Monthly Archives: February 2015

NJ Gov. Chris Christie Settles ExxonMobil Case After Oil Giant Gave RGA Big Cash

Before Gov. Chris Christie’s administration abruptly settled long-running state environmental litigation against ExxonMobil for far less than originally expected, the oil behemoth donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Republican group that Christie ran and that financed his election campaigns. Additionally, the Christie administration office that engineered the settlement had been run by a former Exxon lawyer.

When the case was initiated in 2004, when Democrat James McGreevey was governor, New Jersey sought $8.9 billion in damages in a suit alleging that ExxonMobil damaged more than 1,500 acres of waterfront and meadows. Yet, according to documents reported on by the New York Times on Friday, the Christie administration is settling the suit for just $250 million. Based on ExxonMobil’s 2014 revenue of $411.9 billion, it will take the company roughly 5 hours to generate the sales to pay out the settlement.

Federal records show that the reduction, which represents a huge gift to ExxonMobil, follows a wave of campaign cash from the company to the Christie-run Republican Governors Association.

Since Christie’s first run for governor in 2009, ExxonMobil has donated more than $1.9 million to the group, according to data compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine.com. That includes $79,000 during Christie’s 2009 campaign and $200,000 during his re-election campaign in 2013. It also includes $500,000 when he chaired the organization during the 2014 election cycle.

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Ocwen Comments on Notice From Trustee

ATLANTA, Feb. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Ocwen Financial Corporation (NYSE:OCN), a leading financial services holding company, today commented that on February 24, 2015 Ocwen received notice from a trustee that a majority of Certificateholders of two Trusts had voted to terminate Ocwen as Servicer following an event of default triggered when Ocwen’s servicer ratings were downgraded in October 2014. These two Pooling and Servicing Agreements (“PSAs”) represent $260 million of unpaid principal balance or 0.07% of Ocwen’s overall servicing portfolio and $0.8 million in MSR value.

These two PSAs were part of the 119 transactions referenced in our February 5, 2015 Form 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company believes the financial impact of these transfers will be immaterial to Ocwen’s overall financial condition.

“We regret the decision made by this particular group of investors who have been critical of Ocwen’s superior loan modification results, but are pleased that in the majority of the affected securities investors are keeping Ocwen as their servicer,” commented Ron Faris, President and CEO of Ocwen. “We were also gratified to see reports earlier this week by Morgan Stanley and reported by Bloomberg confirming Ocwen has been more effective at keeping borrowers in their homes, and it is unlikely that investors will replace Ocwen in the small percentage of cases where the servicer ratings have fallen below the minimum criteria set forth in certain PSAs.”

– See more at: http://globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/02/27/710989/10122439/en/Ocwen-Comments-on-Notice-From-Trustee.html#sthash.Sp7U9Ilz.dpuf

Mortgage Mess: Broker falsifies documents forcing clients into foreclosure

FOX6Now.com

PITTSBURGH (WITI) — One woman’s good intentions and desire for profit led dozens of families into foreclosures.

“She saw there were so many people who wanted to live the American dream — buy a house who couldn’t afford it,” explained U.S. Postal Inspector Lisa Zerhusen.

Sylvia Bland operated a home renovation business.

“She would buy properties, rehab them and sell them,” Zerhusen said.

At some point, things changed.

“She saw people who wanted houses and couldn’t qualify them from a traditional bank. So, she decided she would help these people get loans,” Zerhusen said.

Bland became a mortgage broker.

“She would take all of their information. She would find a lender. She would submit whatever the lender wanted to make this go through  — Sylvia would make it happen,” Zerhusen explained.

MortgageMess1 Sylvia Bland was sentenced to two and a half years in prison after falsifying documents to obtain mortgage loans for clients.

In…

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Mitra Erami v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA

Chase failed to pay assistant branch managers for overtime, or to provide them with meal and rest breaks, a class claims.

Source: Courthouse News

Victims of L.A. street gangs sued HSBC Bank in federal RICO class action, claims the bank is partly responsible because it accepts and launders money for the gangsters

LOS ANGELES (CN) – Victims of L.A. street gangs sued HSBC Bank in a federal RICO class action, claiming the bank is partly responsible because it accepts and launders money for the gangsters, who are associated with the Sinaloa drug cartel.
Four named plaintiffs sued the bank on Feb. 25, claiming that the bank “conspired to wrongfully take plaintiffs’ property, including money, hide its source through money laundering and use the money to fund the Sinaloa drug cartel.”
They claim that HSBC acknowledged its money laundering in a 2012 deferred-prosecution agreement with the federal government. Prosecutors identified more than 3,000 HSBC accounts used to launder money for the Sinaloa cartel, the plaintiffs say, citing a July 17, 2012 hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

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City of Los Angeles Files State Court Cases Against Four Banks

LOS ANGELES (CN) – City of Los Angeles on Friday filed predatory lending clams against four major banks in state court.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer last year sued Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. http://www.courthousenews.com/2013/12/09/63550.htm His federal lawsuit claimed that predatory lending in poor, minority communities reduced city property tax revenue and left taxpayers on the hook for maintenance of foreclosed homes. Estimated damages to the city totaled $1 billion, the filings claimed.

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Credit Suisse says lifts provisions in U.S. mortgage securities case

Credit Suisse (>> Credit Suisse Group AG) said on Friday it would put aside more funds for a U.S. probe and other litigation about whether the Swiss bank deceived investors in risky mortgage-backed securities it had issued in the run-up to the financial crisis.

The Zurich lender’s surprise move to tack on 277 million Swiss francs ($290.66 million) to legal reserves and revise fourth-quarter results of just two weeks ago comes one day after U.S. rival Morgan Stanley (>> Morgan Stanley) said it expected to pay $2.6 billion to resolve potential claims stemming from its sale of mortgage bonds before the financial crisis.

“Developments in industry-wide litigation and investigations in the United States relating to mortgages have resulted in an increase in provisions relating to this issue subsequent to the disclosure of the bank’s preliminary 2014 results,” Credit Suisse said in a statement late on Friday, without elaborating.

The U.S. government’s examination of financial crisis-era mortgage abuses is now Credit Suisse’s biggest legal worry, after it last year set aside a years-long U.S. probe into its dealings with Americans evading taxes by pleading guilty to a criminal charge and agreeing to pay more than $2.5 billion in penalties.

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