their Freeport, Ill plant if workers there don’t stop protesting the outsourcing of their jobs to China. Retaliation threats happen to be illegal. The workers have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Threats Of Retaliation

The story is up at Bainport.com. For some background, Bainport is named for Bain Capital which owns Sensata, and Freeport, Ill, the town where Sensata is closing a factory and sending all the equipment and jobs to China. The workers and supporters have set up a tent camp across from the factory and are asking Bain’s former owner Mitt Romney to come and help. Bain Capital + laying off workers in Freeport = Bainport.

Read more from Truthout.


Check this out…

Now isn’t this interesting…

Mayor Jeri Muoio, associated with the western gated neighborhoods since she entered city politics, is heading east.

Muoio has put her 5,573 square foot, four-bedroom, six-bath Ibis home on the market for $1.5 million.

“I love where I live, I love my house, but it’s 16 miles one way and in the morning it takes me 40 minutes,” Muoio said. “I’m tired of driving. It just adds so much to my day and it makes it difficult to go home if I have an evening event.”

Ibis is located west of the Beeline Highway on Northlake Boulevard, and Muoio said Wednesday that the decision to leave is “hard” for her and her husband, Charles.

“I really love living in Ibis and the people there have been great to me. It will be difficult ,” she said. “But it’s just the two of us now and we don’t need that size anymore. It’s the point in our lives to downsize.”

Muoio said she’s not sure which eastern neighborhood she wants to live in, although she said she’s targeting a house and not a downtown condo.

The Muoios purchased the Ibis home in 2002 for $1.35 million after leaving New York. The Palm Beach County Property Appraiser has the home appraised at $1.04 million, although the county appraisals are usually below market value. Zillow.com estimates the home is worth $1.26 million.

The home has been on the market for 13 days and Muoio said she doesn’t expect a quick sale.

Funny that the Mayor said she doesn’t expect a quick sale.

Most likely unbeknownst to her, she may have little bit of a problem with the title to her property.

According to Palm Beach County property records, Mrs. Muoio has a 2004 DOCX satisfaction of mortgage (see below) signed by Linda Green.

And on top of that, it claims Linda Green is a Vice President of Wells Fargo.


Source: 4closurefraud

HousingWire | Mortgage litigation: Silent storm for big banks

HousingWire | Mortgage litigation: Silent storm for big banks.

There’s a storm brewing at Bank of America ($9.32 0.01%), and it may be moving too slowly for policymakers and BofA leadership to catch on time, industry analysts suggest.

The big bank received startling news Wednesday when a U.S. Attorney in New York filed a $1 billion civil fraud suit over loans that Countrywide (now BofA) sold off to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The case reads like thousands of other RMBS suits, despite this case revolving around the mortgage originations process, and that’s exactly what has the investment community scared. Essentially, a big nonbank firm (Countrywide) is accused of originating toxic loans that were sold off into securitization to eventually cause losses for bond insurers, investors, financial markets and the company that later acquired it, Bank of America.

And that’s a significant problem for analysts like Christopher Whalen with Tangent Capital Partners. Mortgage-related litigation is hitting banks left and right. But establishing true figures for what type of loss reserves are needed is hardly a science – making it difficult to grasp the true liabilities.  After all, litigation could settle, end up at the mercy of a court or simply fizzle out, but the mega banks are exposed to legacy mortgages and that reality is not going to disappear, analysts suggest.

“I think the case illustrates why (Brian) Moynihan has to go,” Whalen told HousingWire. “He has refused to deal with the litigation that they are facing. If you look at the complaint, it’s like the U.S. Attorney took the pleading directly from MBIA, and MBIA is winning.”

MBIA, as a bond insurer, also has gone after Countrywide (BofA) in court for losses it took on mortgage investments insured by the company.

Whalen said the latest shock to BofA’s vulnerable public profile is another sign from this viewpoint that the big bank needs to be restructured voluntarily.

“I think the shock is going to come from inaction,” Whalen said. “The way you get ahead of this is to borrow a page from the 1930s and you deal with it. You don’t pretend we don’t have a problem.”

Inspector General warns Congress about using LIBOR for TARP

Troubled Asset Relief Programs that rely on the London Interbank Offered Rate should cease using LIBOR as a benchmark for interest rates to protect taxpayers from potential manipulation, the Office of the Special Inspector General for TARP said in a report to Congress Tuesday.

LIBOR is a commonly used benchmark for short-term interest rates for international financial institutions to lend money, primarily to each other. LIBOR came under scrutiny when allegations of participating banks manipulating the rates to increase lending profits.

The latest quarterly SIGTARP report to Congress asserts LIBOR served as an interest benchmark for several TARP programs and continues to be used in the TARP Public-Private Investment Program as well as the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facilities program.

“It is imperative that Treasury determine whether taxpayers who funded TARP were harmed by LIBOR manipulation and publish the results of its analysis,” the SIGTARP Inspector General report said. “Equally important, Treasury and the Federal Reserve must protect taxpayers against any risk of future harm from LIBOR manipulation.”

Read on.