Daily Archives: July 8, 2014

Commerzbank : US Authorities in Settlement Talks on Iran-NYT

U.S. state and federal authorities are in settlement talks with Commerzbank AG (>> Commerzbank AG) regarding the German bank’s dealings with Iran and other U.S.-blacklisted countries, the New York Times said Tuesday, citing sources.

While talks are at an early stage, a settlement is likely to include at least $500 million in penalties, people briefed on the matter tell the newspaper. Commerzbank will probably avoid criminal charges in exchange for penalty payments and other concessions, the newspaper said.

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Carrie Fulton Phillips, President Warren G. Harding’s 15 year affair mistress, who could have brought down Harding’s presidency


Harding’s letters were descriptive and full of passion. On Sept. 15, 1913 he wrote:


“Honestly, I hurt with the insatiate longing, until I feel that there will never be any relief untilI take a long, deep, wild draught on your lips and then bury my face on your pillowing breasts. Oh, Carrie! I want the solace you only can give. It is awful to hunger so and be so wholly denied. . . . Wouldn’t you like to get sopping wet out on Superior — not the lake — for the joy of fevered fondling and melting kisses?”


What the media won’t discuss how Ms. Phillips the only woman so far in history blackmailed the political party by the virtue of her long term relationship as mistress to Harding. From Wikipedia:

Once the affair came to light, Florence Harding was furious and felt betrayed. This was not the first time that her husband had entered into an affair with a woman who she considered a friend. Phillips (Carrie’s husband James), too, was displeased with his wife’s conduct. To separate the two and to allow time for the marriages to be reconciled, Phillips took his family and returned to Europe, leaving the Hardings to tough it out in Marion. While in Germany, Carrie became immersed in German culture, and refused to return to the United States at the tour’s end, insisting she and their daughter stay behind. James Phillips returned to the United States alone.

While Carrie was still in Europe, Harding ran for the United States Senate. As Europe moved closer to the brink of war, Carrie begrudgingly returned to the States. Her passion for Germany was very well known. At every opportunity, she pled Germany’s case. Once she returned to Marion, her affair with Harding reignited. Phillips threatened to expose the affair if Harding voted in favor of war with Germany, but did not follow through on this threat.

In the summer of 1920, immediately following acceptance of the Republican nomination, Harding disclosed his affair with Mrs. Phillips to the party bosses, and also disclosed that Mrs. Phillips was in the possession of hundreds of love letters he had written to her, many on Senate stationery. Afraid of a scandal involving both an affair as well as Mrs. Phillips’ government files for supporting Germany in the recent war, the party bosses impressed upon Mr. and Mrs. Phillips the importance that their travel abroad could keep the matter quiet. Carrie refused, and immediately dictated the terms under which she would consider the party’s wishes. In return for Mrs. Phillips’ silence on the matter, the Republican Partywould pay for an extended tour of Asia and the Pacific Islands, as well as an annual stipend to Mrs. Phillips in return for her silence on the matter for the remainder of her life.

Ms. Phillips and her husband, James Phillips had two children (boy and girl). Boy died as only a toddler.


Did You Know That Antonin Scalia’s Son Is Sabotaging Wall Street Reform?

Eugene Scalia is quietly freeing big banks from the rules meant to keep them from crashing the economy again.

Ambrose Bierce once quipped that a lawyer is one skilled in the circumvention of the law. By that definition, Eugene Scalia is a lawyer of extraordinary skill. In less than five years, the 50-year-old son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has become a one-man scourge to the reformers who won a hard-fought battle to pass the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to rein in the out-of-control financial sector. So far, he’s prevailed in three of the six suits he’s filed against the law, single-handedly slowing its rollout to a snail’s pace. As of May, a little more than half of the nearly four-year-old law’s rules had been finalized and another 25 percent hadn’t even been drafted. Much of that breathing room for Wall Street is thanks to Scalia, who has deployed a hyperliteral, almost absurdist series of procedural challenges to unnerve the bureaucrats charged with giving the legislation teeth.

Scalia has “created this sense that we’re paralyzed, because if we write a rule we’re just going to be reversed,” says Lisa Donner, executive director of the watchdog group Americans for Financial Reform. The threat of more suits, she says, has “cast a real chill” over Wall Street regulators, particularly at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Scalia’s legal challenges hinge on a simple, two-decade-old rule: Federal agencies monitoring financial markets must conduct a cost-benefit analysis whenever they write a new regulation. The idea is to weigh “efficiency, competition, and capital formation” so that businesses and investors can anticipate how their bottom line might be affected. Sounds reasonable. But by recognizing that the assumptions behind these hypothetical projections can be endlessly picked apart, Scalia has found a remarkably effective way to delay key parts of the law from going into effect.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) says Scalia and the big banks are attempting an end run around the law he coauthored: “These are ideologues who want to kill the rules. They can’t say they’re unconstitutional. They are doing this because it’s the only possible way to knock them out.” (Scalia declined to comment for this article.)

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Non-Bank Servicers Under the Microscope – Who Will Service Loans?; HELOC Problems Ahead?

In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million. (Nowadays, this is approximately the number of people on the freeway in Atlanta or Seattle during rush hour.) The nation’s estimated population on this July Fourth is over 318 million. So we should all invest our money in anything that appreciates with population growth, right?

California has gobs of people, and as California goes, so goes the nation, right? The California State Assembly approved SB 1459. The bill is now enrolled and sent to the governor for signature or veto. The California Mortgage Bankers Association “has vigorously supported the legislation, which will allow use of the Uniform State Test (UST) for California MLOs.  The bill would also modify hourly education requirements, requiring MLOs to get 2 hours of state-focused pre-license education (as part of the 20 hour requirement) and 1 hour of state-focused continuing education (as part of the 8 hour requirement).”

(This reminded me of a note I received a while back from an LO at a large bank. “Are any of the guys emailing you about bank registration versus LO licensing actually producers? I was licensed in more states than most, and it means zilch. Realtors don’t care; clients don’t care. Everyone wants the same thing which is to hit contract dates without excuses. Like everyone else I crammed before the test, bought some practice exams, did some forgettable education, passed the tests and the next day I quickly forgot it all then went back to originating. The same goes for Continuing ED; I click through a bunch of screens and forgot everything a few hours later. At my bank they flood us with training – do the vast majority of LOs remember the minutiae? Big producers will produce regardless of if they are licensed or registered and their referral sources don’t care.

“The Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to take actions which could facilitate a transition to mortgage market reform, in a manner that protects consumers and promotes competition. In a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt, the CHLA said that any transitional actions that FHFA takes should focus on these pro-consumer objectives, by promoting competition and consumer access to community-based lenders and by preserving GSE infrastructure to maintain securitization access and a non-discriminatory cash window. Specifically, the CHLA urged FHFA to: Carry out its risk sharing pilots in a manner that preserves competitive access to securitization, prohibits vertical integration, prohibits volume discounts, and tests out a risk sharing guarantee at the loan level; conduct research into the impact of various reform structures on the preservation of a cash window that meets the needs of all lenders and the consumers they serve; complete work on a common securitization platform and single security; adopt immediate G Fee parity and equal terms and conditions for all lenders; and evaluate access and affordability under different risk sharing options.”

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JPMorgan Chase : Ex-JPMorgan trader to challenge UK watchdog over London Whale decision

A former JPMorgan trader charged in the United States over his alleged role in the $6.2 billion “London Whale” trading scandal has won the right to a legal challenge of the British regulator’s decision to drop its investigation into him.

Lawyers said the trader, Julien Grout, might want the investigation to continue in Britain as its findings could affect the case against him in the United States.

A High Court judge ruled on Tuesday that Grout could bring a so-called judicial review of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) decision to end its probe before he was able to respond to the allegations.

Richard Lissack, a barrister for Grout, said the FCA dropped its investigation because of pending U.S. charges. The review would challenge the rationality of that decision, Lissack said.

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Wells Fargo : loses latest bid to end L.A. discrimination suit

Great news!

A federal judge has denied Wells Fargo’s latest bid to end a lawsuit brought by the Los Angeles city government accusing the bank of discriminatory lending that led to a wave of foreclosures among minority borrowers.

In a ruling made public on Monday, U.S. District Judge Otis Wright denied the San Francisco-based bank’s motion to have an appeals court decide whether Los Angeles has legal standing to recover damages under the U.S. Fair Housing Act.

Wells is one of four banks sued by Los Angeles for allegedly giving minorities mortgage loans they could not afford, causing defaults, lower property values and neighborhood blight.

The city is seeking damages for lost tax revenue and increased city expenses in affected neighborhoods.

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How a Trust Lost Over $10 Million on Just One Loan

Here is yet another case with a Lost Note count, DocX Assignments showing the trust acquired the loan after it filed for foreclosure and years after the trust closed.  The Lost Note was found (of course) and the found version was endorsed (of course) but the case is still noteworthy because of the amount of loss to the trust – over $10 million and still growing.  Now how many retirees really wanted to invest in a $12 million dollar oceanfront spec home?

3621 S. Ocean Blvd.
Highlands Beach, FL  33487

13,244 sq ft., 5 beds, 7 baths
Oceanfront Mansion


Mortgage History

2-17-2004 Eastern Savings Bank

7-13-2004 Countrywide $999,999
7-13-2004 Countrywide $6 million

1-11-2005 (private lender) $600,000
1-11-2005 (private lender) $500,001

9-15-2005 American Home Mortgage Acceptance  $11,860,000



Purchased in April, 2001 for $5,500,000
New Home Constructed

U.S. Bank, NA, as Trustee for
American Home Mortgage Investment Trust 2005-4
Filed for foreclosure on November 3, 2008

Final judgment entered for U.S. Bank on 9-26-2013 for $17,833,673

Listed for sale 7-4-2014 for $8,500,000

Read on.