Joined by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and local officials at Buffalo’s Old County Hall, Attorney General Schneiderman announced his lawsuit against HSBC Bank USA for failing to follow State law related to foreclosure actions, putting homeowners at greater risk of losing their homes. Thousands of foreclosure cases statewide languish for months, even years, in a backlog known as the “shadow docket” because financial institutions like HSBC delay filing the paperwork that triggers court-supervised settlement conferences that can help families keep their homes.
JPMorgan’s Alabama Debacle Set to Cost Bank $1.5 Billion
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) may see as much as $1.6 billion go down an Alabama sewer.
The biggest U.S. bank by assets agreed to forgive $842 million of debt owed to it by Jefferson County, Alabama, where it took the lead in arranging risky securities deals that pushed the county into the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy.
That comes on top of a $722 million settlement in 2009 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission tied to Jefferson County deals. JPMorgan’s total costs amount to a quarter of the $6.2 billion beating it took last year from corporate-credit bets by a trader known as the London Whale. The episode prompted an outcry in Washington and doubts about Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon’s reputation as a savvy leader.
Calif. foreclosure victims will get $1,500 checks
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—More than 200,000 Californians will each receive checks worth nearly $1,500 this month as part of the national mortgage settlement, the state attorney general’s office said Tuesday.
The money is going to homeowners who successfully filed claims saying they were the victims of wrongful foreclosures.
Attorney general spokesman Nick Pacilio said that the national settlement administrator, Rust Consulting, will mail checks of about $1,480 starting next week to about 207,000 Californians who lost their homes.
That amounts to more than $307 million in settlement money statewide, and is part of the $1.5 billion in settlement checks that will be sent to nearly 1 million borrowers nationwide.
Those who were eligible for the checks had their mortgage serviced by one of the settlement’s five major banks and lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011. The five participating banks are Ally Financial Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo & Co.
Opt-Out Plaintiffs Clinch Deal in Citigroup Securities Case
A coalition of about 20 institutional investors have wrested a settlement from Citigroup Inc. in a long-running suit over the banks’ role in the financial crisis.
In a 2-page stipulation filed on Friday, the institutional investors—mainly European pension funds like the U.K.’s Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and Dutch Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP—agreed to drop claims that Citi misrepresented its exposure to a panoply of subprime investments.
Stuart Grant of Grant & Eisenhofer, who represented the funds, declined to say how much Citi must pony up in the confidential deal, but he said his clients “got a very good result and are satisfied with the resolution.”
The plaintiffs covered by the settlement chose not to join a pair of class actions raising more-or-less identical claims. One of those cases, In re Citigroup Bond Litigation, settled for $730 million in March. The other, In re Citigroup Securities Litigation, settled for $590 million in August 2012. Both settlements have yet to be approved by U.S. District Judge Sidney Stein in Manhattan. Class members have objected to the $590 million settlement, arguing that plaintiffs counsel at Kirby McInerney inflated their $100 million fee request by billing contract layers at a rate of $300-$350 per hour.
Bank of America, Wells Fargo top list of consumer complaints
Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. have garnered by far the most complaints from consumers in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, according to newly public data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The financial complaints database, just recently made searchable by state, goes back to Nov. 30, 2011. It shows 8,150 complaints filed since then by consumers in the region.