Daily Archives: March 4, 2015

No, the Banks Aren’t Losing

A surprising new line of argument has emerged: Financial regulation is working, Dodd-Frank is one of the major accomplishments of the Obama administration, and the banks are even “humbled.”

JPMorgan Chase has had to defend its business model, as analysts contend that it should be broken up. Management at Citigroup, which bungled its Federal Reserve mandated stress test last year, is in trouble if it does it again. Compensation for investment bankers at places like Goldman Sachs is down. Goldman and Morgan Stanley are shrinking their balance sheets.

But do Lloyd C. Blankfein and Jamie Dimon seem humbled to you?

No, I didn’t think so. Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has aggressively defended his behemoth organization. The supposedly hapless Citigroup drowned its sorrows by watching a little bill it wrote pass into law. Congressional Republicansattached the clause to a must-pass spending bill last year to roll back a major piece of derivatives legislation.

Then just the other day, there were reports of yet another price manipulation investigation — after the sweeping interest rate and foreign exchange investigations that have consumed the financial world over the last several years. I actually had to look it up while writing this because I’d forgotten what this one was about. (It’s a look into whether the banks manipulated the price of metals, incidentally).

So which story line is right? Is banking really changing? Are bankers chastened? Are the banks safer and has their political power waned? Is the economy less dependent on a corrosive financial sector that extracts, rather than creates, value?

Read on.

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AZ Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Foreclosure Consulting Company

Phoenix, AZ – March 4, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced the filing of a consumer fraud lawsuit against Advantage Foreclosure LLC (Advantage) and its owners Matthew and Lynette Van Remoortel. Advantage is an Arizona based company that advertised on the internet site located at http://www.aboutmyforeclosure.com and purports to provide foreclosure consulting services nationwide.

The lawsuit alleges that Advantage and Mr. Van Remoortel violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by making misrepresentations to consumers, failing to disclose material information to consumers, failing to provide promised services after consumers paid for those services, and engaging in unfair acts and practices. Consumer complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Office brought the wrongful practices to light.

“I encourage the public to reach out to my office when they believe they have fallen victim to deceitful or unfair business acts or practices,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “My office is committed to protecting all consumers from fraudulent and unfair business tactics.”

– See more at: http://arizona.realestaterama.com/2015/03/04/attorney-general-files-lawsuit-against-foreclosure-consulting-company-ID0823.html#sthash.NH7dodUX.dpuf

Cliffside Park homeowner’s lawsuit accuses mortgage cos. of using false docs in foreclosure

A Cliffside Park homeowner fighting foreclosure in state court in Hackensack has had trouble determining who owns the rights to collect on her loan and repossess her house, and late last month she took her questions to federal court, where she accused two mortgage companies and a debt collector of relying on false and illegal paperwork to press their case against her.

Patricia Mogavero filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in Newark against Michigan-based mortgage servicer Seterus Inc.; Mount Laurel law firm Phelan Hallinan Diamond and Jones; and the Federal National Mortgage Corp., the government-sponsored mortgage investor also known as Fannie Mae.

Mogavero’s main allegation is that while the defendants have been trying to collect the mortgage refinance loan made in 2006, they have misrepresented who actually owns the paper and have not complied with federal disclosure requirements. The state judiciary put a virtual halt on foreclosures by large banks in 2011 and early 2012 to allow time to root out so-called “robo-signing” and other documentation irregularities in lenders’ home repossession actions.

Read on.

Estero retired police officer suing bank after surprise foreclosure

ESTERO –

A retired policeman got the surprise of his life when he returned from vacation and found his Estero home locked up and a foreclosure sign out front.

But he says he wasn’t behind on his mortgage payments. Now he’s suing the bank and the company who he says broke into his home to chain up his doors.

It all happened last November when 66-year-old Mike Tomasovick, a retired Chicago police officer, received a call from one of his neighbors while he was out of town.

“Asked me what was going on with the house because there’s a sign in your window saying the house is vacant and unsecure,” he said.

Knowing he was up to date on his payments, Tomasovich immediately contacted his mortgage lender – Fifth Third Bank.

“Fifth third said they got some sort of complaint that the house was in a state of disrepair, and they sent somebody out to check on it,” he said.

That somebody was an employee of a company called “Field Asset Services.”

Read on.

No Default Notice Means No Foreclosure, 4th DCA Rules

A hiccup over the notice of default in a foreclosure case proved to be Deutsche Bank Trust Co.’s undoing Wednesday when the Fourth District Court of Appeal sided with the homeowner.

A mailing address was the thread that unraveled the bank’s attempt to recover a house in Port St. Lucie, one of the Florida cities hardest hit by the housing collapse.

Boynton Beach attorney James Bonfiglio of the Law Offices of James A. Bonfiglio argued the bank violated the terms of the mortgage by sending the notice of default to a post office box rather than the property address, which was the official notice address listed in the mortgage.

Even though the house was vacant at the time, the appeals court agreed and remanded the case to the trial court for dismissal with prejudice for noncompliance with the mortgage’s acceleration requirement.

Read more: http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202719610201/No-Default-Notice-Means-No-Foreclosure-4th-DCA-Rules#ixzz3TS1jOPpy

Transcripts: Bernanke was ‘uncomfortable’ with Bank of America bailout

mid the financial crisis in January 2009, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told colleagues he was “uncomfortable” with providing extra aid to Bank of America. But he said he also wasn’t willing to draw a line on bailouts if it meant the failure of such a large firm, according to Fed transcripts released on Wednesday.

The latest batch of transcripts, which are released five years after the end of each year, detail discussions that Fed governors and regional Fed presidents held in private meetings about the economy, interest rates and bank bailouts during tense days in the financial crisis.

On Jan. 16, 2009, Bank of America disclosed that the Fed and other U.S. agencies had crafted a bailout to help stabilize the company in the aftermath of its purchase of investment bank Merrill Lynch. On that day, the Charlotte-based bank revealed that Merrill had lost more than $15 billion in the previous quarter and that the bank itself had lost $2.4 billion.

“We were a little disappointed in Bank of America’s monitoring in that they seemed a bit behind the curve in terms of following the developments at Merrill Lynch,” Bernanke said at the Federal Open Market Committee that morning. “But there were enormous losses at Merrill Lynch that emerged very quickly and that surprised Bank of America and us as well.”

Hospital Sues Bank of America Over Million-Dollar Cyberheist

A public hospital in Washington state is suing Bank of America to recoup some of the losses from a $1.03 million cyberheist that the healthcare organization suffered in 2013.

In April 2013, organized cyber thieves broke into the payroll accounts of Chelan County Hospital No. 1 , one of several hospitals managed by the Cascade Medical Center in Leavenworth, Wash. The crooks added to the hospital’s payroll account almost 100 “money mules,” unwitting accomplices who’d been hired to receive and forward money to the perpetrators.

On Thursday, April 19, and then again on April 20, the thieves put through a total of three unauthorized payroll payments (known as automated clearing house or ACH payments), siphoning approximately $1 million from the hospital.

Bank of America was ultimately able to claw back roughly $400,000 of the fraudulent payroll payments. But in a complaint (PDF) filed against the bank, the hospital alleges that an employee on the Chelan County  Treasurer’s staff noticed something amiss the following Monday — April 22, 2013 — and alerted the bank to the suspicious activity.

Read on.