* Union says ‘Whale’ loss is reason to divide JPMorgan
* AFL-CIO fund says bank has become too big to manage
* Another union group targets Bank of America, Citigroup
By Rick Rothacker and David Henry
Jan 24 (Reuters) – A federation of U.S. labor unions is looking to force JPMorgan Chase’s board to consider breaking up the company after the disastrous “London Whale” affair, but the bank is trying to ensure that its shareholders do not get to vote on the union’s proposal.
The largest U.S. bank is seeking permission from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to omit the proposal from the measures that shareholders vote on this spring, according to a letter sent to the agency on January 14.
Deutsche Bank AG (DBK)’s Christian Bittar, one of the firm’s best-paid traders, lost about 40 million euros ($53 million) in bonuses after he was fired for trying to rig interest rates, three people with knowledge of the move said.
The lender dismissed Bittar in December 2011, claiming he colluded with a Barclays Plc (BARC) trader to manipulate rates and boost the value of his trades in 2006 and 2007, said the people, who requested anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. His attempts to rig the euro interbank offered rate and similar efforts by derivatives trader Guillaume Adolph over yen Libor are the focus of the bank’s probe, the people said. Both traders declined to comment for this story.
Kathryn Haralson had already fielded calls from debt collectors at her home and work. They even phoned her daughter at college.
So when Haralson, 47, logged into her Facebook account one day, she was surprised by an unwelcome inbox message: a request to call “Mr. Rice” about her debt.
“It’s not like they needed to go on Facebook to find me,” Haralson said. “I was in contact with them all the time. That crossed the line.”
Federal regulators could wind up agreeing with Haralson as the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission examine how debt collectors use social media websites like those run by Facebook Inc. (FB) and Twitter Inc. to contact potential debtors.
Substantial compliance rejected
A Broward county judge has issued a new ruling, in what I think should be the last word on the matter: defective letters just don’t constitute substantial compliance. Here’s the scorching language the judge used to shoot down the bank’s argument:
In this case Plaintiff’s acceleration notice states “you may have the right to bring a court action to assert the non-existence of a default or any other defense you may have to acceleration and foreclosure (emphasis added).” Plaintiff argues that this language substantially complies with section 22 of the mortgage. The parties know of no appellate decision on point.
In the most fundamental sense there is a world of difference between having to bring a court action to assert the non existence of a default or any other defense to acceleration and the right to assert in the foreclosure proceeding the non existence of a default or any other defense to acceleration. The former requires affirmative action on the part of the borrower to file a complaint, which almost all are ill equipped to do, or pay an attorney to do so. It also requires the payment of a filing fee at a time when the borrower is least capable of doing so. It is significantly different from taking no action, waiting until the foreclosure proceeding is filed and then asserting why acceleration is not correct or specifying other defenses. To equate the two is to ignore both the terms of plaintiff’s mortgage and the economic burden of the substituted language.
Also, equation of the two requires one to ignore the Supreme Court pronouncements in this area. This is one of the few times in the history of Florida jurisprudence where the Florida Supreme Court has deemed it necessary to subject an entire industry to special rule due to the industry’s documented illegal behavior. The amendment of Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.110 (b) was a direct result of the robosigning scandal. The comments to the rule amendment, In re Amendments To The Florida Rules Of Civil Procedure, 44 So.3d 555, 556 (Fla. 2010) indicate the depth of the court’s concern with this industry. To suggest now that a non-party, to whom the owner of the note has delegated its obligations, has “substantially” complied with the notice provision by wrongly telling the borrowers they have to file a separate law suit to assert their defenses turns logic on its head.
Copy of the opinion below…