Daily Archives: September 14, 2013

Royal Park Investments v. Deutsche Bank

A new lawsuit by Royal Park Investments compounds allegations that Deutsche Bank improperly securitized trusts and mislead investors.…

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Invasive Tactic By Big Banks in Foreclosures Draws Scrutiny

Invasive Tactic By Big Banks in Foreclosures Draws Scrutiny

Barry Tatum returned to his home in Chicago in December to find that his front and back doors had been torn from their hinges, leaving his possessions exposed to the frigid winds that whipped through his neighborhood.

Terrified that he had been robbed, Mr. Tatum, who had fallen behind on his Bank of America mortgage, raced inside only to discover an unlikely source of the break-in, he said: a subcontractor for a property management firm hired by the bank. A letter from the subcontractor informed Mr. Tatum that the bank had the right to enter and secure the property, according to a copy reviewed by The New York Times.

“It’s the most depressing thing,” said Mr. Tatum, who ultimately got the management firm, Safeguard Properties, to replace the doors.

Faced with more than 10 million foreclosures that have piled up since the start of the mortgage crisis, the nation’s largest banks are turning behind the scenes to property management firms, with the Ohio-based Safeguard the largest, to help them navigate the wreckage, determine the occupancy of the troubled properties and preserve them until the homes can be resold.

But the firms are coming under fire for using questionable and possibly illegal tactics. The scrutiny threatens to ensnare JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America,Citibank and other lenders that depend on the firms. Legal aid offices in California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan and New York say calls about Safeguard’s aggressive tactics rank among the top complaints.

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Round One to California in Suit Against S&P

Round One to California in Suit Against S&P

California Superior Court Judge Karnow issued a Memorandum Order Overruling Defendants’ Demurrers in California v. The McGraw-Hill Cos. et al., CGC-13-528491 (Aug. 14, 2013 San Francisco County).   California Attorney General Harris alleged “that S&P intentionally inflated its ratings for the investments and that these knowingly false ratings were material to the investment decisions of [California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (STRS)], in violation of the False Claims Act and other statutes.” (2)

S&P demurred to the False Claims Act causes of action [asked for the causes of action to be dismissed], because, among other reasons,

(l) the complaint does not plead that any ‘claims’ were ever “presented” to the state;

(2) if claims were presented, they did not involve ‘state funds’ . . .. (4)

S&P asserts, among other things, that because it “was not the seller, it did not “present” any claims for payment.” (4) The Court stated, however, that the False Claims Act “imposes liability on any person who ’causes’ a false or fraudulent claim to be presented or ’causes to be made or used a false . . . statement material to a false or fraudulent claim.’ C. 12651(a)(1)-(a}(2).” (4, citation omitted) The Court inferred “from the complaint that S&P ’caused’ PERS and STRS to purchase the securities. This is good enough for present purposes.” (4, citation omitted)

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D.C. Tax Lien Foreclosure Issue in Council’s Hands

D.C. Tax Lien Foreclosure Issue in Council’s Hands

Some D.C. residents have lost their homes because of the city’s strict tax lien foreclosure process or in some cases because of errors made by the tax office. The District’s chief tax collector says more could be done to protect delinquent homeowners, but it is up to the D.C. Council to change the laws the office follows. News4’s Tom Sherwood reports.

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Deceptive Practices in Foreclosures

Deceptive Practices in Foreclosures

In early 2012 when five big banks settled with state and federal officials over widespread foreclosure abuses, flagrant violations — including the seizure of homes without due process — were supposed to end.

But abuses keep coming to light. Despite happy talk about a housing rebound, nearly three million homeowners are in or near foreclosure, and many continue to be victimized by improper and possibly illegal practices.

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Larry Summers Suspends Citigroup Ties While Considered for Fed

Larry Summers Suspends Citigroup Ties While Considered for Fed

Suspending Citigroup ties won’t help Summers. He is the deregulator man of the Glass-Steagall Act.

 

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers has suspended ties with Citigroup Inc. while the White House considers nominating him to serve as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, Citigroup said in a statement.

“Mr. Summers has withdrawn from participation in all Citi events while he is under consideration to be chairman of the Federal Reserve,” Danielle Romero-Apsilos, a spokeswoman for the New York-based lender, said today in an e-mailed statement.

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Ex-JPM ‘Whale’ deputy argues he was just following orders -source

Ex-JPM ‘Whale’ deputy argues he was just following orders -source

A lawyer for a former JPMorgan Chase & Co (>> JPMorgan Chase & Co) employee who worked with “the London Whale” Bruno Iksil, has been trying to convince U.S. prosecutors that his client was the unwitting victim of manipulation by his superiors, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

A lawyer for a former JPMorgan Chase & Co (>> JPMorgan Chase & Co)employee who worked with “the London Whale” Bruno Iksil, has been trying to convince U.S. prosecutors that his client was the unwitting victim of manipulation by his superiors, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The negotiations, which have taken place privately and only involved a handful of lawyers in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, are part of former employee Julien Grout’s bid to have criminal charges of fraud against him dropped.