Daily Archives: January 27, 2013

Covington & Burling, in the late 1990s, provided legal opinion letters needed to create MERS on behalf of several large banks

From 2012 article from Huffington Post:

Court records show that Covington, in the late 1990s, provided legal opinion letters needed to create MERS on behalf of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and several other large banks. It was meant to speed up registration and transfers of mortgages. By 2010, MERS claimed to own about half of all mortgages in the U.S. — roughly 60 million loans.

But evidence in numerous state and federal court cases around the country has shown that MERS authorized thousands of bank employees to sign their names as MERS officials. The banks allegedly drew up fake mortgage assignments, making it appear falsely that they had standing to file foreclosures, and then had their own employees sign the documents as MERS “vice presidents” or “assistant secretaries.”

Covington in 2004 also wrote a crucial opinion letter commissioned by MERS, providing legal justification for its electronic registry. MERS spokeswoman Karmela Lejarde declined to comment on Covington legal work done for MERS.

And here is the 2004 legal opinion by Covington & Burling on MERS while Eric Holder current AG was a partner with Covington & Burling:

Link

More on Frontline’s piece ‘The Untouchables’

More on Frontline’s piece ‘The Untouchables’

From investigative reporter Teri Buhl:

But the real want-to-make-me-throw-up moment in the film came when I saw the DOJ’s Lanny Breurer tell Martin Smith he didn’t think journalist had found any whistleblowers who the DOJ hadn’t already interviewed. That’s was either an out right lie or he’s really in denial because as Nick Verbitsky said in the film he knows his unnamed whistleblowers were never contacted by the DOJ even though the lawyers at Paterson Belknap eventually got some them on the record for their civil suit against Bear Stearns/ JP Morgan. I second that…the DOJ has flat out not tried to reach a single whistleblower in my series of reporting on Bear Stearns/ EMC / JP Morgan.

The failure of the DOJ is the real crime we should never forget.

Link

Exclusive: Banks’ Fury At Mis-Selling Probe

Exclusive: Banks’ Fury At Mis-Selling Probe

The bosses of major UK banks hold secret talks over the industry’s “persecution” by its new chief watchdog, Sky News learns.

The bosses of Britain’s major banks have mounted a coruscating attack on their new regulator as they brace for the outcome of a new mis-selling probe that will result in another multi-billion pound compensation bill for the industry.

I have learned that the chief executives of some of the biggest high street lenders met for secret talks earlier this month, at which they shared profound concerns about the approach of Martin Wheatley, head of the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to the mis-selling of interest rate-hedging products to small businesses.

The bank chiefs are understood to be concerned that Mr Wheatley will ignore recent victories for banks in mis-selling court cases and establish a compensation framework that could cost them as much as £10bn.

One bank executive said: “Repaying customers who have been mis-sold to is right and proper, but he [Mr Wheatley] seems to have an agenda to persecute the banks which goes way beyond that.

“It is getting to the point where investors will have to apply a ‘Wheatley discount’ to bank share prices.”

The banking sector is braced for its latest bruising battle with Mr Wheatley to unfold this week when the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announces the results of a long-running pilot programme aimed at assessing the scale of redress owed to customers who were mis-sold interest rate swaps.

The FCA will be spun out of the FSA later this year.