Daily Archives: August 27, 2013

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Wells Fargo, Assurant Stuck In Force-Placed Kickback Suit

Wells Fargo, Assurant Stuck In Force-Placed Kickback Suit

Law360, New York (August 27, 2013, 1:39 PM ET) — An Illinois federal judge on Monday rebuffed a battery of challenges to a putative class action targeting Wells Fargo Bank NA’s force-placed insurance practices, preserving claims that the bank reaped illegal kickbacks for imposing overpriced Assurant Inc. hazard policies on mortgagors.

Beached Scapewhale: JPMorgan’s Javier Martin-Artajo Arrested In Madrid

From Reuters:

 
 

Former JPMorgan employee Javier Martin-Artajo, who is wanted by the United States on fraud and tax crime charges, was arrested in Madrid on Tuesday morning, Spanish police said in a statement.

 

Martin-Artajo handed himself in to police after they found him and got in touch with him, the authorities said.

 

Earlier this month U.S. prosecutors brought criminal charges against Spaniard Martin-Artajo and his former colleague Julien Grout, who each worked for JPMorgan’s chief investment office in London, in connection to the “London Whale” trading scandal that cost the bank $6.2 billion last year.

 

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B of A, Chase, Citi Again Fail Fannie’s Servicer Test

B of A, Chase, Citi Again Fail Fannie’s Servicer Test

Three of the four largest mortgage servicers failed to meet Fannie Mae’s minimum servicing requirements in the first half of 2013, according to a Fannie report released Tuesday.

Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) did not produce mortgage servicing results at or above a median level compared with their peers, so none were identified in a report on Fannie’s Star program. The three were also unranked in Fannie’s first-quarter report.

Fannie’s Star program ranks servicers based on certain metrics including improved performance of loans that are delinquent for 90 days or more, retention efforts that keep borrowers in their homes, and the efficiency of liquidating homes using short sales.

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Judge tosses out BofA suit against FDIC

Judge tosses out BofA suit against FDIC

According to Reuters, a federal judge tossed out Bank of America’s (BAC) lawsuit against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. over $1.7 billion in investor losses stemming from the collapse of a large regional bank and a large mortgage lender back in 2009. Reuters has more on the case:

The lawsuit concerned the FDIC’s role as receiver for a banking unit of Alabama’s Colonial BancGroup Inc and the implosion of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp, home to what federal prosecutors called a $2.9 billion mortgage fraud.

Bank of America, as trustee for notes issued by Taylor Bean’s Ocala Funding LLC unit, had contended that the FDIC wrongly denied claims by Ocala noteholders to recover from Colonial Bank.

Source: Reuters

JPMorgan’s liability in FHFA MBS case nears $6B

If the Federal Housing Finance Agency managed to obtain the highest possible settlement with JPMorgan Chase (JPM) over the bank’s sale of troubled mortgage-backed securities to the enterprises, the bank would be on the hook for $6 billion, Seeking Alpha reports. As the publication points out below, JPMorgan could fight it out, but the court’s rulings so far don’t bode well for the banking giant:

“$6B would be the high-end of what JPMorgan last year figured was its liability in the case (the suit is over $33B in MBS). The House of Dimon could await its day in court, but nearly all initial rulings have gone against the banks thus far. A settlement before the summer 2014 trial date still looks probable,” Seeking Alpha wrote.

 

Source: Seeking Alpha
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A List of Mortgage Closures, Mergers and Layoffs

A List of Mortgage Closures, Mergers and Layoffs

List last updated on August 25, 2013

Latest updates:

Digital Risk laying off 112 employees in Boca Raton, FL
Bank of America cutting 543 jobs in Fresno
Chase to shed 97 mortgage positions in Columbus, OH
Citigroup laying off 150 workers at Fort Mill, SC
OneWest cutting 78 jobs in Pasadena, 102 in Irvine, CA
JPMorgan Chase cutting 42 mortgage servicing jobs in Iselin, NJ
Wells Fargo shedding another 2,323 mortgage jobs nationwide, including 365 in Birmingham, 330 in Orange County, CA, 292 in Phoenix, and 284 in Charlotte
LoanDepot and imortgage.com to merge
1-800-East-West Mortgage Co. suspends operations, cuts roughly half of staff due to decline in business
Retreat Capital Management, Inc. cutting 73 jobs in Dallas
Bank of America slashing 113 mortgage jobs in Dallas
Chase to cut 500+ mortgage jobs in Texas
Capital One Financial to buy Beech Street Capital
Bank of Wausau shut by FDIC
Wells Fargo to close retail mortgage fulfillment center in Dayton, OH, cut 63 jobs
Chase to cut 730 jobs at San Diego loan servicing unit, eventually close office
Chase closing Florence, SC mortgage servicing center, laying off 450 employees
Chase to cut 94 jobs at Milwaukee mortgage center
USA Mortgage/DAS Acquisition Co. to cut 25 jobs
Wells Fargo cutting 763 more mortgage jobs, including 126 in St. Louis
Bank of America to cut 209 jobs at call center for distressed mortgages in Pittsburgh, PA
First Community Bank of Southwest Florida (Community Bank of Cape Coral) shut by FDIC
Banc of California to acquire CS Financial
Residential Finance of Columbus Ohio reportedly “hacked 19 branches yesterday and a regional manager,” per reader tip
EverBank Financial to cease wholesale lending, closing three operations centers in Dallas, Jacksonville, and Sacramento while cutting 150 jobs
Mortgage Investors Corp. to cut 380 jobs in St. Petersburg, Florida
Wells Fargo cutting 350 mortgage jobs nationwide thanks to higher interest rates
Provident Financial Plc (top UK subprime lender) to slash 170 jobs
Flagstar Bancorp to cut 300 jobs in Troy, MI due to outsourcing
Citi to shut Danville, IL call center created to handle excess refinance capacity, 121 layoffs
Accenture to purchase software company Mortgage Cadence
Cole Taylor may sell mortgage division
Bank of America to close Maitland mortgage facility, cut 53 jobs
Bank of America to cut 411 loan servicing jobs in Texas
OneWest to cut 725 jobs in Austin, TX after Ocwen purchases mortgage servicing rights (MSRs)
Mountain National Bank closed by FDIC
1st Commerce Bank (Las Vegas) closed by FDIC
Pacific Union Financial layoffs
Vericrest Financial Inc. changed its name to Caliber Home Loans Inc.
Genworth to cut 400 jobs to reduce costs
Société Générale (France) planning hundreds of layoffs
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wind down or merger?

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Real Hospital Bill: $546 for Bag of Saltwater

Real Hospital Bill: $546 for Bag of Saltwater

(NEWSER) – As far as price tags go, it’s an attention grabber: $546 for six liters of water and 54 grams of salt. But that’s what one patient was charged for what the New York Times calls “one of the most common components of emergency medicine”: the IV bag. Nina Bernstein digs into the numbers by way of a 2012 food poisoning outbreak in upstate New York. She reviewed some of the more than 100 affected patients’ bills, and quickly realized that some were charged as much as 200 times the manufacturer’s price for a liter of saline—which has recently ranged from 44 cents to $1—plus another change for “IV administration.”

A patient at White Plains Hospital got a bill that included $91 for a single unit of Hospira IV (hospital’s cost: 86 cents), plus $127 for administering it. The $546 figure comes from the bill of a woman who spent three days in the same hospital, which paid $5.16 for her six liters of saline. Bernstein acknowledges we’re pretty numb to the reality of inflated health-care costs, but sees something more in “the tale of the humble IV bag”: “secrecy that helps keep prices high.” It’s the product of purchasing organizations and distributors and other players who make deals that “so obscure prices and profits that even participants cannot say what the simplest component of care actually costs, let alone what it should cost,” she writes. “And that leaves taxpayers and patients alike with an inflated bottom line and little or no way to challenge it.” Read her full piece here.