Daily Archives: May 9, 2013

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Local family’s foreclosure is fuel for public official’s battle against banks

Local family’s foreclosure is fuel for public official’s battle against banks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The housing market collapse created millions of foreclosures and lawsuits.   

On behalf of homeowners, a North Carolina public official s is holding 29 banks responsible for the mess he says they have created in his office. 

Andrea Metcalf isn’t having a good day, in fact, she hasn’t had a good day in seven years. 

“I don’t wish this on anybody, I don’t wish any other family to go through this,” she said.

She begins the tough task of packing up her home to move out.

Andrea bought her house back in 2006 with very little down, and after financial troubles that relate back to a PMI issue and eventually a bankruptcy, she lost it in foreclosure. 

 
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Small London firm could decide fate of JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon

Small London firm could decide fate of JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon

A small London firm that will have voting power of JPMorgan Chase’s largest shareholder could decide whether Jamie Dimon keeps his roles as CEO and chairman.

The New York Times reported that Governance for Owners will control the votes for BlackRock, the bank’s largest shareholder, on whether to split Dimon’s titles.

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A.G. Schneiderman Op-Ed: President Should Replace FHFA Acting Director Today To Further The Housing Recovery

A.G. Schneiderman Op-Ed: President Should Replace FHFA Acting Director Today To Further The Housing Recovery

Schneiderman: President Can Deliver Foreclosure Relief To Thousands Of Families By Appointing A New FHFA Acting Director Today

NEW YORK –Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today published anop-ed in theNew York Daily Newsurging President Obama to appoint a new acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency to replace current Acting Director Edward DeMarco, whose policies have stifled the delivery of relief to thousands of Americans facing foreclosure. The op-ed notes that, while the President awaits the confirmation hearings of his nominee for FHFA Director, he can replace Acting Director DeMarco with a deputy director. The following are excerpts of the article:

  • ON DEMARCO’S LEGACY: Since 2009, Edward DeMarco has served as acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He should have been a critical figure in setting policy to get us out of the foreclosure crisis. Instead, DeMarco’s most notable achievement has been blocking programs to help struggling homeowners.
  • ON THE PROMLEM OF NEGATIVE EQUITY: In the fourth quarter of 2012, 10.4 million properties — 21.5% of all homes with mortgages — had “negative equity,” owing more on their mortgages than their properties were worth…. In many cases… foreclosures can be avoided by simply reducing the amount that homeowners owe. Very modest reductions can often enable families to keep their homes and continue to pay off their loans.
  • ON THE COST OF FAILING TO REDUCE MORTGAGE PRINCIPLE: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that without a policy change to provide principal reduction for Fannie and Freddie mortgages, an additional 600,000 homeowners will go into default over the next two years.
  • ON THE NOMINATION OF MEL WATT: President Obama’s nomination last week of Rep. Mel Watt as permanent director signals that he’s ready for a confirmation fight that should result in better housing policy. But the outcome of that fight is far from certain. And even if the President succeeds, how long will it take, and how many more homeowners will lose their homes, before Watt takes office?
  • ON THE ABILITY TO REPLACE DEMARCO IMMEDIATELY: There is a quicker way to get rid of DeMarco now, and pave the way for a new policy direction for the Federal Housing Finance Agency. He can be replaced as acting director by one of the agency’s three deputy directors — today.
  • ON THE NEED FOR A NEW ACTING DIRECTOR: With a new acting director, the agency can quickly move to stanch the bleeding and bring relief to struggling homeowners. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans would no longer have reason to hold up Watt’s nomination. The President will have taken their leverage away and ensured responsible leadership for the agency.

The full op-ed by Attorney General Schneiderman can be read here: ag.ny.gov/press-release/op-ed-obamas-underwater-rescue.

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Ouch: The Daily Show takes down MERS, OCC

Ouch: The Daily Show takes down MERS, OCC

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night applied its unique brand of comical genius to a public/private sector takedown of certain elements of the national foreclosure settlement.

In true fashion, Stewart and his team didn’t pull any punches. The Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems is “is like a key party, but instead of f**king your wife, they lose track of the deed to your house,” Stewart said.

Ouch.

But he saved the real vitriol for the government application of the settlement, via the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, calling the $9 billion settlement, “incredibly dividable enough to be meaningless.”

Stewart repurposes a graph showing 60% of impacted homeowners are set to receive $300 in settlement funds, “which is good if the home you lost is on the 16th hole of a miniature golf course.”

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California Homeowner Bill of Rights blocks BofA foreclosure

California Homeowner Bill of Rights blocks BofA foreclosure

A California man successfully halted a foreclosure sale on his property using the newly minted California Homeowner Bill of Rights to obtain a court injunction against two foreclosing parties: Bank of America and its ReconTrust Co. subsidiary.

For simply obtaining the HBOR injunction, the homeowner’s attorney is requesting $20,255 in legal fees and costs – a compensation request that is permissible under HBOR since the legislation allots borrowers reasonable attorneys fees and expenses for successfully obtaining an injunction.

Attorney Robert Jackson with Jackson and Associates out of California says the injunction alone may cost BofA/Recontrust upwards of $60,000 when calculating in attorneys fees and expenses from both sides.

“The biggest problem with the HBOR from the investor standpoint is the litigation risk of having to pay legal fees,” Jackson said. “The way the thing breaks down is when you get an injunction, the prevailing borrower gets all of their legal fees paid by the servicer and the investor.”

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U.S. can pursue case against Bank of America over mortgages

U.S. can pursue case against Bank of America over mortgages

* Federal judge rules US can use civil fraud law against
BofA
    * US targeted B of A for more than $1 bln in losses to
Fannie, Freddie


    By Aruna Viswanatha
    May 8 (Reuters) - The United States can pursue parts of a
civil lawsuit against Bank of America Corp over its sale
of toxic mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
, boosting a largely untested legal theory the
government used in the case, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
    Bank of America had sought to dismiss the lawsuit, which
seeks penalties under two laws. One is the False Claims Act,
which is often used to target fraud against the government, and
the other is the 1989 FIRREA law.
    FIRREA, or the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and
Enforcement Act, allows the government to seek civil penalties
against anyone who commits a fraud "affecting a federally
insured financial institution."
    FIRREA does not yet have much of a track record in court,
but the government turned to it in the wake of the financial
crisis as a potential means to target civil fraud involving
financial institutions.
    U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff issued a two-page ruling that
dismissed the claims in the lawsuit seeking penalties under the
False Claims Act, but allowed the claims that seek penalties
under FIRREA to advance. Rakoff, in New York, said he will
explain the reasons for his decision at a later date.
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More Errors in Foreclosure Checks Meant to Aid Homeowners

More Errors in Foreclosure Checks Meant to Aid Homeowners

8:58 p.m. | Updated At least these checks cleared.

Three weeks after checks sent to homeowners as compensation for foreclosure abuses were rejected for insufficient funds, the consulting firm at the center of the mishap erred again: a fresh round of checks was written for the wrong amounts.

In recent days, according to officials briefed on the matter, Rust Consulting issued nearly 100,000 checks for less than the homeowners were owed. The mistake potentially cheated consumers out of millions of dollars they were owed under a deal reached between the government and the nation’s biggest banks.

Federal regulators ordered Rust to fix its mistake. And in a statement, Rust said late Wednesday that it had “corrected the error and plans to mail supplemental checks to affected borrowers as soon as May 17.” It attributed the mistake to a “clerical error.”