Daily Archives: January 16, 2015

Body found at California desert resort is missing AIG exec: police

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A body found on the grounds of a California desert resort hotel has been identified as that of a missing AIG executive who failed to turn up for meetings last week, the sheriff’s office said on Friday.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in a brief statement said the remains found in a small pond at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, about 120 miles (193 km) east of Los Angeles, were those of 33-year-old Omar Arce Meza.

A cause of death had not been established for Meza, who lived in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Diane, sheriff’s officials said. They did not say how they believed the body came to be in the pond.

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Banks agree to $2.7m foreclosure settlement with state

Four national banks will pay the state $2.7 million to settle allegations that they violated Massachusetts laws and improperly foreclosed on homeowners during the housing crisis.

Bank of America, the state’s largest bank, along with JP Morgan Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo Bank were all part of the settlement, announced by out-going Attorney General Martha Coakley.

The state accused the banks of sloppy paperwork, including robo-signing documents, and foreclosing on homes even though they didn’t have proper title to do so under state law.

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Beleaguered Bill Erbey exiting Ocwen Financial after 27 years

Peace out, Bill! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

Bill Erbey is walking toward the exit.

The chairman of Ocwen Financial, the beleaguered mortgage servicing company, is expected to step down from his position Friday after more than 27 years on the job — his reputation shredded and his net worth tattered.

Years of regulatory investigations into alleged foreclosure and mortgage -financing shenanigans caught up with Erbey last year.

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Is Ocwen Underwater?

Last May, I wrote in Capital & Main about Ocwen, the non-bank mortgage servicing company that abused California homeowners by failing to honor signed agreements, illegally imposing fees and violating state regulations. In fact, when asked, a top-level Ocwen representative had never heard of the state’s groundbreaking consumer protection law, the Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR). The Ocwen rep said the company had no training for HBOR and no process established to conform to it.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Ocwen ignores its responsibilities to state regulators, the same way it ignores rules for dealing with homeowners. The California Department of Business Oversight alleges that Ocwen failed to deliver the agency documents showing Ocwen’s compliance with HBOR, despite 10 separate requests over 18 months, a subpoena and even a judicial order.

After imposing two comically low fines of $1,000 each, Commissioner of Business Oversight Jan Lynn Owen made a formal notice of intent to suspend Ocwen’s business license in California for one year. That would mean the company would have to immediately sell the servicing rights to more than 378,000 homes, with a principal balance of $95 billion. Nearly one in six loans Ocwen services are in California.

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Finra Fines Merrill Lynch Over Delay in Reporting Allegations Against Adviser

The Financial Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-regulator, fined Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch, saying the brokerage took a year to report allegations that one of its financial advisers was siphoning money from client accounts.

Finra fined Merrill $175,000, saying an initial Oct. 26, 2011, customer complaint against the adviser, Greg Campbell of Clayton, Mo., and a similar complaint from May 25, 2012, weren’t reported to the regulator until Oct. 26, 2012. Both customers accused Mr. Campbell of withdrawing money from their accounts and other misdeeds.

While the complaint went unreported to Finra, Mr. Campbell left Merrill Lynch on Oct. 29, 2011, and joined an LPL Financial Holdings Inc.-affiliated firm a short time later, Finra said. According to authorities, at his new firm, Mr. Campbell continued to steal money from customers; in all, Mr. Campbell misappropriated more than $1.7 million from customers at Merrill Lynch and more than $500,000 from clients at the LPL-affiliated firm, Finra said.

Mr. Campbell was fired from the LPL-affiliated firm after Merrill Lynch disclosed the complaints.

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