Daily Archives: September 11, 2013

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Blind veterans to benefit from Libor cash

Blind veterans to benefit from Libor cash

Blind armed forces veterans are among those who will benefit from multimillion-pound fines paid by banks over a major rate-rigging scandal.

The Treasury announced that 16 military good causes would share £2.5 million from a fund created from penalties levied on banks over the manipulation of the Libor inter-bank lending rate.

It is the latest tranche of cash to be dispensed from the £35 million pot, bringing to £9 million the total given to 49 charities.

The biggest beneficiary in the latest round of allocations will be Blind Veterans UK, which is to receive £1 million to refurbish its Brighton Blind Veterans Centre.

The centre provides former soldiers with accommodation and care services and the refurbishment project is expected to improve the quality of life for permanent residents and those visiting on short stays.

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Johnson, Warren Request Tweak to FHA’s Loan Mod Program

Johnson, Warren Request Tweak to FHA’s Loan Mod Program

WASHINGTON — Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are urging the Federal Housing Administration to change an employment eligibility requirement for borrowers looking to modify their mortgages.

The Democratic lawmakers requested in a letter Tuesday that a provision in an agency mortgagee letter effective March 15, 2013, which stipulated that borrowers must be “currently employed” to qualify for an FHA loan modification, be removed.

“While verifying employment is an understandable requirement if a borrower’s income source is employment, the ‘currently employed’ requirement discriminates against the many Americans who have stable and verifiable sources of income apart from employment: seniors with personal retirement accounts, Social Security benefits, or survivor benefits; disabled individuals with disability benefits or Social Security Disability Insurance; veterans with veterans’ benefits; and single mothers receiving alimony or child support,” Johnson and Warren said in the letter to FHA Commissioner Carol Galante. “The ‘currently employed’ requirement may prevent these individuals participating in FHA’s loan modification program, and, as a result, may cause them to lose their homes.”

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ILLINOIS AG LISA MADIGAN FILES SUIT AGAINST SAFEGUARD OVER ILLEGAL EVICTION PRACTICES

ILLINOIS AG LISA MADIGAN FILES SUIT AGAINST SAFEGUARD OVER ILLEGAL EVICTION PRACTICES

 

Attorney General Sues Safeguard Properties LLC for Breaking into Legally Occupied Homes, Changing Locks & Shutting Off Utilities

Attorney General Sues Safeguard Properties LLC for Breaking into Legally Occupied Homes, Changing Locks & Shutting Off Utilities

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced she has filed a lawsuit against Safeguard Properties LLC for illegally evicting struggling Illinois homeowners by breaking into their homes, changing locks to bar residents from re-entry, and shutting off utilities well before a foreclosure is finalized.

Madigan filed her lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against Safeguard, a Delaware corporation based in Ohio. It is the largest privately held company in the country hired by mortgage lenders to determine whether a home in default or foreclosure is still occupied. If a home is deemed vacant, Safeguard is charged with securing and maintaining the property to ensure it does not lose value during the foreclosure process.

Madigan alleges that Safeguard routinely deemed occupied properties in Illinois as vacant, instructing its contractors to winterize and secure homes that occupants still had a legal right to live in. In many cases, Safeguard’s contractors broke into homes, changed the locks, turned off the utilities and removed occupants’ personal possessions in spite of clear evidence that the homes were still occupied.

Read more »

Click here to read the complaint: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/pressroom/2013_09/SAFEGUARD_PROPERTIES_COMPLAINT_09-09-2013_15-51-37.pdf

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Ex-Wall Street chieftains living large in post-meltdown world

Ex-Wall Street chieftains living large in post-meltdown world

Editor’s note: Nearly five years ago, on Sept. 15, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11, the largest bankruptcy in the nation’s history. The move set off a series of dramatic actions in Washington, D.C., and on Wall Street as bankers and regulators sought to avoid a shutdown of the global economy. To mark the anniversary, the Center for Public Integrity is publishing a three-part series on what has happened since the meltdown.

  • Today, we focus on the Wall Street bankers who fed the subprime mortgage machine, without regard to risk.
  • Tomorrow, in “Subprime lending execs back in business five years after crash,” we revisit key executives of the top 25 subprime lenders, companies whose loans nearly brought down the banking system.
  • On Thursday, in “Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms,” we examine the regulators who oversaw the collapse and look at what they are doing now.

Five years after the near-collapse of the nation’s financial system, the economy continues a slow recovery marred by high unemployment, hesitant consumers and sluggish business investment.

Many of the top Wall Street bankers who were largely responsible for the disaster — and whose companies either collapsed or accepted billions in government bailouts — are also unemployed. But since they walked away from the disaster with millions, they’re juggling their ample free time between mansions and golf, skiing and tennis.

Meantime, the major banks that survived the crisis, largely because they were saved with taxpayer money after being deemed “too big to fail,” are now bigger and more powerful than ever.

The Center for Public Integrity looked at what happened to five former Wall Street kingpins to see what they are up to these days. None are in jail, nor are any criminal charges expected to be filed.

Certainly none are hurting for money.