Daily Archives: November 10, 2012

Barclays probed by US over Saudi banking licence

Officials at the Department of Justice are examining how the UK bank got a licence to run investment banking and wealth management operations in the Gulf country in 2009, the Financial Times reported on Friday night.

Barclays disclosed last week that it is co-operating with an investigation by the DoJ and the Securities and Exchange Commission into whether it breached the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The FCPA gives US authorities powers to levy heavy fines and potentially prosecute individuals if corruption has been perpetrated by a company with strong ties to the US.

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BofA $1 Billion Whistleblower Also Faced Fraud Claims

The whistle-blower helping the U.S. government mount a $1 billion fraud lawsuit against Bank of America Corp. was himself accused of fraud by an investor in a financing company he co-founded, and now works at Fannie Mae (FNMA), one of two entities he claims the bank defrauded.

Edward O’Donnell sued Bank of America, the second-biggest U.S. lender by assets, in February under the False Claims Act, saying the bank’s Countrywide Financial unit, where he once worked, issued defective mortgages and sold them to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Last month, the Justice Department joined his suit, making it the first time the U.S. has accused a bank of fraud over loans sold to the two government-sponsored mortgage- finance companies.

To make the case, the U.S. may have to confront its whistle-blower’s own tangled history. A year after leaving Countrywide, O’Donnell was sued by an investor in a deal organized by a commercial financing firm he co-founded. Bank of America may use that lawsuit, and O’Donnell’s job at Fannie Mae, to raise doubts about his credibility before a jury, according to Peter Hutt, a lawyer who defends whistle-blower cases.

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n an action that has implications for tens of thousands of area homeowners, Multnomah County is taking on a mortgage-industry giant in hopes of recouping potentially millions of dollars in recording fees the county says have been avoided illegally.

County commissioners on Thursday will vote to make Multnomah the first county in Oregon to file alawsuit against the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a Virginia-based conglomerate created by large national banks to bundle and sell loans without having to record each new transaction.

“What MERS does is take the property recording system we have in Multnomah County and make it worthless,” said Jeff Cogen, commission chairman. “Anyone who buys, sells or owns a home in this county is affected.”

Rest here…

State regulators praise CFPB

he Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is garnering praise from state regulators for streamlining the housing industry’s routine mortgage-origination disclosure forms.

The CFPB has spent the past year drafting, reviewing and testing various mortgage disclosure forms that will inevitably combine the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act disclosure form with the Truth in Lending Act document.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors in tandem with the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, the American Council of State Savings Supervisors and the National Association of Consumer Credit Administrators lauded the merger of the documents, saying they’ve been calling for a more concise disclosure form for a while.

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Lay off coal mine employee: Yesterday I was laid off because President Obama was re-elected

More proof that some employers are laying off employees for political reasons after the re-election of Obama. What a shame.

From Reddit:

I worked at a coal mine that decided today to layoff over 40 employees and the only reason that was given was that “America has betrayed coal miners” by re-electing President Obama. Despite the fact that nothing has changed in the two days since the election they decide to lay off employees. I’ve seen how corrupt the company can be over the years and am fairly certain the layoffs are just a way to make the President look bad. I look forward to your questions and will do my best to answer them all.

Here is the press release we were given

Spanish Woman Commits Suicide As Foreclosure Agents Walk Into Her Apartment

The intensification of the financial crisis in Spain, and across Europe, is having very real effects on the lives of people.  Beyond the rise in the unemployment rate, widespread foreclosures across Spain have caused at least two suicides over the past few weeks, along with an unsuccessful attempt in the city of Valencia.  The latest case, reported on Friday, involved a 53-year-old woman who jumped from her sixth-story balcony in the Basque city of Barakaldo as foreclosure agents forced open her door.

Spain has been one of the hardest hit victims of the European sovereign debt crisis.  Mired in a deep recession, the Iberian nation has seen the unemployment rate skyrocket above 25%, with youth joblessness reaching 50%.  The consequence of a real estate bubble, Spain’s crisis has led to a slew of foreclosures across the nation.

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Citing ‘human error,’ Warren Group says more foreclosures were started in September, not fewer as it first reported

The Warren Group, a Boston company that tracks local real estate, said Friday that because of ”human error,” it mistakenly reported that fewer foreclosures were begun in September when the number actually rose significantly statewide.

In issuing a correction, Timothy M. Warren, chief executive of the Warren Group, said it’s the only data error the 140-year-old business has made in at least two decades.

According to the revised figures, foreclosure petitions — the first step in the property seizure process — increased to 1,420 in September, 22 percent more than during the same period last year.

In late October, the Warren Group erroneously said foreclosure starts statewide dropped to 973 in September, a 16.4 percent decline from that month in 2011, and the first time this year that the monthly figure had fallen below 1,000. Those numbers were reported by the Globe and other media outlets.

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