Daily Archives: November 29, 2012

House Committee Lobbies for Right to Repeal Volcker Rule

Could the Volcker Rule get erased before it’s fully written?

In a strongly worded letter to the five regulators tasked with writing the much-maligned rule that places limits on banks’ trading abilities, the House Financial Services Committee urged transparency during the rulemaking process — or the right for Congress to amend or repeal the outcome. (Read More:No Volker Rule Until 2013: Sources.)

In the letter — sent Thursday morning to regulators and obtained by CNBC — the committee’s ranking Republicans Reps. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, challenged the amount of time that has passed since regulators made public the most recent draft of the rule.

“The resulting confusion has only made it that much more likely that whatever final rule you issue will compound the regulatory uncertainty that continue to plague our economy,” Reps. Bachus and Hensarling wrote.

Read on.

DC to NE – Drop Dead!

If you’ve lived in NY for a long time, it is very hard to forget this now famous, headline. I think the Daily News will be able to reuse this title page again sometime over the next month or two. NY and NJ have stuck out their hands, and requested a very lumpy $80B from Washington to cover the cost of the clean up from Sandy.

Read on from Zerohedge.

Oregon Woman Says 3-Year Long Wells Fargo Bank Error May Lead to Foreclosure

A woman in Tualatin, Ore., says she’s at the end of her rope fighting a three-year battle with Wells Fargo for mistakenly stating she has missed mortgage payments on her home, which is now in foreclosure.

Dee Dingman, 79, and her late husband moved into their four-bedroom home in 1967. After her husband, Leland, died in March 2008, Dingman took out a new mortgage while she paid off his medical bills, never missing a payment. Court records show she promised to pay $308,000 plus interest on June 16, 2008.

The next year, after Wells Fargo’s acquisition of Wachovia was completed in Jan. 2009, Dingman began receiving foreclosure notices. She believes the bank did not corrrectly process her payment since around Oct. 2009. But her bank records show her mortgage payments have been deposited by Wells Fargo. Despite efforts to clear up the mistake and paying nearly $12,000 in attorney fees, her home is now in judicial foreclosure.

“I’m really very tired of it,” said Dingman. She has been employed by the local Kmart since it opened 40 years ago but stopped working when the store closed last month.

She continues to pay her monthly mortgage amount of over $2,300 while paying an attorney to help her clear up the mistake.

Read on.

Should I pay my homeowner association dues if I surrender my home in bankruptcy?

By Chip Parker, Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney:

Even if you surrender your home in bankruptcy, you are still liable for your homeowner’s or condominium owner’s association dues that become due after the date of filing.

As a general rule, all the debt that you owe on the day you file your bankruptcy is discharged, including past-due HOA and COA dues.  However, because you remain the deed-title owner of your real property until your lender takes the property back, you owe current dues and assessments going forward.

But this doesn’t answer the question, “Should I pay?”  Well, the answer depends on your plan, but one thing is for sure.  You should pay your HOA and COA dues if you continue to live in the home or if you continue to rent out your rental property.

Fighting your Foreclosure after bankruptcy:

Read on.:

Memo to Obama on pick the next US Treasury: Read the GAO report findings on serious conflicts at the Fed

From Senator Sanders website:

The report by the non-partisan research arm of Congress did not name but unambiguously described several individual cases involving Fed directors that created the appearance of a conflict of interest, including:

  • Stephen Friedman In 2008, the New York Fed approved an application from Goldman Sachs to become a bank holding company giving it access to cheap Fed loans. During the same period, Friedman, chairman of the New York Fed, sat on the Goldman Sachs board of directors and owned Goldman stock, something the Fed’s rules prohibited. He received a waiver in late 2008 that was not made public. After Friedman received the waiver, he continued to purchase stock in Goldman from November 2008 through January of 2009 unbeknownst to the Fed, according to the GAO.
  • Jeffrey Immelt The Federal Reserve Bank of New York consulted with General Electric on the creation of the Commercial Paper Funding Facility. The Fed later provided $16 billion in financing for GE under the emergency lending program while Immelt, GE’s CEO, served as a director on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Jamie Dimon The CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the same time that his bank received emergency loans from the Fed and was used by the Fed as a clearing bank for the Fed’s emergency lending programs. In 2008, the Fed provided JP Morgan Chase with $29 billion in financing to acquire Bear Stearns.At the time, Dimon persuaded the Fed to provide JP Morgan Chase with an 18-month exemption from risk-based leverage and capital requirements. He also convinced the Fed to take risky mortgage-related assets off of Bear Stearns balance sheet before JP Morgan Chase acquired this troubled investment bank.

To read a more detailed analysis of the GAO report prepared for Sen. Sanders, click here.

To read the full GAO report, click here.

Fannie Mae announces new deed-in-lieu requirements

Fannie Mae unveiled three new exit options for borrowers involved in the deed-in-lieu of foreclosure process Wednesday.

The guidelines are part of the servicing alignment initiative and mirror policies previously outlined by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Fannie also announced it has renamed the deed-in-lieu of foreclosure process as a ‘mortgage release’ and is using that term throughout the servicing guidebook.

The government-sponsored enterprise said servicers are required to implement the policies for all loans under consideration for mortgage release on or after March 1, 2013.

Fannie noted the GSE is now offering three exit options for borrowers involved in deed-in-lieu of foreclosure procedures. The first is the standard mortgage release or immediate move process.

Read on.

Central Bank says fragile Irish system vulnerable to shocks

Ireland’s banking system remains in a fragile state and is vulnerable to further shocks, according to the Central Bank.

The wide-ranging analysis is contained in its second Macro-Financial Review, a report designed to assess the financial strengths and weakness of all sectors in the economy, along with the risks to which each is subject.

The report contains new figures on mortgages arrears of those who have bought property for investment purposes.

Read on.

German lawmakers seek Libor controls at Deutsche Bank hearing

(Reuters) – German politicians called for tighter regulation of global interest rates after questioning Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) about the manipulation of London’s Libor benchmark lending rate.

The flagship lender said it had made some provisions to cover the costs of various probes of possible manipulation of benchmark interest rates and reiterated that there were no signs that senior management had behaved inappropriately.

But politicians in Berlin were unimpressed.

Representatives from the Greens, SPD and the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) were left dissatisfied with “meager” responses to their questions and called for stronger regulation of the London interbank offered rate (Libor) in the wake of manipulation that came to light earlier this year.

“There has to be much stronger controls. Here we have another example where the freedom of the markets was abused,” said Klaus-Peter Flosbach of the CDU.
Read on.

Inside the Wells Fargo foreclosure factory, they’re working overtime

It’s worth repeating this story since the last news from Wells Fargo that the bank got a free pass from the SEC on RMBS. SEC has dropped their inquiry into seeking action against Wells Fargo even though Wells Fargo got a Wells Notice back in March.

In a quiet office in downtown Charlotte, N.C., dozens of Wells Fargo’s foreclosure foot soldiers sit in cubicles cranking out documents the bank relies on to seize its share of the thousands of homes lost to foreclosure every week.

They stare at computer screens and prepare sworn affidavits that are used by lenders in courts across the country to seize homes. Paid $30,700 to start, these legal process specialists, the title that goes with the job, swear an oath under penalty of perjury that they’re corporate vice presidents. They’re peppered with e-mails from managers to meet daily quotas of at least 10 or 11 files day.

If they fall short, they face a verbal warning. Then written. Two written warnings could cost them the paycheck that supports a family. As more than one source for this story told msnbc.com, “I can’t afford to lose this job.”

Pressured to meet daily production quotas, they are likely making mistakes that inadvertently could toss a family out of its home and onto the street, according to these workers.

State and federal prosecutors, in a recent settlement with five banks that included Wells Fargo, agreed. The joint state and federal settlement spelled out how the document procedures at the five banks resulted in “loss of homes due to improper, unlawful or undocumented foreclosures,” according to the complaint.

“These are mistakes that could cost someone their home,” a Wells Fargo document preparer told msnbc.com.

The Wells Fargo worker, who first contacted msnbc.com via email in late January, told of a wide range of concerns about the foreclosure documents she processes. Some families apparently were denied loan modifications after only cursory interviews, she said. Other borrowers applying for help sent comprehensive personal financial documents to a fax machine that she discovered had been unattended for weeks. Others landed in foreclosure after owing interest payments of as little as $1.18 a day, according to documents she said she reviewed.

The legal process specialist asked not to be identified because she was not authorized to speak about the internal workings of the department, where she has worked since last year. Her account was supported by company documents and by a co-worker in the same office.

“There was one file where they weren’t even past due and they were in foreclosure status,” the loan processor said. “They’re pushing these files and pushing these files….”

Read on.

Wells Fargo says it won’t face SEC action on mortgages securities offering

U.S. securities regulators have dropped an inquiry into Wells Fargo & Co mortgage securities offerings, the bank said in a securities filing on Wednesday.

The staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission notified the bank on Nov. 20 that it closed its investigation and doesn’t plan to recommend an enforcement action, the bank said in the filing.

In February, the No. 4 U.S. bank by assets received a so-called Wells notice from the SEC over disclosures provided in certain mortgage-backed securities offerings. Such notices usually indicate the agency plans to take some kind of enforcement action and gives firms a chance to respond.

The SEC even took Wells to court in March to enforce subpoenas it said the bank had repeatedly ignored. The agency had said in a court filing that it was investigating possible fraud in connection with the bank’s sale of nearly $60 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities to investors.

Read on.