Daily Archives: February 2, 2013

High Tide: From Mexico Governor Sues Over Wal-Mart Links to Libor Lies

A Mexican state governor implicated in the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT +0.77% bribery scandal sued a former lawyer-turned-whistleblower for the company and sought an apology for being named in connection with the scandal. (Reuters)

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NJ Gov. Christie vetoes foreclosure bill again; sponsor says he won’t reintroduce

TRENTON — Legislation intended to reduce New Jersey’s glut of foreclosed homes was blocked again by Gov. Chris Christie last week, and the bill’s prime sponsor says he has no plans to reintroduce it a third time.

Christie vetoed the so-called Foreclosure Transformation Act for the second time Tuesday, stating in his veto message that New Jersey would tackle its high number of foreclosures by using $300 million in federal aid to offer financial help to homeowners in trouble rather than facilitating the purchase of vacant homes for resale.

The governor also vetoed a separate bill that would have forced the state to use the federal aid more quickly.

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OCC Said to Admit It Missed JPMorgan VaR Change in Senate Probe

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency told lawmakers it missed changes to JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)’s risk-tracking system that could have alerted the watchdog sooner to the bank’s mounting derivatives bets, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The OCC described the lapse in a report sent in last year’s second half to the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, said two people, requesting anonymity because the discussions aren’t public. The congressional panel is set to release its own findings in coming weeks after examining how JPMorgan and regulators handled the bank’s botched trades, which lost more than $6.2 billion during nine months of 2012.

The senators undertook a sweeping inquiry into how JPMorgan and regulators handled the trading debacle, which distorted markets and helped cut as much as $51 billion from the bank’s market value last year. The lawmakers’ report will criticize the bank and the OCC for lax oversight of the trades, two people with knowledge of the matter said last month.

The OCC, which oversees national banks, didn’t catch a January 2012 change in the way JPMorgan calculated so-called value-at-risk, or VaR, for its chief investment office, where losses occurred, one of the people said. The new VaR model, which was later scrapped, cut the firm’s reported risk in half and ultimately exacerbated losses by underestimating their potential size as they began to mount, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon told lawmakers in June.

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Class Claims JP Morgan Chase’s Collection Abuses Mirror Housing & Foreclosure Fiascos

(CN) – JP Morgan Chase abusively extracted tens of millions of dollars from debtors, and people who do not owe debts, through robo-signing, “intentionally inaccurate record-keeping,” and all the abuses of the mortgage and foreclosure catastrophes, a class action claims in Federal Court.
Lead plaintiff Johanna Sierra sued JP Morgan Chase & Co.; its collections subsidiary the NCO Group; and the Austin-based debt-collection law firm Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado & Acosta, in Manhattan Federal Court.
She claims the defendants “unlawfully obtained hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars from consumers,” through fabricated evidence, lack of evidence, and outright fraud.
Just as in the mortgage and foreclosure crises, Sierra claims, Chase and its allies took advantage of an unregulated debt market to prey on consumers with procedural shortcuts and hound them for false or inaccurate debts.
“Defendants systematically and willfully violate the law in their efforts to mass-generate judgment accounts from consumer collection accounts, while knowing, or intentionally failing to know, that the consumers do not owe the underlying debt, in whole or in part,” the complaint states. “Defendants intentionally do not obtain, or cannot obtain, proof that the consumers actually owe the alleged debt, in whole or in part.

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8News Investigates: ‘Grand Theft House’–Robosigning

These are the full court documents retrieved by 8News Investigative Reporter A.J. Lagoe, in his report on “robo-signing,” a form of mortgage fraud here in Virginia.

Read the court petition HERE
Read the final judgement HERE

RICHMOND, VA—We’ve called it “Grand Theft House” for the past two years.

8News Investigative reporter AJ Lagoe has been exposing robo-signing—a form of mortgage fraud in the commonwealth.

Today a $120 million multi-state settlement was reached with the company behind much of the fraud we brought to light.

Virginia is set to receive $3.5 million as part of the multi-state robo-signing settlement reached today with the company behind thousands of bogus signatures and notarizations that appeared on foreclosures used to take Virginians homes away from them.

“I collapsed— I just couldn’t believe I just lost my home,” said Ester Ramierez, a foreclosure victim.

“I didn’t have any idea that anything of this nature was going on,” said Mary Mitchell, a robo-signing victim.

8News exposed fraudulent foreclosure papers. The name Linda Green can be found signed to countless mortgage documents we found in area courthouses. She’s listed under a number of titles, allegedly working of numerous banks.

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Did You Receive a Proper Notice of Acceleration?

Did You Receive a Proper Notice of Acceleration?

Before your mortgage company can file a foreclosure on your Florida home, it must send you a very specific letter known as a “Notice of Intent to Accellerate” or “Default Letter.” If your mortgage servicer fails to serve you with a proper notice, your foreclosure is improper and subject to dismissal.

Nearly every residential mortgage is a Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Uniform Instrument, regardless of whether either Fannie Mae (FNMA) or Freddie Mac (FHLMC) owns the mortgage. The mortgage servicing industry created the “Uniform Instrument” because Fannie and Freddie own 60% of all mortgages, but before they will purchase a mortgage loan from a bank, the security instrument (ie. the mortgage) must meet Fannie or Freddie guideline. So, for the sake of uniformity and ease of servicing by the banks, the same uniform mortgage is used throughout the country in almost every case.

The standard Fannie/Freddie mortgage has all the basic terms already completed. All that is left to do during a closing is fill in information on the lender, the borrower, the dates, the address, the property description, and so on.

In addition to the uniform paragraphs that exist in nearly every single mortgage in the United States, there are state-specific, special paragraphs, known as non-uniform covenants, which are inserted into the Fannie/Freddie mortgage. The Notice of Intent to Accelerate is a non-uniform covenant because the requirements vary, depending upon the applicable state foreclosure law. The biggest difference between state foreclosure laws is whether a state is judicial or non-judicial, and the uniform mortgage is modified based upon which type of foreclosure process exists in the state where the property is located.

Florida is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning the lender files a foreclosure action in state court. In non-judicial foreclosure states, a third-party trustee sells the property without help from the court. In these non-judicial foreclosure states, it is the borrower who brings a court action to stop the foreclosure.

**This article focuses on the language found in judicial foreclosure states like Florida. Remember, the language is different in non-judicial foreclosure states, like California.**

The requirements of the acceleration notice are spelled out in paragraph 22 (sometimes paragraph 21) of the mortgage. Paragraph 22 is often the only paragraph written in bold typeface–meaning that the text of the paragraph is emphasized as important, and this paragraph uses the word “shall” in spelling out the exactly what your mortgage company must include in the notice of acceleration letter to you.

In pertinent part, “The notice shall specify: (a) the default; (b) the action required to cure the default; (c) a date, not less than 30 days from the date the notice is given to Borrower, by which the default must be cured; and (d) that failure to cure the default on or before the date specified in the notice may result in acceleration . . .”