Daily Archives: February 9, 2015

Ocwen CEO Vows to Shrink Servicer as Complaints Rise

Ocwen simply cheapen their business. 70% of Ocwen’s employees are in India…

(Bloomberg) — Ocwen Financial Corp., which agreed with regulators in December to improve its mortgage servicing, sent Nathan Fitzgerald a notice saying his loan was in default. If he didn’t send a $2,266 check immediately, Ocwen said, it would foreclose on him.

The warning in January shocked Fitzgerald, who said he never missed a payment on his three-bedroom home near Napa, California, and sent Ocwen bank records to prove it.

“This is a nightmare,” said Fitzgerald, 53, owner of a real estate and investment firm. “I have spent endless hours on the phone trying to get this fixed, and I’ve gotten nowhere.”

Complaints against Ocwen from borrowers continue to pour in to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, showing the magnitude of the firm’s challenges following its December settlement with regulators. After the departure of founder and Chairman William Erbey last month, Ocwen is preparing to sell part of its servicing business to simplify operations. It also needs to overhaul its compliance process and technology to regain the confidence of investors, said Douglas Harter, an analyst at Credit Suisse AG.

“One of the first tasks after Erbey’s departure is making sure they have the right infrastructure in place to catch these mistakes,” Harter said. “They are going to have a long road in rebuilding their reputation with regulators, investors and borrowers.”

Kingstown Stake

Through a spokesman, David Millar at Sard Verbinnen & Co., Ocwen said it is aware of Fitzgerald’s complaint.

Read on.

Wells Fargo plays cat-and-mouse game with annual meeting — again

Wells Fargo is the nation’s mightiest bank by market cap, but it’s still a little shy about saying where it will hold its annual meeting.

The bank said it’s not disclosing the place until filing its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the last week of February. The bank, led by Chairman and CEO John Stumpf, revealed in last year’s proxy that this year’s annual meeting will be held April 28. What Wells didn’t say then is where — and if you call the bank now, they won’t tell you.

Read on.

Another JPMorgan Banker Dies After Murder-Suicide: Chokes Wife, Stabs Himself To Death

(Bloomberg) — A JPMorgan Chase & Co. employee strangled and stabbed his wife to death before turning the knife on himself, according to police who are treating the couple’s death in Bergen County, New Jersey as a murder-suicide.

Michael A. Tabacchi, 27, and his wife, Iran Pars Tabacchi, 41, were found dead Friday about 11:30 p.m. in the bedroom of their Closter home after a 911 call placed by the husband’s father, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said in an interview. Closter is located in northern New Jersey, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) from midtown Manhattan.

Autopsy results on Sunday showed the wife died of strangulation and a stab wound to the chest while Michael Tabacchi died from a single self-inflicted stab to the chest, he said.

Read on.

Belgium considers arrest warrant against HSBC Switzerland directors

The judge in charge of a Belgian investigation into the Swiss private banking arm of HSBC is considering issuing an international arrest warrant for the group’s directors because they are not cooperating, a prosecution spokeswoman said.

Belgium charged the unit with tax fraud and money laundering in November, accusing the British-based bank of offering diamond dealers and other wealthy clients in Belgium ways of hiding cash and evading tax.

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MPs to probe HSBC over tax evasion

A panel of MPs said on Monday they planned to open an inquiry into HSBC Holdings Plc , after media reports that the bank helped wealthy customers dodge taxes and conceal millions of dollars of assets.

The British bank admitted compliance failings by its Swiss subsidiary on Monday, following reports based on documents obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that alleged the bank had helped clients hide money from tax authorities across Europe.

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Denmark seeks names of HSBC Swiss account holders

Denmark said on Monday it would seek the names of its citizens who may have used Swiss bank accounts to avoid tax at home, following media reports that the Swiss private banking unit of Britain’s HSBC helped its customers do just that.

HSBC on Sunday acknowledged its Swiss business had experienced compliance and control failures when it was newly acquired and not fully integrated.

Reports that HSBC helped customers evade tax stem from a leaked list of account holders obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

The list included 329 Danes who had 4.8 billion crowns (480 million pounds) in Swiss accounts, said newspaper Politiken, which had access to the data. But although the list was shared by French authorities with other countries, Denmark had not asked for a copy.

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U.S. considering reopening 2012 HSBC deferred prosecution deal

HSBC and other banks and companies that commit crimes should never be given deferred prosecution…

HSBC Holdings plc could see its 2012 deferred prosecution deal with U.S. authorities over anti-money laundering lapses reopened as a result of separate, ongoing probes into the bank’s alleged role in manipulating currency rates and helping Americans evade taxes, a U.S. law enforcement official said on Monday.

“It is quite possible that the [agreement] may be reopened as a result of the bank’s activities on either or both the tax evasion and foreign exchange manipulation front,” the official, who declined to be named, said.

Under the terms of the 2012 agreement, HSBC was obligated for five years to both fully cooperate with prosecutors on any other investigations and commit no crimes after it signed the deal.

Source: 4-traders

NY regulator puts monitor in Deutsche to probe possible forex rigging – sources

(Reuters) – New York’s banking regulator has installed a monitor at Deutsche Bank (>> Deutsche Bank AG) to investigate possible manipulation of the foreign exchange market, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Treliant Risk Advisors, a Washington, D.C.-based firm, was chosen by New York’s Department of Financial Services to probe Deutsche Bank’s foreign exchange operation, with a focus on algorithms in the bank’s electronic trading platform, sources said.

The New York regulator’s focus on automated trading suggests that potential currency price manipulation may extend beyond alleged collusion between certain individual employees that has been the focus of regulatory probes and private litigation.

Read on.

Barney Frank: Risk retention is enough to regulate mortgage lending

Former Congressman Barney Frank, coauthor of the eponymous Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, kicked off his keynote address to a standing-room only crowd in the main room at the ABS Vegas 2015, the Structured Finance Industry Group/IMN capital markets conference at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

This is the second ABS Vegas conference since the split of SFIG from the American Securitization Forum.

More than 6,000 traders, investors and structured finance/securitization professionals turned out for the three-and-a-half day program, developed by leaders representing the full spectrum of industry participants including investors, issuers, financial intermediaries, regulators, law firms, accounting firms, technology firms, rating agencies, servicers and trustees.

“I have always been skeptical of the notion that the housing policy should be to expand homeownership,” Frank said. “People should have decent homes. Whether they own them is secondary.”

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SEC filings reveal BlackRock’s substantial interest in housing

Over the last few weeks, HousingWire has chronicled the stock ownership disclosures of BlackRock (BLK), revealing that the company holds significant interest in many of housing’s biggest names, including Altisource Residential Corporation (RESI), Home Loan Servicing Solutions (HLSS), CoreLogic (CLGX) and Lowe’s (LOW).

As it turns out, those disclosures only scratch the surface of how deep BlackRock’s roots are engrained in housing.

New filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that BlackRock holds a substantial stake in at least seven of the biggest players in housing, including Trulia (TRLA), Fidelity National Financial (FNF),Walter Investment Management Corp. (WAC), Radian(RDN), Home Depot (HD), MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG), and PHH Corporation (PHH).

Of those seven companies, BlackRock’s ownership stake in Home Depot is the largest, by far. According to SEC filings, BlackRock holds 83,613,413 shares of Home Depot, which represents 6.4% of Home Depot’s total outstanding shares.

And with Home Depot trading at $108.69 as of 12:04 p.m. Eastern on Monday, BlackRock’s stake in Home Depot is worth $9.1 billion.

Read on.