Daily Archives: November 1, 2012

Deutsche Bank may have violated Iran sanctions, confirms US investigation against it over financial transactions in US dollars with Tehran

BERLIN – Flagship German financial institution Deutsche Bank appears to be embroiled in violations of Iran sanctions, the German television channel n-tv reported Tuesday on its website.

According to the report, Deutsche Bank confirmed in its quarterly business report on Tuesday that US investigators were probing the banking giant for violating the trade embargo on Iran.

The possible violation deals with a financial transaction with the Islamic Republic in US dollars. Deutsche Bank says it will now cooperate with the authorities, though it had previously refused to comment on the allegations.

Read on.

When Churches Face Foreclosure

REQUIRED READING: On Aug. 8, Pastor Steve Munsey addressed his congregants at the Family Christian Center in Munster, Ind., with some very serious news: the church owed & $750,000 in back payments on its mortgage and was facing foreclosure.

The story of the church’s problems might seem unusual, if only for theprominence of its subject: Family Christian Center is among the largestcongregations in the U.S., and Munsey has been a familiar national presence throughcommentary and interviews in the mainstream media and by his frequent appearances on theinternationally broadcasted program “This is Your Day.” However, the problems facing FamilyChristian Center are anything but unusual.

Since 2010, 270 churches have been sold after defaulting on their loans, according to datacompiled by CoStar Group, and 90% of those sales resulted from lender-initiated foreclosures.In comparison, only 24 such sales took place in 2008, while barely a handful of churchforeclosures were recorded in the previous 10 years.

In many ways, the spate of church foreclosures can be seen as part of the wider net ofeconomic problems that have plagued the country.

Read on.

FHFA and CFPB team up to create national mortgage database

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are going to work together to create a National Mortgage Database.

The two agencies are calling it “the first comprehensive repository of detailed mortgage loan information.”

The purpose is to support policymaking and regulatory research.

“This partnership between FHFA and CFPB will create a unique resource that benefits the government and public as we seek to answer important questions about how the housing finance market is evolving and changing,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “This collaborative effort is a great way to pool expertise and leverage resources for the benefit of regulators and the public.”

The government agencies deny the database can be used to extensively track the finances of America’s homeowners.

Read on.

TD Bank Drained Terminally-Ill Child’s Charitable Account, Hounded Family For Overdraft Fees: Report

A South River, N.J., man claims TD Bank drained the last of the money donated into an account set up for his terminally ill daughter, then hounded him with creditors looking to collect on overdraft fees.

Andrew Cogswell’s saga with TD Bank began in the spring of 2010 when the Brick Township Policemen’s Benevolent Association held a basketball game for his 6-year-old daughter, Kelly, who requires costly, around-the-clock care. The group’s charity game raised $20,000 for Kelly’s nursing care, The Star-Ledger reports.

Organizers took the funds to a local branch of TD Bank, opened an account and deposited the proceeds, the newspaper reports. However, when the balance dipped below $500, the bank began assessing a $25 monthly fee. The fees ate up the remaining funds, then sent the account in the red, at which point Cogswell started accruing even more fees. Although a bank official said the debt had been canceled, a year later the family started getting calls from a collection agency.

Read on.

Not a good year for Barclays: Fined For Channelling Enron, Manipulating California’s Electricity Market

From Reuters:

The bank has 30 days to show why it should not be penalized for an alleged scheme of manipulating physical electricity prices at a loss in order to make profits in related positions in the swaps market, a strategy known as a “loss-leader”.


British bank Barclays said it would fight the agency, likely setting up a landmark legal battle that could set a precedent over whether the once-common trading ploy in commodity markets is illegal or simply ill-advised.


It will have huge implications across the market, as the FERC — which won expanded powers to tackle manipulation in 2005 after the California power trading scandal and related Enron meltdown — pursues similar investigations against companies including BP and Deutsche Bank.


The FERC also said four of the company’s power traders — Daniel Brin, Scott Connelly, Karen Levine, and Ryan Smith — have 30 days to show why they should not be assessed a total of $18 million in civil penalties.


It said their activity accounted for nearly a quarter of all trading in the next-day power market during the period, accruing gains of an estimated $34.9 million. Bank documents showed how the traders bragged about how they would “crap on” certain markets to profit in other ones, the order shows.


Here is the video: http://bit.ly/Pi7tam


GROSSE POINTE PARK (WXYZ) – State Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway is under investigation by the FBI, according to law enforcement sources.

The probe comes as a result of a 7 Action News investigation into a dizzying property shuffle Hathaway made prior to her bank granting a short sale.

Hathaway’s lawyer Steve Fishman said today by phone that he was unaware of any federal investigation.

Justice Hathaway had previously refused multiple requests for comment about the property transfers, and ultimately sped away in her car when approached by 7 Action News Investigator Ross Jones last May.

She may have a harder time dodging the feds’ questions.

Mortgage servicers can grant relief forebearance without approval of Fannie Mae and without hearing from the borrower

WASHINGTON, DC – Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) is reminding servicers of options that are available to homeowners affected by natural disasters in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  Under Fannie Mae’s existing guidelines, servicers have the ability to grant forbearance to any borrower they believe has been affected by a natural disaster.  Within ninety days, servicers are expected to establish contact with homeowners who have been affected and determine if additional assistance is necessary.

“We understand the disruption that a storm such as Sandy can have on people’s lives, and we’ve made it easy for our servicers to offer relief to those who need it,” said Leslie Peeler, senior vice president, National Servicing Organization, Fannie Mae.  “Servicers are on the front lines with homeowners and we are grateful for their efforts to help borrowers.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been affected by the storm.”

Read on.

JP Morgan UK Staff Hit By Offshore Tax Demand: Pay Tax – Or Face Legal Action

JP Morgan workers have been ordered to pay tax – or face legal action – over allegations the firm transferred salary payments offshore, Sky News has learned.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) deemed the money as “disguised remuneration” and not retirement benefits as claimed.

Workers and executives have been told they must agree to pay up to 40% backdated income tax, 1% National Insurance contributions and interest accrued by December 7.

JP Morgan Chase and Co has agreed to pay 12.8% NI contributions for those who accept the settlement terms.

Those who do not agree to the terms face the threat of legal action from by the Tax Office.

Sky News understands the money since classified as earnings by HMRC was transferred to Jersey from 1998, with most transferred from the 2005/6 tax year onwards.

Read on.

Barclays told to pay $470m for US electricity market manipulation

Barclays has been ordered to pay a $470m (£293m) in fines and other penalties by the US energy regulatory after being found to have manipulated the American
electricity market.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has provisionally fined Barclays a total of $435m
and ordered the bank to repay $34.9m in “unjust profits” as it accused the
lender of engaging in a “coordinated scheme to manipulate trading at four
electricity trading points in the Western United States”.

Four Barclays traders were named by the authorities and fined a total of $18m
for taking part in the alleged scheme.

Read on.

Legal win means little after foreclosure

As the old saying: There are winners and losers…

While Mark and Jenny  Gin were making dozens of calls and submitting reams of paperwork to get a  loan modification from OneWest  Bank, another department of the bank proceeded to foreclose on their  Brisbane home.

That’s not unusual. Thousands of homeowners have complained about such “dual  tracking” – so many, in fact, that California will ban the practice starting  Jan. 1, when the state Homeowners Bill of Rights takes effect.

What distinguishes the Gin family is that they sued – and won. A San Mateo  Superior Court jury last month found that OneWest acted fraudulently. Legal  experts said it may be the first instance of a California jury finding that a  bank committed wrongful foreclosure by dual tracking.

However, the jury awarded the Gins just $13,500, which didn’t even cover  their legal expenses. To get the house back, they’d have to pony up the full  amount they owe on the mortgage, which they can’t do.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/realestate/article/Legal-win-means-little-after-foreclosure-3998243.php#ixzz2AvxZYJ5G