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.