Daily Archives: June 21, 2013


U.K. Prosecutors Allege Staff From J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Others Tried to Fix Rates

U.K. Prosecutors Allege Staff From J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank and Others Tried to Fix Rates

LONDON—Employees of some of the world’s largest financial institutions conspired with a former bank trader to rig benchmark interest rates, British prosecutors alleged Thursday, a sign authorities have their sights on an array of banks and brokerages.


Spitzer: Lanny Breuer at DOJ Was a “Disaster”

June 19 (Bloomberg Law) — Eliot Spitzer, former Governor and Attorney General for the State of New York, talks with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia about the so-called revolving door between the public and private spheres. While he doesn’t think the entire concept requires regulatory change, he does feel particular examples have shown an enormous problem of individuals improperly internalizing defenses of the private sector when they go to work for the government. Spitzer feels the issue is more about a person’s capacity to change with their given roles. “Can people separate, emotionally and intellectually, one job from the past job…that’s a very hard thing to do,” he says.

Asked whether the broad discrepancy in pay between private and public sector jobs is making the situation worse, Spitzer points to the non-monetary benefits of working in government. “[Government workers] are a lot happier…lawyers in the government tend to draw their joy and satisfaction not from their paycheck but from, theoretically, the existential joy of what they are doing”, he says.

Spitzer adds that he is “disappointed” in the government’s current slate of regulators, pointing to what he sees as an “overstated fear” of the economic consequences of prosecuting systemically important companies. Spitzer also gives his thoughts on the upcoming mayoral election in New York City.




Joseph Smith releases summary of five compliance reports submitted to the Court

RALEIGH, N.C. – Joseph A. Smith, Jr., Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, today released asummary of the five compliance reports he submitted to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. This summary includes information about the banks’ (Bank of AmericaChaseCitiResCap Partiesand Wells Fargo) compliance with the Settlement’s servicing rules (click each bank’s name to see its scorecard).

“Over the past six months my team and I have tested the banks’ compliance,” said Smith. “My testing through the end of last year resulted in three testing fails, and I can disclose five additional fails in 2013. These results demonstrate that the Settlement is allowing us to uncover areas in which more work needs to be done. The banks are now working to correct these errors and will be tested again to determine their level of improvement.

“These findings, combined with the complaints I have heard from attorneys general, counselors and distressed borrowers, tell me there is still work to be done. While I believe distressed servicing is better this year than it was last, it is not yet where it needs to be. My team and I will continue our efforts to improve it.

“Specifically, I have heard regularly in the last year about issues with the loan modification process, single points of contact and billing and statement inaccuracies. The Settlement anticipated that there may be a need for additional tests, and, as such, allows me to create more. Accordingly, I am negotiating more stringent testing with the banks now to better address these issues.

“While there is more work to be done, I remain confident that the Settlement is helping to improve themortgage finance system. I hope this report will help contribute to the conversation on this topic, and I look forward to making additional information public as this process continues.”





Big Banks Don’t Owe Madoff Estate $30B, Court Rules

Big Banks Don’t Owe Madoff Estate $30B, Court Rules

Banks including JPMorgan Chase and HSBC can’t be sued by the Bernard Madoff firm’s liquidator for $30 billion because he is tainted by the con man’s fraud, an appeals court ruled.

Madoff trustee Irving Picard appealed rulings barring him from demanding damages from banks that allegedly ignored Madoff’s fraud for the sake of fees. Federal district judges Colleen McMahon and Jed Rakoff, both in Manhattan, had said Picard can’t accuse the banks of fraud because he’s the trustee for a fraudulent enterprise, citing a legal principal called in pari delicto.


Report: 3 out of 10 Oregon foreclosures sit vacant

Report: 3 out of 10 Oregon foreclosures sit vacant

Long foreclosure timelines continue to haunt the state of Oregon, with 3 out of 10 foreclosures still sitting vacant, The Oregonian reports.  

RealtyTrac launched a report Thursday, showing which states are dealing with an abundance of vacant foreclosures. 

Oregon landed in the middle of the pack in terms of total foreclosures, but one out of three foreclosures in the state sits unoccupied.  

The Northwest state now has 3,900 homes in foreclosure, 28% of which remain empty


ServiceLink launches MERS reconciliation program

ServiceLink launches MERS reconciliation program

Ensuring mortgage loan documents are accounted for and properly recorded is a full-time job with little or no margin for error.

In response to this lingering risk, mortgage technology firm ServiceLinkrolled out a new tool: the MERS Reconciliation and Resolution program, an initiative that will operate through the company’s LoanCare system, monitoring and managing data from the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems.

The idea is to ensure lenders and servicers have all of the correct information and are compliant with all industry standards.

The program reviews all daily activity, comparing data from MERS and ensuring all of the information is correct across multiple registries and recording platforms.


Judge dismisses MBS suit filed against BofA, Morgan Stanley

Judge dismisses MBS suit filed against BofA, Morgan Stanley

A New York state judge dismissed a $32 million mortgage-backed securities suit filed against Bank of America’s Countrywide units andMorgan Stanley this week, Law360 reports.

The case filed by affiliates of a German bank accused Morgan Stanley and Countrywide (now part of BofA) of misrepresenting the quality of mortgages tied to MBS transactions.

The judge threw out the case, citing the existence of an intervening state court of appeals decision, which made issues in the case untenable, the publication reported.