Daily Archives: October 13, 2014

The shocking truths for homeowners struggling against foreclosure

Several big banks have negotiated large settlements with the Department of Justice for their role in the housing bubble and subsequent economic collapse.

While the historic settlements sound promising on the surface, a study by Denbeaux & Denbeaux law firm exposes why struggling homeowners shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for relief.

The report, “Mortgage Fraud” finds that:

New Jersey homeowners subject to the first Agreement made by the Attorneys General were not apprised or made aware by Wells Fargo that they already had the protections and the right to the promised modifications that were contained in the California Class Action Settlement. Instead, these homeowners were sent the “new” settlement agreement which contained promises and protections they already had (not explained) and a check in the amount of $178.04 in exchange for all their rights and defenses.

The report also claims that Wells Fargo has perpetrated a seemingly endless cycle of misleading, deceptive and exploitative practices in response to its misleading, deceptive and exploitative practices. Not only did Wells Fargo and its predecessors:

  • issue the predatory and misleading loans;
  • settle with multiple States’ Attorneys’ General without requiring homeowners to waive any rights to entice the Attorneys’ General to drop their actions;
  • subsequently enter into the California Class Action Agreement which offered no further modification benefits to the class members but violated the original agreements by enforcing a waiver of all legal rights by class members;
  • move aggressively forward with foreclosures and insist that class members could not defend against these suits because any right to defend their homes had been waived; but now Wells Fargo has been found to have:
  • violated the California Class Action Agreement

Read on.

Portland couple who won apology from Nationstar in foreclosure case say it’s trying to foreclose again


A Portland couple who received a loan modification and an apology from Nationstar Mortgage last year to settle their wrongful-foreclosure claims now say the company is trying to foreclose again even though they made all their monthly payments.

Michael and Judy McEldery of Northeast Portland found themselves facing foreclosure last year when they say Nationstar Mortgage — as a pretext to initiate the process — delayed applying one of their payments until after its due date.

The couple sought to block the foreclosure, and Michael McEldery, 67, followed up with claims the company had engaged in elder abuse, unlawful trade practices and breached its contract with him. The company agreed to apologize and modify the loan and bring it current to settle the case, said Michael Fuller, the McElderys’ attorney.

But this summer, the McElderys say, their payments to Nationstar were applied late again. Contacted by Fuller, Nationstar said their account was $45,000 in arrears.

The new complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Portland on Thursday, accuses Nationstar of breaching the settlement agreement and illegally profiting from payments the McElderys have made in the meantime, when they believed a modification was in place.

“Now my clients are at risk of losing their home once again,” Fuller said. “It’s almost exactly the same conduct, except this time we’ve got a signed modification agreement.”

A Nationstar spokesman said the company doesn’t comment on litigation.

Read on.

Meet The Wells Fargo Bank Employee Who Asked His CEO For A $10,000 Raise, And CC’d 200,000 Colleagues

Portland, Oregon-based Wells Fargo branch employee Tyrel Oates showed some real guts last week when he emailed the bank’s CEO asking for a $10,000 raise for himself and his colleagues and then CC’ing 200,000 employees. (The full letter is below.)

Oates, 30, told Business Insider that he’s not worried about losing his job.

The positive has far outweighed the negative. So far, he’s received only two negative responses.

Oates also told us why he sent the letter and why he CC’d 200,000 Wells Fargo employees.

Here’s our Q&A:

BI: What responsibility do you think the CEO of Wells Fargo has to address inequality?

TO: As the leader of a multibillion-dollar company, he is in a position to create major change in the practices of how income is distributed.

BI: Why do you think you’re underpaid? Can you explain why you think you deserve more money?

TO: Companies try to say they offer competitive salaries, but this is only because they understand that since Company A pays this much for a job that Companies B and C only need to pay as much as well. The vast majority of Americans are underpaid in relation to the income their companies bring in, profits skyrocket, while wages and salaries remain stagnant.

BI: Can you explain your job? What do you do in a typical day? How many hours do you work?

TO: I work Monday to Friday, 40 hours a week, and overtime as needed, processing cease-and-desist requests. Without the role the company would be at risk for FDCPA violations, opening themselves up to thousands of dollars lawsuits each day, if we were to continue to attempt direct collections communications with our customer.

BI: What do your colleagues think of the letter? Have you received a lot of support? 

TO: Out of the hundreds of replies I’ve received from colleagues supporting my actions and ideas, I’ve only received two negative replies.

BI: What are your thoughts on Wall Street and the banking industry? 

TO: Wall Street and the banking industry have both the power and influence to create a lot progressive action in fighting income inequality.

BI: Are you worried about losing your job? 

TO: I’m not worried about losing my job.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/tyrel-oates-interview-2014-10#ixzz3G41uFbsf

In fight against fraud, Chase, Wells Fargo are quietly harvesting some callers’ voiceprints

LONDON — “This call may be monitored.”

You hear it every time you phone your bank about a lost credit card or an unexpected charge. You may realize your bank is recording you, but did you know it could be taking your biometric data, too?

An Associated Press investigation has found that two of America’s biggest retail banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo & Co. — are quietly recording the biometric details of some callers’ voices to weed out fraud. The technology, sometimes called voiceprinting, is aimed at bad guys rather than legitimate customers, but legal and privacy experts alike still have reservations about the practice.

“Reducing fraud is a good thing,” said Jay Stanley, an analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union. But he warned that “we can’t anticipate what bright new uses this database will be put to in the future.”

Blacklists help banks by alerting them to repeat calls from clever crooks who try to break into people’s accounts armed with personal data gleaned from credit bureau reports or stolen in high-profile cyberattacks like the ones which have rocked Target and other major U.S. retailers.

Read on.

UBS : Former UBS banker fined in Switzerland for handing data to U.S.

A former banker at Switzerland’s biggest bank, UBS, has been found guilty of handing over protected Swiss bank account data to the United States, according to a penalty order issued by the Swiss prosecutors’ office.

According to the order the banker was found to have breached Swiss data privacy laws but not its banking secrecy laws which the U.S. authorities have long tried to penetrate in their pursuit of suspected tax evaders.

A lawyer for Renzo Gadola declined to comment on the matter.

Read on.

UBS : Former senior UBS banker goes on trial in Florida for tax evasion

Former high-ranking UBS bank executive Raoul Weil goes to trial in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Tuesday for allegedly helping thousands of Americans avoid paying taxes by concealing up to $20 billion in secret Swiss bank accounts.

Weil, 54, was the third-highest ranked executive at the Zurich-based wealth management giant and was charged by U.S. authorities in 2008. An international arrest warrant was issued in 2009. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy to commit tax fraud.

“We are preparing diligently for trial,” said Weil’s New York-based attorney, Aaron Marcu.

The United States in recent years has stepped up its pursuit of Swiss banks for their role in aiding tax evasion and increasingly pressured individual bankers. Since 2009, the Justice Department has charged more than 70 taxpayers and 30 bankers and advisers in a probe of offshore activities.

Authorities are also examining whether 14 Swiss banks had roles in helping potentially tens of thousands of Americans avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

Read on.

CFPB is after mini-correspondent lenders

Now the CFPB is after mini-correspondent lenders.

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has focused recently on mini-correspondent lenders. Mini-correspondents are a type of small mortgage banker that close loans in their own name. Once closed, they sell the mortgage to a larger lender and generally don’t have a net worth high enough to hold onto the loans.

In July, the CFPB said it’s “concerned that some mortgage brokers may be shifting to the mini-correspondent model under the mistaken belief that identifying themselves as such would automatically exempt them from important consumer protection rules affecting broker compensation.”

CFPB is considering more changes to the mini-correspondent business model, but that led the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to send a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray asking the agency not to eliminate “mini-correspondent” lending altogether.