Daily Archives: August 18, 2014

Report: Grand jury to hear evidence in Michael Brown case

FERGUSON, Missouri – The office of the county prosecutor has said a grand jury could start hearing evidence Wednesday in the fatal shooting of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown by a white police officer on August 9.

Ed Magee, a spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, told the Associated Press that authorities aim to start presenting the case Wednesday, the grand jury’s regular meeting date.

“We’re going to attempt to present evidence to the grand jury on Wednesday,” Magee told msnbc, stressing the word “attempt.”

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Who said the MSR market was frozen?

Back in April, Ocwen Financial (OCN) Executive Chairman William Erbey said that the entire mortgage servicing rights market was frozen by the New York Department Financial Service, after the DFS put a $2.7 billion MSR deal between Ocwen and Wells Fargo (WFC) on an indefinite hold.

“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 at the time. “The whole market has stopped until that gets resolved.”

While that may be true from his perspective, indeed New York is reportedly deepening its investigation, recent activity shows a fair amount of activity elsewhere in the space.

In fact, since Erbey made his proclamation, at least $9.2 billion in in MSRs have been brought to the market.

In May, a $3 billion Fannie Mae bulk MSR portfolio was offered by MountainView Servicing Group, which acted as the exclusive broker for the deal. In June, another $1 billion in Fannie-backed MSRs hit the market.

In July, more than $4 billion in MSRs was brought to the market in two separate deals. First, Seattle-based HomeStreet (HMST), the parent company of HomeStreet Bank, agreed to sell approximately $3 billionin MSRs to SunTrust Mortgage.

Then, an additional $1 billion in MSRs hit the market later in the month, consisting of loans backed by Fannie,Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae.

And earlier this month, $1.2 billion more in MSRs was brought to the market, boasting Fannie and Ginnie-backed loans.

Now, nearly $5 billion more in bulk MSRs is available for sale, according to Mountainview and Interactive Mortgage Advisors, which are each acting as the exclusive sale advisor for two new deals.

The larger of the two offerings is a $3.17 billion pool of MSRs, backed by Ginnie Mae.

“The seller is a well-known, independent mortgage banking entity with strong financials to stand behind all representations and warranties, as well as, experienced senior management to facilitate a smooth transaction in all areas,” Interactive said in an announcement.

The pool carries a weighted average note rate of 3.67% and a service fee of 29.41 basis points. The pool also carries a 12-month average escrow balance of 1.07% of the unpaid principal balance and is sub-serviced by a “nationally known company.”

Bids for the pool are due Wednesday, August 27 by 12:00 p.m. Mountain time.


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Ocwen Financial Corp Shareholder Alert: Former SEC Attorney Willie Briscoe and Powers Taylor Investigate Possible Breaches of Fiduciary Duty by Officers and Directors

DALLAS, Aug 18, 2014 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Former United States Securities and Exchange Commission attorney Willie Briscoe, founder of The Briscoe Law Firm, PLLC, and the securities litigation firm of Powers Taylor LLP announce that a federal class action lawsuit has been filed against Ocwen Financial Corporation (“Ocwen” or “Company”) OCN, -2.30% and several officers and directors for acts taken during the period of May 2, 2013 to August 11, 2014 (the “Class Period”).

Based upon the allegations in the class action, the firms are investigating additional legal claims against the officers and Board of Directors of Ocwen. If you are an affected Ocwen shareholder and want to learn more about the lawsuit or join the action, contact Willie Briscoe at The Briscoe Law Firm, PLLC, (214) 239-4568, or via email at WBriscoe@TheBriscoeLawFirm.com, or Patrick Powers at Powers Taylor LLP, toll free (877) 728-9607, or via email at shareholder@powerstaylor.com. There is no cost or fee to you.


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Ocwen Financial Received SEC Subpoena in June Related to Business Dealings

Ocwen Financial Corp. OCN -2.30% said it received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission in June related to the mortgage servicer’s business dealings and added the agency plans to serve a subpoena tied to its plans to restate certain financial statements.

According to the company’s quarterly regulatory filing, the SEC requested various documents related to Ocwen’s business dealings with Altisource, Home Loan Servicing Solutions Ltd. HLSS +0.57% , Altisource Asset Management Corp. AAMC +1.38% andAltisource Residential Corp. RESI +1.06% , as well as the interests of the company’s directors and executive officers in those companies.

Ocwen’s executive chairman, William C. Erbey, also serves as chairman for Altisource, HLSS, AAMC and Residential, according to the filing.

In addition, the SEC informed Ocwen that it plans to serve the company with an additional subpoena tied to its plan to amend its filing for last year and the first quarter.

Ocwen said it is cooperating with the SEC on these matters.


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Blow to banks’ living wills over Federal Reserve’s lending window

Global banks can no longer assume continuing access to the Federal Reserve’s discount lending window as an element of their living wills, people familiar with the process have warned.

US regulators set out the specific guidance in confidential letters on August 5 detailing why they recently rejected the living wills of the world’s largest banks. Hundreds of banks took advantage of the discount lending window on multiple occasions during the 2008 credit crunch.



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Citibank could lose Argentina banking license


Citibank is stuck.

If the banking giant obeys a US judge’s order and doesn’t pay out on billions of dollars of bonds issued in Argentina under the laws of that country, it risks losing its banking license there — and the $2 billion it has in local deposits.

But if it follows Argentine law and pays out on the bonds, it risks violating a US federal court order.

Citi finds itself in the precarious position on Monday after Manhattan federal court judge Thomas Griesa, who is overseeing the bitter battle between hedge fund mogul Paul Singer and Argentina over $3 billion due on bonds defaulted upon in 2001, ordered the bank not to pay out on some of the country’s locally-issued bonds.

Griesa initially exempted Citi’s Argentine law bonds from his sweeping order stopping payouts to exchange bondholders unless Argentina also paid Singer and other holdout bondholders who won the right to receive full payment.

But Griesa changed his mind about Citi last month after Singer’s lawyers pointed out that some of the bonds for which Citi is custodian were also exchange bonds.

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NY Regulators Hit PwC With $25M Fine, 2-Year Consulting Ban To Financial Institutions

Law360, New York (August 18, 2014, 11:12 AM ET) — New York regulators on Monday hit PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP with a $25 million fine and a two-year ban from providing consulting services to financial institutions under state supervision for allegedly helping a Japanese bank conceal transactions it processed for countries under U.S. sanctions.

The New York Department of Financial Services said that PricewaterhouseCoopers Regulatory Advisory Services altered transaction reports submitted by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. as part of a probe into its processing of transactions for entities based in Sudan, Burma and others under U.S. sanctions…

 Source: Law360

When companies flee U.S. tax system, investors often don’t reap big returns

Establishing a tax domicile abroad to avoid U.S. taxes is a hot strategy in corporate America, but many companies that have done such “inversion” deals have failed to produce above-average returns for investors, a Reuters analysis has found.

Looking back three decades at 52 completed transactions, the review showed 19 of the companies have subsequently outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, while 19 have underperformed. Another 10 have been bought by rivals, three have gone out of business and one has reincorporated back in the United States.

Among the poorest performers in the review were oilfield services and engineering firms, all from Texas. Among them was the first of these companies to invert, McDermott International Inc (>> McDermott International), which moved its tax home-base to Panama in 1983.

Drugmakers are dominating the latest wave of inversions and most of them have outperformed the benchmark index. So far in 2014, five U.S. pharmaceutical firms have agreed to redomicile to Ireland, Canada or the Netherlands. Deals that have not been completed were excluded from the review.

It is impossible to know how the companies might have fared in the market had they not inverted. Innumerable factors other than taxes influence a stock’s performance, and no two of these deals are identical, complicating simple comparisons.

But the analysis makes one thing clear: inversions, on their own, despite largely providing the tax savings that companies seek, are no guarantee of superior returns for investors.

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Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Shot At Least Six Times: Report

Wow, 6 times?? We shall see the autopsy report from the DOJ…

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FERGUSON, Mo. — Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.

One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.

Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.

Read on from NY Times.

Blackstone, TPG near buying UK subprime mortgage lender – SkyNews

(Reuters) – Private equity firms The Blackstone Group LP and TPG Capital Management LP [TPG.UL] are close to buying subprime mortgage lender, Kensington, Britain’s Sky News reported on Sunday.

Sky News said the sale of Kensington, owned by Anglo-South African financial services provider Investec, had not yet been finalised, but a deal could be announced this week.

The television and multimedia news agency said the two firms had lined up a new management team to take charge once the deal is completed. (http://bit.ly/1oGhSi0)

Blackstone and TPG are also expected to pump capital into the business, Sky reported.

Investec bought Kensington, which had specialised in lending to home buyers with a poor credit history, in a 283-million-pound deal in 2007.

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