Daily Archives: April 26, 2014

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Like Ex-BofA CEO, Ex-BofA CFO Joe L. Price Barred For 18 Months By NY AG From Serving As Officer Or Director Of Any Public Company

Like Ex-BofA CEO, Ex-BofA CFO Joe L. Price Barred For 18 Months By NY AG From Serving As Officer Or Director Of Any Public Company

“This settlement is one more step in our effort to hold top financial executives accountable for their actions,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “As with our settlement last month with CEO Ken Lewis, today’s action sends a message that conduct harming investors, shareholders, and the public will not go unpunished. I’m pleased to close the final chapter in our litigation over Bank of America’s merger with Merrill, and I will continue to hold individuals – as well as corporations – accountable for their actions.”

The Attorney General’s latest settlement again holds a top executive of a major financial institution accountable for his fraudulent conduct: Joe L. Price is barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for 18 months, and he will pay $7.5 million to the State of New York.

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National Mortgage Settlement has done little to help CA homeowners: Banks are continuing to break the law

National Mortgage Settlement has done little to help CA homeowners: Banks are continuing to break the law

In addition, none of the banks or major mortgage servicers has been criminally prosecuted for systematic violations of the law. There have been no prosecutions of the biggest banks that perpetrated the most damaging and predatory illegal lending practices on low-income communities, especially communities of color — practices that included luring borrowers into toxic indebtedness.

Worse still, the actual financial relief delivered to distressed California borrowers under the National Mortgage Settlement has been a mere fraction of the more than $18 billion in credit claimed by the banks in fulfilling their legal obligation, according to analysts who have examined the final numbers. Critics point out that only a small portion of the settlement’s relief was in the form of first-lien mortgage principal reductions, and that more than half of the total relief involved short sales in which borrowers still lost their homes and much of their savings.

Lawyers throughout California say that the big banks responsible for servicing most mortgages in the state are still flouting the terms of the settlement, violating the law, and brazenly foreclosing on borrowers who are owed modifications. Nick Pacheco, a former deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County who is now a private attorney, says there are far more borrowers still being victimized by banks than he and similar attorneys are able to represent. “In the last four years I’ve filed seven hundred lawsuits against the banks,” he said. “I have one hundred clients in litigation right now.”

One of Pacheco’s clients, Gabriel Campos, obtained a mortgage from Wells Fargo Bank in 2003 for his home in Hayward. In 2012, Wells Fargo foreclosed on Campos’ house. According to Pacheco, Wells Fargo violated multiple sections of California civil and business law by failing to contact Campos prior to the foreclosure, and by filing a flawed Notice of Default. Pacheco is helping Campos fight the foreclosure in Alameda County Superior Court, but he said that for every homeowner like Campos who attempts to hold the banks accountable, there are many more who disappear quietly into the giant cracks of the legal system. “The banks figure it’s cheaper to deal with me and other private attorneys than to staff up and inform their employees about how to follow the rules,” said Pacheco.

San Mateo attorney Matthew Mellen has also filed hundreds of civil actions against banks for their ongoing violations of state laws in spite of the National Mortgage Settlement. Many of his clients are like Hyatt Chaghouri, who purchased a small house in San Bruno in 2006 with a loan from World Savings Bank. Chaghouri alleges that a World Savings loan officer “concealed from her that the loan was actually negatively amortizing,” according to a lawsuit filed two months ago in the San Mateo County Superior Court. The negatively amortizing feature of the loan caused Chaghouri’s monthly payments to balloon in 2007. When Chaghouri sought a loan modification from Wells Fargo (which purchased World Savings in 2008), the bank failed to provide her with a single point of contact, repeatedly passing her off to different “home preservation specialists,” said Mellen. This was in direct violation of the National Mortgage Settlement and the Home Owners Bill of Rights.

According to Mellen, Wells Fargo then lured Chaghouri into purposefully not making interest payments on the loan so as to qualify for a modification. But instead of modifying her loan as promised, the bank then filed a Notice of Default, damaging Chaghouri’s credit and initiating the foreclosure process. “The National Mortgage Settlement is useless,” said Mellen. “This is the greatest fraud in history, and it’s going on right now day after day. Millions of more people are going to lose their homes, and the banks are incentivized to keep doing this.”

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Deutsche Bank Doesn’t Have The Original Promissory Note

Deutsche Bank Doesn’t Have The Original Promissory Note

In the instant case, although Appellant presented the original note to a witness at trial, Appellant only moved a copy of the note into evidence. Contrary to Appellant’s arguments, we find this case distinguishable from our decision in Clarke, because here, no record evidence exists to show that Appellant surrendered the original note to the court before the final judgment was issued, nor did Appellant offer a satisfactory explanation as to its failure to do so. See Clarke, 87 So. 3d at 59-61. Appellant maintains that it surrendered the note in a “package” to the clerk following the trial and requests this court to make the “logical and equitable” presumption that the original note was in the “package” surrendered to the court. However, this court does not make “logical and equitable” leaps of faith, as it cannot (and should not) make any such determination unsupported by the record before it.

Appellant further contends that the trial court’s decision should be reversed because “the proof was in the pudding.” This may be true as, for all we know, the original promissory note was in that pudding. Nonetheless, it was not admitted into evidence at trial (although a copy of the note was moved into the record) and there is no indication that the original note has been previously filed with the court or the court clerk. Contra Clarke, 87 So. 3d at 59. As such, we affirm the final judgment granting involuntary dismissal.

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Exclusive – U.S. expanding corporate foreign bribery probes to include hiring

Exclusive – U.S. expanding corporate foreign bribery probes to include hiring

U.S. government agencies that have been probing banks’ hiring of children of powerful Chinese officials are expanding existing investigations in other industries across Asia to include hiring practices, four people familiar with the matter said.

The U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been asking global companies in a range of industries including oil and gas, telecommunications and consumer products for information about their hiring practices to determine if they could amount to bribery, these people said.

On Wednesday, mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (>> QUALCOMM, Inc.)said it could face a civil action from U.S. authorities over alleged bribery of officials associated with state-owned companies in China. It also said it found instances in which “special hiring consideration” was given to people associated with state-owned companies or agencies in China.