Daily Archives: April 21, 2014


Citigroup : to seek sale of 50 branches in California – Bloomberg

Citigroup : to seek sale of 50 branches in California – Bloomberg

(Reuters) – Citigroup Inc is seeking buyers for about 50 branches holding $3 billion (1 billion pounds) of deposits in California as the lender looks to trim its branch network, Bloomberg reported, citing three people involved in the process.


Gender and pay inequality in sports: WNBA player Brittney Griner Makes 12 Times More Playing In China Than In The U.S.

Gender and pay inequality in sports: WNBA player Brittney Griner Makes 12 Times More Playing In China Than In The U.S.

Check out what WNBA draft picked player Brittney Griner makes vs. what NBA draft picked player Anthony Bennett makes..

The 6-foot-8 center led the Baylor Bears to a 34-2 record during the 2012-13 season before being drafted No. 1 overall in the WNBA draft. A month-and-a-half after the draft, Griner was playing in her first WNBA game with the Phoenix Mercury. She helped lead the Mercury to the Western Conference Finals, with the team bowing out of the playoffs in late September.

One month after that, Griner arrived in China to begin a four-month stint in the Women’s Chinese Basketball Association (WCBA). It was a grind, of course, but one that was a financial no-brainer.

While the Mercury could only pay Griner $49,440 in 2013, the WCBA’s Zhejiang Golden Bulls signed her for approximately $600,000, according to ESPN The Magazine. Even with a $1 million endorsement contract from Nike, that type of money is hard to turn down. That’s roughly six times more than the maximum salary in the WNBA.

Griner is far from the first star to spend her WNBA offseason in China, but now it is more clear of just how much the WCBA can offer. When Maya Moore, the top pick of the 2011 WNBA draft, signed with the WCBA’s Shangxu Xing Rui Flame, she said she would be getting “significantly more than double” her $47,000 rookie contract.

By comparison, consider Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft, whose salary this season with the Cavaliers is $5.32 million. If he could have signed with a foreign team at the same rate, his salary would be $63.84 million.


Investors Paid Nearly a Quarter of Big Banks’ Mortgage Settlement

Investors Paid Nearly a Quarter of Big Banks’ Mortgage Settlement

And unfortunately (this has been long known), the media will not report that the investors (not the banks) paid for the mortgage settlement.

“Investor loans were responsible for an enormous amount of credited relief,” says Laurie Goodman, the director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute. “This was very, very clearly more than was originally thought would be provided through investor loans.”

American Banker (sub. required):

Mortgage bondholders have long complained to regulators that the national mortgage settlement gave large bank servicers credit for principal reductions and loan modifications they did not pay for themselves.



NY regulator Lawsky demands answers about Ocwen, Altisource and Hubzu

NY regulator Lawsky demands answers about Ocwen, Altisource and Hubzu

Great job Lawsky…

Things are heating up in the conflict between New York’s top bank regulator and Ocwen Financial Services (OCN), the nonbank that’s become a lightning rod for regulatory intervention in the fast-growing nonbank MSR segment.

The superintendent of New York State’s Department of Financial Services sent a letter Monday to the general counsel of Ocwen, walking through specific concerns and questions the banking regulator has for the nonbank.

DFS Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky has eight primary questions for Ocwen’s general counsel, and he wants them answered by April 28.

Emails to Ocwen’s media relations department were not returned by publication time.

Lawsky’s move comes just four days after Ocwen CEO Bill Erbey said that the Lawsky’s indefinite hold on the $2.7 billion MSR deal between Ocwen and Wells Fargo (WFC) has put a freeze on all MSR deals in the market. Erbey made the statement during the conference call for Home Loan Servicing Solutions (HLSS) first-quarter earnings.

“Until we resolve – this relates to Ocwen – until we resolve New York State we’re not acquiring any new (MSR) portfolios at all. As a matter of fact the entire market – nothing is being put out for bid right now,” Erbey said. “The whole market has stopped until that gets resolved.”

This is the second letter from Lawsky’s office to Ocwen seeking specific answers to broad questions about the company and its relations with affiliates. Lawsky’s office is putting a critical eye to the increasing role of nonbanks seeking MSRs.

Lawsky’s latest letter, a copy of which can be read or downloaded here, says that his office is looking at the relationship between Ocwen and Altisource Portfolio, and Altisource Portfolio’s subsidiary, Hubzu, which Ocwen uses as its principal online auction site for the sale of its borrowers’ homes facing foreclosure, as well as investor-owned properties following foreclosure.


Wells Fargo can’t keep alleged bogus foreclosure manual out of court

Wells Fargo can’t keep alleged bogus foreclosure manual out of court

A New York judge ruled that Wells Fargo (WFC) can’t keep its Home Mortgage Foreclosure Attorney Procedure Manual out of a lawsuit in federal court.  

U.S. Judge Allan Gropper agreed to allow the 150-page manual – a copy of which was obtained by plaintiff’s attorney – into a lawsuit being brought on behalf of a homeowner by attorney Linda Tirelli against Wells Fargo, the largest mortgage servicer in the United States.

The case is an objection to foreclosure claims in bankruptcy in Mota v. Wells Fargo.

Tirelli’s case alleges that Wells Fargo used the Wells Fargo manual – the copy she entered into evidence was dated February 24, 2012 – to falsely create evidence of ownership, known as the note, and on how to proceed with a foreclosure when crucial documents are missing.


Spain’s ‘Robin Hood’ takes from the banks and gives to the disenfranchised

Spain’s ‘Robin Hood’ takes from the banks and gives to the disenfranchised

They call him the Robin Hood of the banks, a man who took out dozens of loans worth almost half a million euros with no intention of ever paying them back. Instead, Enric Duran farmed the money out to projects that created and promoted alternatives to capitalism.

After 14 months in hiding, Duran is unapologetic even though his activities could land him in jail. “I’m proud of this action,” he said in an interview by Skype from an undisclosed location. The money, he said, had created opportunities. “It generated a movement that allowed us to push forward with the construction of alternatives. And it allowed us to build a powerful network that groups together these initiatives.”

From 2006 to 2008, Duran took out 68 commercial and personal loans from 39 banks in Spain. He farmed the money out to social activists, funding speaking tours against capitalism and TV cameras for a media network. “I saw that on one side, these social movements were building alternatives but that they lacked resources and communication capacities,” he said. “Meanwhile, our reliance on perpetual growth was creating a system that created money out of nothing.”

The loans he swindled from banks were his way of regulating and denouncing this situation, he said. He started slowly. “I filled out a few credit applications with my real details. They denied me, but I just wanted to get a feel for what they were asking for.”

From there, the former table tennis coach began to weave an intricate web of accounts, payments and transfers. “I was learning constantly.” By the summer of 2007, he had discovered how to make the system work, applying for loans under the name of a false television production company. “Then I managed to get a lot.” €492,000 (£407,000), to be exact.

Duran was arrested in Spain in 2009, on charges brought against him by six of the 39 banks that had lent him money. He spent two months in prison before being bailed for €50,000bail. In February last year, facing up to eight years in prison, he decided to flee rather than stand trial. “I don’t see legitimacy in a judicial system based on authority, because I don’t recognise its authority,” he said.


Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, boxer wrongly convicted of murder, dies

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter, boxer wrongly convicted of murder, dies

CNN) — Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the middleweight boxing contender who spent 19 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of a triple murder, has died in Toronto, according to Win Wahrer, the director of client services for the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted.
Carter, 76, died of complications from prostate cancer, Wahrer said.
“I always remember spending hours and hours with Rubin talking about the wrongful convictions,” she told CNN. “He was a great mentor and teacher. I felt very fortunate to have those times with him. … He lived a very full life.”
Carter spent 19 years in prison for a triple killing in New Jersey before a federal judge ruled in 1985 that he and John Artis, who was with Carter on the night of the shootings, did not receive fair trials and released them.
Artis was with Carter when he died early Sunday morning, Wahrer said, adding that Carter had lived in Toronto since his release from prison.