Daily Archives: July 9, 2014

CFPB Clarifies Rule That Could Cause Heirs To Lose Their Homes

Holder won’t meet with BofA CEO as mortgage talks stall: sources

Attorney General Eric Holder has formally refused to meet with Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Brian Moynihan to hammer out a multibillion-dollar deal, as talks to resolve probes into shoddy mortgage securities sold by the bank and its units remain at a standstill, according to people familiar with the matter.

In a letter sent in the second half of June, Holder told Moynihan that the parties remained too far apart for a meeting to be productive, one source said.

No negotiations between the second largest U.S. bank and the U.S. Department of Justice have taken place since the second week in June, several people said.

Read on.

Breaking news: Federal Judge rules against MERS in Philadelphia

MERS chart

Inquirer.com (sub. req.):


Montgomery County could receive nearly $16 million – or more – from a federal ruling against the banking industry’s mortgage registry, and attorneys are now reaching out to other counties nationwide to get in on the action.

U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner in Philadelphia ruled June 30 that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems and its parent company, Merscorp Inc., collectively known as MERS, violated Pennsylvania law by using its members-only database to circumvent county recorder of deeds offices.

As a result, Joyner ruled, counties lost millions of dollars in fees, the accuracy of public records was compromised, and home loans were sold time and again without the knowledge of homeowners or county recorders.

“Over the past several years, a number of residents who were facing foreclosures didn’t know who owned their mortgage or to whom they should be making their mortgage payments,” Joyner wrote.

If the ruling stands, it would be a costly setback for MERS, which handles more than half of all home loans in the United States and was created for the purpose of avoiding the time and expense of county records.

Merscorp president Bill Beckmann said in a statement that he disagreed with Joyner’s interpretation and that the firm is “currently pursuing all options available to us in the legal process.”

Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds Nancy J. Becker brought the suit in 2011. This February, she was granted class-action status to sue on behalf of all 67 recorders in the commonwealth.

The suit claims that Montgomery County alone lost $15.7 million in recording fees from 2004 to 2011. But Becker said Tuesday that was “a very, very conservative estimate.”

“We took all the MERS mortgages between 2004 and 2011 and then multiplied them by two, assuming they were sold once,” Becker said. “But other recorders in other states … have found most of these mortgages were sold 10 to 12 times.”

If MERS’s holdings across the state are comparable to those in Montgomery County, that could translate to more than $1 billion just in lost recording fees. Becker’s suit also seeks reparations for unjust enrichment and other damages.

New bank leak shows how rich exploit tax haven loopholes

A secret list of account holders reveals how rich Britons are legally exploiting tax havens, despite a UK government crackdown.

The identities of thousands of wealthy offshore clients of a major Channel Isles private bank have been leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The individuals include donors to the British government, which has been outspoken against tax havens, and some of the most prominent people in British life.

The ICIJ has exclusively allowed The Guardiannewspaper to analyze more than 20,000 of the names, all of whom had dealings with a discreet Jersey, Channel Islands branch of Kleinwort Benson, a famous London firm which specializes in “wealth management”.

In the interests of transparency, ICIJ and The Guardianwill publish some of their findings over the coming days, detailing the offshore links of political donors; international celebrities; judges; sportsmen; businessmen; and British aristocrats.

Names range from vacuum cleaner tycoon James Dyson to Hollywood actor Mel Gibson. Today The Guardian identifies party donors who over the years have paid more than £8m to the governing Conservative party.

One of the recipients of donations is Britain’s newly-promoted financial services minister, Andrea Leadsom, who has run into a “Cash for Office” allegation after she told The Guardian she was unaware of the size of large offshore  donations to the Conservatives made by her own  family.

Read the full story on ICIJ.org.

This bank has the most loyal customers: No, not the big banks.

Banks have some of the worst reputations in the country, and customers often hate them. But one bank has customers that don’t simply like it. They love it.

The importance of treating customers well

Warren Buffett once said:

If we are delighting customers, eliminating unnecessary costs and improving our products and services, we gain strength. But if we treat customers with indifference or tolerate bloat, our businesses will wither. On daily basis, the effects of our actions are imperceptible; cumulatively, though, their consequences are enormous.


But it turns out, there’s one bank that crushes not only Bank of America and SunTrust, but all of the banks out there.

That bank? USAA. And it isn’t even close.

The big bank that could

USAA provides all sorts of financial services to its customers, including not only banking, but also insurance, investment, and retirement products. But technically it doesn’t have customers, it has members — and over 10 million of them to be exact — who are current or former members of the U.S. military and their families.

And it doesn’t simply provide the services, it delivers them in a way its customers love. In the words of Satmetrix:

For the fifth year in a row, USAA led the loyalty rankings not only in the banking category (81 points), but also in the automotive insurance (81 points) and home/contents insurance (84 points) categories. SunTrust Bank’s NPS came in at a distant second — just 45 points. For the second year in a row, HSBC trailed the category with a score of -14 points.

Read on.

The Intercept finally publishes its “finale”: Naming five US Muslims monitored by the government


Rolling Rebellion, Lawyers and Citizens Protest Seattle Bankster UCC Uniform Law Conference

Deadly Clear

Coming up on July 11th is the national Uniform Law Committee conference in Seattle at the Westin Hotel.

Whether or not you are in foreclosure, if you own a home and have a mortgage or intend some day to own a home, this national ULC conference affects you. For hundreds of years states have owned and recorded their own lands – and now it appears the United States federal government would like that to change.

View original post 1,215 more words

Prosecutors may be building case for Madoff’s son

U.S. prosecutors may still be building a case against imprisoned swindlerBernard Madoff’s only surviving son, who according to sources was one of the “co-conspirators” mentioned in a plea deal by a Madoff associate last month.

Two sources familiar with the Madoff case confirmed to Reuters that people identified only as “co-conspirators” in statements and court documents at accountant Paul Konigsberg’s June 24 plea hearing are Madoff’s sons, Mark and Andrew, who were employees of the Madoff investment firm.

Read on.

Elizabeth Warren’s Question Of Trust Stumps Wall Street Exec

WASHINGTON — It seems like a simple question. With only 15 percent of Americans trusting the stock market and a declining percentage who invest in it, what can market bosses do to restore the people’s faith?

That’s what Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wanted to know in a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday. Her query was sparked in part by revelations in Michael Lewis’ recent book, Flash Boys, about how high-frequency stock trading rigs the markets.

Two witnesses answered Warren’s question fairly easily, saying that increased transparency and a complete, open review of modern trading practices by the Securities and Exchange Commission would go a long way.

But for Thomas Wittman, executive vice president and global head of equities at the company that runs the NASDAQ and several international exchanges, it wasn’t so simple. He wouldn’t even agree that the data Warren cited on declining public trust and decreased investments were related.

Read on.

Wells Fargo Hit With $1B Whistleblower Suit Over HAMP

Case Title


Case Number



New York Southern

Nature of Suit

Other Statutory Actions


Laura Taylor Swain

Law360, Los Angeles (July 08, 2014, 10:54 PM ET) — Wells Fargo Bank NA has been slapped with a False Claims Act whistleblower suit seeking more than $1 billion in damages over allegations that the bank falsely certified that it was in full compliance with relevant laws in a Home Affordable Modification Program servicer agreement, according to court documents made public Tuesday.

In a complaint unsealed June 17, relator Michael J. Fisher — who assisted attorneys in processing home loan modifications via Wells Fargo and other servicers from 2008-12 — claimed the bank falsely certified on…

Read on.