Schneiderman delays suit against BofA, Wells Fargo because AG has received additional complaints it would like to include in its evidence to the committee
The AG’s office informed the committee monitoring the settlement last week that he was retracting his original May 6 letter notifying the banksof his intention to sue. The timing of the letter is important because it begins a 42-day countdown during which the monitor can decide to pursue claims over the violations. If he declines to sue over the claims, the AG has the right to proceed with a lawsuit.
A spokesman for Schneiderman said the reason for the delay is because the AG has received additional complaints it would like to include in its evidence to the committee.
“In order to provide the monitoring committee the most complete information, we are working with it to update our submission,” said the spokesman. “In the meantime, as we prepare our legal claim, we will decide which of the original and which of the new violations we believe make the strongest case.”
The settlement outlines service standards the banks must abide by in providing relief to homeowners. Schneiderman alleged that the two banks violated rules over giving fair and timely serving.
Calpers Votes Against Jamie Dimon, Again
California’s massive pension fund, Calpers, voted in favor of splitting the CEO and chairman roles at JPMorgan Chase JPM -0.02%.
That will put some major pressure on CEO and chairman Jamie Dimon whose leadership is being tested.
Dimon has held both roles since 2006 but the bank’s $6 billion trading loss last year has raised concern among shareholders who want to see more oversight at the top.
Calpers, which owns 12.9 million shares of JPM, said in its vote that if the “Chairman is independent the board may be able to exercise stronger oversight of management.”
The pension fund also withheld support for three members of the board’s risk committee (David Cote, James Crown, and Ellen Futter) due to failures in risk oversight at the company, the fund said. “Each of the nominees are long standing members of the Risk Committee who served on the committee in 2012 when the company experienced significant trading losses that reached more than $6 billion,” Calpers noted on its website.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Exempt From Michigan Transfer Tax
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC) are exempt from Michigan’s state and local real estate transfer taxes, a U.S. appeals court ruled, overturning a lower-court decision.
The government-owned home-mortgage finance companies were sued by a Michigan county which argued that a congressionally authorized exemption from “all taxation” didn’t apply to state and county real estate transfer levies.
“The statutes at issue here plainly state that the defendants are exempt from ‘all taxation,’” U.S. Circuit Judge David McKeague wrote on behalf of a three-judge panel in Cincinnati, reversing a ruling by a judge in Detroit. “We are not in a position to second-guess Congress and create a new exception in the statute,” he said.
Banks are getting tens of millions of taxpayer dollars through Florida’s key foreclosure prevention program to pay down borrower debt, but are also using the money to pay off their own attorney’s fees and other costs associated with taking back people’s homes.
The more than $1 billion Hardest Hit program has been operating statewide for two years, awarding struggling borrowers 12 months of mortgage payments and between $18,000 and $24,000 to bring amortgage current.
But some homeowners exiting the program are finding themselves still in debt and on the same path toforeclosure after their lender subtracted legal costs from the Hardest Hit stipend.
While the Hardest Hit program allows lenders to use the money to pay their attorney fees and out-of-pocket expenses, the federal law that authorized the plan forbids homeowners from doing the same.
The Treasury Department determined in 2010 that legal aid for borrowers was not allowed under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. One of Florida’s original proposals to use Hardest Hit money was rejected because it included $25 million for legal counseling and representation for homeowners.