Monthly Archives: January 2014


Watchdog says Bank of America, JPMorgan have most mortgage complaints under TARP

Watchdog says Bank of America, JPMorgan have most mortgage complaints under TARP

A report Wednesday by a federal watchdog singles out Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co. as receiving the most complaints from struggling homeowners participating in housing programs created under the financial-system bailout.

The two banks are among the largest mortgage servicers under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, according to the report by TARP’s special inspector general. TARP is the name for the $700 billion federal bailout created in 2008 in response to the mortgage meltdown. The Home Affordable Modification Program, designed to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by modifying their mortgages to more affordable payments, is among TARP’s housing programs.

According to the report, borrowers serviced by Bank of America and JPMorgan under the TARP-related housing programs complain about lack of communication and misplaced application documents. Borrowers have also complained about trial modification problems, among other issues, in calls to the inspector general’s hotline.

Other servicers are not generating the same volume of complaints about those issues, the report says.


Two charged in London Whale losses still in Europe

Two charged in London Whale losses still in Europe

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The two former J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. traders charged in the “London Whale” losses remain in Europe, frustrating the U.S. government.

The Justice Department says that Javier Martin-Artajo is in Spain, “resisting extradition” to the U.S. Extradition from Spain can take months or years if contested in court. Julien Grout, a French citizen, is in France, where he is “virtually immune from extradition” because France “will generally not extradite its own citizens,” the U.S. government said.

“The defendants have not been presented, have not been arraigned, and indeed are not in the United States,” DOJ lawyers wrote in a filing Saturday.


Madoff Victims Look To Opt Out Of $543M JPMorgan Deals

Madoff Victims Look To Opt Out Of $543M JPMorgan Deals

Law360, New York (January 29, 2014, 5:08 PM ET) — A group of nearly 200 victims of Bernard Madoff’s enormous Ponzi scheme on Tuesday told a New York bankruptcy court that they do not want to be part of settlements worth $543 million between JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the trustee liquidating Madoff’s firm.

The former Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC customers said in a court filing that they were not satisfied with the class definition used in the settlement document, which only refers to direct investors of BLMIS who suffered losses on their investments…

Did NJ Gov. Christie Trade $18M In Sandy Funds For Mayor’s Endorsement?

TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie helped channel $6 million in federal Hurricane Sandy recovery dollars to a project conceived years before the storm struck, in an Essex County town that was not particularly hard hit, records show.

The funding, pushed for personally by the Republican governor, was announced less than two weeks before the town’s Democratic mayor formally endorsed him for reelection.

The development is an $18 million senior center and housing complex in Belleville called Franklin Manor. One third of the cost — $6 million — is being paid for by a $1.8 billion pot of federally funded Community Development Block Grants to help the state recover from Sandy.

Christie administration officials say the project will help those displaced from the storm from other towns, and was approved partly because it was already planned and would quickly fill that need. But statements from the governor and officials from Essex County and Belleville at the project’s unveiling barely mentioned storm recovery, focusing almost exclusively on how the 137-unit housing project would help keep Belleville’s seniors in town.


The project, which had been in the works for years, was jump-started in the spring. In late April, Belleville Mayor Raymond Kimble had a breakfast meeting with Christie and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo at McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange. It was the same restaurant where the two men, along with many other Essex County Democrats, would endorse Christie on June 11.

On May 1, when The Star-Ledger asked about the breakfast meeting, Kimble said he planned to endorse Christie and “I think the governor is going to help the town of Belleville with certain projects we need.”

Interesting.. Check out this article from a May 2013 announcing the project:

Mill Street Development Urban Renewal, LLC is the developer of the project that will be located at the intersection of Franklin Street and Mill Street in Belleville. The front of the property at 125 Franklin Avenue is occupied by a one-story brick building, which is the Belleville Senior Center. This building will remain open. Mill Street Development Urban Renewal has entered into negotiations to purchase township-owned property and unused railroad property owned by Norfolk Southern railroad located behind the senior center site.

The proposal includes the first phase development of 86 units and a second phase of development of 51 units of senior housing. The building will have a community room, bocce courts, patio and garden area. Senior citizens who have a low to moderate income are eligible to apply for residence in the complex. “Since the project is located in one of the nine counties most impacted by Sandy, the project may assist senior citizens affected by the storm.” An application and process is currently being created and will be handled by the Mill Street Development Urban Renewal LLC. Construction is anticipated to start at the end of 2013.

Land acquisition and construction are estimated to cost about $18 million. The developer is seeking grant funding from the State of New Jersey Community Development Block Grant program, federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency and the Essex County HOME program to subsidize the project.


Employee Falls to His Death at JPMorgan Building in London

Employee Falls to His Death at JPMorgan Building in London

Updated, 11:33 a.m. | LONDON – A 39-year-old JPMorgan Chase employee was killed on Tuesday morning when he fell from the roof of the investment bank’s office tower in Canary Wharf.

The man was a vice president in the bank’s information technology operations and had worked at the firm since 2004.

The police said they were called to 25 Bank Street, the home of JPMorgan’s investment banking offices, at 8:02 a.m. to investigate reports by office workers of a man having fallen from the 500-foot building.

“We are deeply saddened to have lost a member of the J.P. Morgan family,” a JPMorgan spokeswoman said. “Our thoughts and sympathy are with his family and his friends.”


Law Firm Misled Homeowners About Foreclosure Rights: Suit

Law Firm Misled Homeowners About Foreclosure Rights: Suit

Law360, Miami (January 28, 2014, 7:13 PM ET) — A Florida couple on Tuesday filed a putative class action against Atlanta-based law firm Weissman Nowack Curry & Wilco PC alleging the firm violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by misleading them about their rights in a foreclosure proceeding.


JPMorgan Seen Paying Dimon $34 Million Award This Year

JPMorgan Seen Paying Dimon $34 Million Award This Year

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who got a 74 percent raise for his work in 2013, stands to reap a separate and bigger payday within months.

The bank’s board of directors, having delayed a decision for more than a year, has yet to say whether Dimon, 57, can collect 2 million stock options originally granted in 2008 and now worth about $34 million. Last week, the board increased his annual pay to $20 million from $11.5 million a year ago, when he was penalized for faulty oversight of botched derivatives bets.

After Dimon’s incentive package was created six years ago, JPMorgan grew to become the nation’s largest bank with shares outperforming the industry, and then snapped a three-year run of record profits as costs from government probes surged. The board’s decision to boost Dimon’s annual pay despite mounting legal settlements shows he probably will get the full options award, said Alan Johnson, founder of compensation-consulting firm Johnson Associates Inc.

“It’s obvious the board wanted to send a signal about what they think of him,” Johnson said. “It’d be very inconsistent to say, ‘You’re our guy, and we want to send an emphatic public message that we think very highly of you.’ And then, ‘Oh by the way, you didn’t earn this over the last five years.’