Daily Archives: March 2, 2014

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Glaski v. Bank of America, Banks’ Request for Depublication Denied by Calif. Supreme Court – CA law firms, including United Law Center, helped fight depublication

Glaski v. Bank of America, Banks’ Request for Depublication Denied by Calif. Supreme Court – CA law firms, including United Law Center, helped fight depublication

In dramatic fashion, a ruling by a five judge panel of the California Supreme Court on Wednesday denied the request of the five major banks to have the decision in Glaski v. Bank of America (5th Dist. Ct. App. No. F064556) depublished. Two of the seven judges recused themselves, for reasons unknown. While the banks could have attempted to appeal the controversial Glaski decision, they feared a ruling upholding Glaski by the Supreme Court, and instead chose to seek depublication, and lost.

The impact of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision is enormous, giving irrefutable authority to homeowners who are facing foreclosure or who’ve already been foreclosed on, to seek damages for wrongful foreclosure. Stephen Foondos, founder ofUnited Law Center (ULC) in Roseville, Calif. and one of the attorneys who argued against depublication, has led his team to fight the banks for wrongful foreclosure since 2008. ULC has been leveraging this case to help thousands of Calif. homeowners fight back against their mortgage lender, and win because the banks don’t want to fight against Glaski in a jury trial. Since Glaski was published, ULC has seen the rate and value of case settlements increase dramatically. Cases wherein “Glaski” is alleged may include principal reductions between 30-70%, interest rates fixed at 2-3% for 30 years and a cash award upwards of six figures.

“The banks, fearing the appellate process, tried depublication and failed. While the banks argued that the Glaski decision could have a catastrophic impact on the banking industry, it’s a major victory and real step forward in the long legal fight to provide the real victims of the foreclosure crisis, the homeowner, true relief,” explained attorney Foondos. “We’re ecstatic about the Calif. Supreme Court’s decision. It’s yet another indication of the direction in which the law is turning in this banking brawl, directly in favor of California homeowners.”

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New Jersey at Foreclosure Epicenter

New Jersey at Foreclosure Epicenter

Remember that recovery that you’ve been hearing about in the housing market? I’m afraid there’s no sign of it in our state.

The holiday bills that always turn up in January only added fuel to a growing problem for New Jersey.

Bloomberg reports that New Jersey has taken the lead among U.S. states for having the highest number of seriously delinquent residential mortgages or homes in foreclosure. Homeowners in New York or New Jersey who lost their homes in 2013 rose to a three-year high.

According to NJ.com, RealtyTrac housing data figures showed that the number of New Jersey homes entering foreclosure increased by almost 80 percent in January since January 2013. Statistics found that foreclosure began on 4,617 New Jersey homes in January, a 40-month high rate of activity for the state.

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Moving past mortgages, banks plunge into new products, industries

Moving past mortgages, banks plunge into new products, industries

There was a time when banking was all about taking deposits, lending money and helping companies raise capital. That’s changed — something that became abundantly clear during the mortgage crisis and the Great Recession.

Now, bankers are involved with markets in precious metals; food products; oil, gas and coal; and such commodity metals as zinc, copper, tin, and aluminum, as Matt Taibi recently covered in an article in Rolling Stone.

By using loopholes in regulations — some of them seemingly tailor-made for the giants of the financial industry — mega-banks have entered new worlds of operation and speculation. They can own entire chains of production and delivery of commodity goods that can affect world markets. 

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Capital One Subpoenaed by U.S. Amid Mortgage-Fraud Investigation

Capital One Subpoenaed by U.S. Amid Mortgage-Fraud Investigation

Capital One Financial Corp. (COF), the bank that gets more than half of its revenue from credit cards, received subpoenas and information requests from U.S. authorities investigating mortgage fraud.

The lender and its GreenPoint Mortgage unit received the requests last year, McLean, Virginia-based Capital One said today in its annual filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, which pulled together the Justice Department and state attorneys general to bring cases, is among regulators and law enforcement agencies seeking information from Capital One, according to the filing. JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed last year to a $13 billion accord over allegations it misled investors and the public when it sold bonds backed by faulty home loans.

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FHFA’s Oversight of the Enterprises’ Use of Appraisal Data Before They Buy Single-Family Mortgages

FHFA’s Oversight of the Enterprises’ Use of Appraisal Data Before They Buy Single-Family Mortgages

The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General released an Audit Report, FHFA’s Oversight of the Enterprises’ Use of Appraisal Data Before They Buy Single-Family Mortgages. As the IG notes,

Assessing the value of collateral securing mortgage loans is one of the pillars in making sound underwriting decisions. Since September 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has operated Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (the Enterprises) in conservatorship, due to poor business decisions and risk management that led to enormous losses. While in conservatorship, the Enterprises have relied on Treasury’s financial support to operate in the secondary mortgage market, buying loans in order to provide needed liquidity to lenders. In 2010, FHFA directed the Enterprises to improve single-family residential loan quality and risk management through, among other things, developing a uniform collateral data portal (portal).

Unfortunately, the IG found that

  • from January 2013 through June 2013, Fannie Mae spent $13 billion buying over 56,000 loans even though the portal’s analysis of the associated appraisals warned the Enterprise that the appraisals were potentially in violation of its underwriting requirements.
  • from June 2013 through September 2013, Freddie Mac spent $6.7 billion buying over 29,000 loans despite the portal warning the Enterprise that either no property value could be provided or the value of the property was in question.
  • the Enterprises bought nearly $88 billion in loans when system logic errors in the portal did not allow them to determine if the appraiser was properly licensed to assess the value of the properties, which served as collateral for the loans.

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Citigroup Inc : SEC investigates Citigroup over fraudulent Mexican loans

Citigroup Inc : SEC investigates Citigroup over fraudulent Mexican loans

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Citigroup for accounting fraud after it disclosed bogus loans in its Mexican Banamex unit, a source familiar with the investigation said.

The securities regulator is also examining whether Citigroup violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the source said.

An employee at Banamex has been questioned by Mexican police after being suspected by the bank of involvement in the loan scheme, another source familiar with the police investigation said.

It was unclear whether more than one person was involved, that source said.

Citigroup said on Friday it had found $400 million in bad Banamex loans and was reducing its full year profit by $235 million to $13.67 billion, after the bank had first reported its 2013 earnings more than one month ago.

The source familiar with the SEC investigation said the probe was in its very early stages and it was too soon to determine whether the regulator will make a referral on the case to criminal authorities at the U.S. Department of Justice.

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A map fail For MSNBC

A map fail For MSNBC

The dumbing down of reporting. Hello, MSNBC!!! Czechoslovakia hasn’t been around since 1993. Time to change your maps of Eastern Europe. or go back to school. By the way, this map was from MSNBC Now With Alex.

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Renting Judges for Secret Rulings

Renting Judges for Secret Rulings

NEW HAVEN — SHOULD wealthy litigants be able to rent state judges and courthouses to decide cases in private and keep the results secret?

The answer should be an easy no, but if the judges of Delaware’s Chancery Court persuade the United States Supreme Court to take their case and reverse lower federal court rulings outlawing that practice, corporations will, in Delaware, be able to do just that.

The state has long been a magnet for corporate litigation because of its welcoming tax structures and the court’s business expertise. Yet the State Legislature became concerned that Delaware was losing its “pre-eminence” in corporate litigation to a growing market in private dispute resolution.

To compete, Delaware passed a law in 2009 offering new privileges to well-heeled businesses. If litigants had at least $1 million at stake and were willing to pay $12,000 in filing fees and $6,000 a day thereafter, they could use Delaware’s chancery judges and courtrooms for what was called an “arbitration” that produced enforceable legal judgments.

Instead of open proceedings, filings would not be docketed, the courtroom would be closed to the public and the outcome would be secret. The Delaware Supreme Court could review judgments, but that court has not indicated whether appeals would also be confidential.

A group called the Coalition for Open Government, including news and civic organizations, objected that Delaware’s legislation was unconstitutional. In 2012, a federal judge agreed that the law violated the public’s right of access to civil proceedings under the First Amendment. A divided appellate court concurred. Delaware judges are now asking the Supreme Court to reinstate Delaware’s system.

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Attorney: CA Supreme Court ruling could help families in foreclosure

Attorney: CA Supreme Court ruling could help families in foreclosure

ROSEVILLE, Calif. (KCRA) —With an estimated 1.3 million California homeowners in foreclosure, a Roseville attorney says the state Supreme Court has made a decision that could ultimately keep many from losing their homes.

“This is nothing less than a huge victory for homeowners because this provides them with the legal leverage that they have when they are trying to attempt to get some recourse from their bank,” attorney Stephen Foondos said.

Foondos said a Fresno homeowner fought foreclosure in court and won in the case known as Glask v. Bank of America. In the case, the homeowner claimed the financial institution trying to take his home didn’t have the right to because the loan was improperly transferred to a securities trust.

“This trust never owned anything and therefore didn’t have the right to foreclose on Mr. Glaski, which now means Mr. Glaski has the right to sue,” Foondos said. 

Five major banks asked the California Supreme Court to keep the Glaski decision from being published so that it couldn’t be used it as precedent in other foreclosure cases around the state.

Lawyers for the financial institutions claimed the decision could be catastrophic for the banking industry.

But this week, five Supreme Court justices sided against the banks and the court is allowing the decision to be used as a legal basis in other future cases.

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US officials probe Wall Street bond sales

US officials probe Wall Street bond sales

The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun an inquiry into claims that major investment banks, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, have favoured the biggest investors in sales of debt by companies including, Verizon and Apple.