Daily Archives: March 17, 2014


Rep. Hensarling calls on CFPB to open closed meetings

Rep. Hensarling calls on CFPB to open closed meetings

The head of the House Financial Services Committee is calling on Consumer Finance Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray to open up the its four advisory council meetings to the public and press.

“Instead of operating behind closed doors, it’s time for the CFPB to live up to its oft-stated commitment to transparency and openness. In the interest of true, genuine transparency and open government, Director Cordray can and should use ‘Sunshine Week’ to take immediate steps that bring the CFPB into the sunlight,” U.S. Rep. and HFSC Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas said in a written and video statement.


First Ocwen, then Nationstar, now Walter: Walter shareholders file lawsuit

First Ocwen, then Nationstar, now Walter: Walter shareholders file lawsuit

Nationstar (NSM), Ocwen Financial (OCN) and Walter Investments (WAC) have all come under increased scrutiny in recent months. The nonbank service companies have been purchasing mortgage-servicing rights by the truckload and as each company grows its portfolio, critics are highlighting supposed cracks in each company’s foundation.

In February, Moody’s Investor Service cited concerns that each of the nonbank mortgage service companies will begin originating nonprime mortgages. Nationstar and Ocwen were both recent targets of Benjamin Lawsky, New York’s top banking regulator.

Now, Walter Investments has come under fire from a group of its stockholders.

A group of Walter Investment common stockholders is alleging that the company made false and misleading statements that violate Federal Securities Law.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others question lack of prosecutions for mortgage fraud

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and others question lack of prosecutions for mortgage fraud

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three Democratic lawmakers asked to discuss with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder the Department of Justice’s allegedly uneven efforts to prosecute mortgage fraud, according to a letter dated Monday.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and representatives Elijah Cummings and Maxine Waters are seeking an audience with Holder over a new watchdog report that said the FBI ranked mortgage fraud as a low threat after the height of the financial crisis, even though the Justice Department had said investigating that crime would be a top priority.


HSBC has closed all my accounts – and it won’t give me a reason

HSBC has closed all my accounts – and it won’t give me a reason

Loyal customer who has been with bank for 35 years baffled by ‘unacceptable’ treatment.

I received a letter from HSBC saying it intended to close all my accounts. It gave no explanation. It doesn’t give me the option of keeping the accounts open. Neither does it allow me to appeal against the decision.

My accounts are in a healthy state. The staff at my local branch are unable to explain why the decision was taken. The only advice I received was to write to the bank’s complaints section, but with the ominous warning that “they may not be willing to give you a reason either”. I have been banking with HSBC and its predecessor, Midland, for 35 years. I consider this to be a completely unacceptable way of treating a loyal customer. DR, Truro, Cornwall

HSBC is no more forthcoming with me. “We never take the decision to close a customer’s account lightly and understand that the decision can be difficult for a customer to accept,” says a spokesperson. “However, as a bank committed to controlling and managing risk to the highest international standards, we may decide to close a customer’s account where we do not feel that risk can be managed to those standards.” The bank declines to elaborate on what “risks” it is referring to in your case.

Over to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which says that, although banks are generally obliged to provide a reason – and sufficient notice – for closing an account, they can on rare occasions do so without either: for instance if they suspect illegal activity.


US Bank vs. Phillips: Bank ignores court orders in a foreclosure case—CASE DISMISSED!

US Bank vs. Phillips: Bank ignores court orders in a foreclosure case—CASE DISMISSED!

MR. WEIDNER: And just one other
11 point. The court reporter was here. That’s
12 another important point, that they managed to
13 have a court reporter here. They didn’t manage
14 to have an attorney here.
15 My client is here. We’re entitled to
16 dismissal because they have repeatedly failed to
17 comply with your order.
18 They haven’t cited an appropriate
19 basis for rehearing, period. So you shouldn’t
20 rehear it. The case should stand dismissed.


USBank vs Phillips_02-27-14_Jdg Minkoff_FullSize


BoE has ‘no confidence’ a failing big bank could be saved

BoE has ‘no confidence’ a failing big bank could be saved

The world’s largest international banks are still too big to fail and resolving this issue remains the biggest problem for global regulators, according to the top Bank of England official in charge of financial stability.

Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, said that six years on from the financial crisis he remained worried at the ability of the authorities to successfully wind up a struggling major institution in the event of a new crisis.

“We have made a lot of progress on too big to fail. But we are not there yet. I do not think we can say with confidence now that we could resolve a failing global giant,” said Sir Jon, who is responsible for the stability of the British financial system.


Prosecutors May Seek Larger Penalty For Countrywide Exec Behind “Hustle” Scam

Prosecutors May Seek Larger Penalty For Countrywide Exec Behind “Hustle” Scam

Last fall, Bank of America and former Countrywide executive Rebecca Mairone were found liable in federal court over a Countrywide scam that had bilked bailed-out mortgage-backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of piles of cash by selling them worthless mortgages. Mairone was originally expected to face a $1.1 million penalty, but that was before she got a big bonus from her new gig.


While at Countrywide, Mairone was in charge of the High Speed Swim Lane program — better known as the “Hustle” — a plan that removed many of the roadblocks in the mortgage underwriting process that are intended to prevent lenders from issuing loans to borrowers who can’t repay. The notion, alleged prosecutors, was that Countrywide was trying to package up and sell as many loans as possible to Fannie and Freddie under the pretense that the mortgages had been through the normal underwriting procedure.

When nearly half of those loans turned toxic as the economy failed and homeowners were unable to repay, Fannie and Freddie took huge losses. The government subsequently sued under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), which deals with the making of false statements to a federally insured financial institution.

Meanwhile, Mairone had long since fled the sinking Countrywide ship and somehow found work at JPMorgan Chase, where she was put in charge of — of all things — the bank’s foreclosure review department.