Daily Archives: September 4, 2014

Counterpoint: Race does matter in mortgage lending

Data disputes color-blind housing claim

Owning a home has been the cornerstone of the American dream — but a dream rooted in a history of inequity.

The premise of a recent column by Trey Garrison (“Housing shouldn’t look at any color but the color of money,” August 29) claimed that “borrowers aren’t turned down because of the color of their skin”; but rather because of two objective measures: “money for down payment and credit scores.”

This claim is disingenuous and dangerously misleading.

The color of one’s skin has hindered many people of color from fair participation in homeownership. Historic, systematic, and persistent legacies of discrimination in the housing industry have been well-documented (and are still written about, as in the recently buzzed about Atlantic article by Ta-Nehisi Coates “The Case for Reparations”).

Consider for example the most recent Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data. In 2012, there were 1.3 million conventional mortgage loans made; of those, Latinos received only 69,217 loans, African-Americans received 29,405 loans, and Asian American Pacific Islanders received 2,697 loans. There were 4.9 million refinance loans made in 2012, of which Latinos received 76,038, African-Americans received 75,785, and Asian American Pacific Islanders received 10,611.

But if the numbers aren’t enough, the empirical evidence is also damning.

On Sept. 2, Eric T. Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, filed a lawsuit againstEvans Bank, N.A. and Evans Bancorp, Inc. for their failure to make mortgages available in Buffalo’s largely African-American East Side neighborhoods. Alleging that Evans automatically disqualified East Side residents – regardless of their creditworthiness – is just the latest legal challenge involving redlining – a practice of exclusion that stretches as far back as the beginning of the 20th century.

 

Read on.

ONE BANK WITNESS CANNOT LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR RECORDS OF ANOTHER BUSINESS

Cross-posted from The Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen

By Evan M. Rosen

We won another foreclosure trial recently based on an unqualified witness.  This was not the first win from this type of issue and hopefully not the last. In a recent case, the business records which the Plaintiff sought to admit through their witness, were primarily business records of other separate entities who were neither parties to the action nor called as witnesses at trial; to wit: EMS, Chase & Aegis. The witness did not even qualify to admit the records of her own employer, SPS.

“A witness may not testify to a matter unless evidence is introduced which is sufficient to support a finding that the witness has personal knowledge of the matter.” FLA. STAT. §90.604 (emphasis added).  “Testimony must be based on matters perceived by the senses of the witness.”  C. Ehrhardt, Florida Evidence §604.1 (2014  Edition). Additionally, when introducing the business records of a company, which are hearsay, Plaintiff must meet the requirements of the business records exception in Florida Statute §90.803(6). Business records may be admitted, by a records custodian or other qualified witness, if the proponent of the evidence demonstrates the following: (1) the record was made at or near the time of the event; (2) was made by or from information transmitted by a person with knowledge; (3) was kept in the ordinary course of a regularly conducted business activity; and (4) that it was a regular practice of that business to make such a record. Yisrael v. State, 993 So. 2d 952, 956 (Fla. 2008). A business record may not be admitted into evidence by someone who is not a records custodian or other qualified witness. See Specialty Linings, Inc. v. B.F. Goodrich Co., 532 So. 2d 1121, 1122 (Fla. 2d DCA 1988); Pickrell v. State, 301 So. 2d 473, 474 (Fla. 2d DCA 1974).

Because the business records exception requires personal knowledge, it is widely accepted that “[n]ormally, a record custodian of one business cannot lay a foundation for business records of a second business, even in possession of the first business because the witness would not have personal knowledge of how the second business kept it[s] records and could not testify to the foundation requirements.” C. Ehrhardt, Florida Evidence §803.6 (2014 Edition).

INVESTOR ALERT: Class Action Lawsuit Against Ocwen Financial Corporation Announced by Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP

Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP announces that a class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida on behalf of a class (the “Class”) comprising purchasers of the common stock of Ocwen Financial Corporation (“Ocwen” or the “Company”) (NYSE:OCN) between May 2, 2013 and August 11, 2014, inclusive (the “Class Period”). Investors who have losses of $100,000 or more are encouraged to contact the firm for more information.

Please contact Lesley Portnoy at (888) 773-9224 or (310) 201-9150, or atshareholders@glancylaw.com to discuss this matter. If you inquire by email please include your mailing address, telephone number and number of shares purchased.

Breaking: Former VA Gov. McDonnell found guilty on 11 counts and wife found guilty on 9 counts

Maureen McDonnell guilty on eight corruption counts

Maureen McDonnell guilty on eight corruption counts and obstruction of justice.

Robert F. McDonnell has been found guilty of 11 counts — all corruption charges.

Washington Post:
Here’s the verdict, count by count, in the Robert F. and Maureen McDonnell corruption trial:

Count 1: Conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 2: Honest services wire fraud: $15,000 wedding check

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 3: Honest services wire fraud: MoBo $50,000

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 4: Honest services wire fraud: MoBo $20,000

Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 5: Conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 6: Obtaining property under color of official right: $50,000 in 2011 to MGM

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 7: Obtaining property under color of official right: $15,000 wedding check

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 8: Obtaining property under color of official right: $2,380 Kinloch 5/29/2011

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 9: Obtaining property under color of official right: $1,424 Kinloch 1/7/2012

Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 10: Obtaining property under color of official right: $50,000 MoBo

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 11: Obtaining property under color of official right: $20,000 MoBo

Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 12: False statement to Townebank on 10/03/2012

Maureen G. McDonnell: N/A

Robert F. McDonnell: Guilty

Count 13: False statement to PenFed on 02/01/2013

Maureen G. McDonnell: Not guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: Not guilty

Count 14: Obstruction of an official proceeding

Maureen G. McDonnell: Guilty

Robert F. McDonnell: N/A

With no fanfare, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer set sentencing for Jan. 6 at 10 a.m.

Correction: Maureen McDonnell is found guilty for 9 counts not 8 counts.

Elizabeth Warren: Cantor Hit Revolving Door At A ‘Speed That Would Blind You’

“This is wrong,” (Senator) Warren told Katie Couric about Cantor’s new gig in an interview withYahoo News. “People work in Washington and, man, they hit that revolving door with a speed that would blind you.”

This photo should be shown to every candidate running for office. People need to ask the candidates running for offices: Are you serving yourself or are you serving the public?

eric-cantor-wall-street-090314

 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the Bank Bailouts and Student Loans – David Letterman

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren talks about the bank bailouts and the debt associated with student loans.

 

 

China Securitization Surge Raises Concerns

China’s securitization market is booming, as Beijing relaxes rules to help funding for companies and ease the strains on banks. That is triggering worries the surge could add risks to the financial system.

Sales of asset-backed bonds so far this year have jumped to $19.7 billion, up from $3 billion for all of 2013, according to data tracker Dealogic. The Chinese securitization market overtook South Korea’s this year to become the largest in Asia except Japan.

A variety of institutions have led the spree, including large government-owned banks and local lenders unloading loans from their books and packaging them into products such as collateralized loan obligations, which make up the bulk of such asset-backed securities in China. Financing units of car makers from Ford Motor Co. F -0.74% to Volkswagen AGVOW3.XE +1.49% have sold debt instruments composed of bundled auto loans.

Asset securitization provides businesses with an additional channel of credit as banks have become increasingly selective about lending and are looking to clean up their balance sheets.

“Securitization can in theory help banks vacate existing loans from their balance sheets, making room to lend to the underserviced sector in the economy,” said Goldman SachsGS -0.09% economist MK Tang.

 

Read on.