Daily Archives: August 6, 2015

Deutsche Bank Said to Dismiss Traders Amid Regulatory Probe

Deutsche Bank AG dismissed two senior employees in its securitized-debt business as regulators investigate the lender’s trading of commercial-mortgage bonds.

Ben Solomon, global head of securitized-product trading, and Ashish Jain, who ran sales in the Americas for the group, left the company this week, according to two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the information wasn’t public. Two others in their group were terminated in June, industry records show.

Read on.

OCWEN grants HAMP loan after notice of default

Cindy’s story


Cindy and her husband began having mortgage problems several years ago. After going through the lengthy process of attempting to gain mortgage relief from their mortgage servicer, Ocwen, they finally were able achieve a modification at the end of 2014.

At that point, no doubt they thought they would have smooth sailing when it came to being able to make their mortgage payments.


Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for more problems to arise for Cindy on her mortgage.

No sooner had Cindy started making her payments under her new permanent loan modification, than Ocwen claimed she was in default again. Subsequently it refused to accept further payments Cindy tried to make. By May, Ocwen sent Cindy a Notice of Default declaring she owed over $2,200, and demanded she pay that sum forthwith.


As it turned out, it could be said that Cindy’s most recent mortgage woes were a blessing in disguise, thanks to HAMP.

Read on.

Foreclosure on My Mind…In Georgia

Wow, interesting process of foreclosure in Georgia….

Georgia is a non-judicial foreclosure state, which means home foreclosure is on the fast track in the Peach State—the lender can give notice, publish, and foreclose within 60 days with only the clerk and an attorney, no judge present.

It has to do with how property is owned.  In Georgia, if you use a loan to buy a house, the bank owns that house until you pay off the loan; whereas, in Florida, you are the homeowner even if you borrowed money to buy the house, and even if you are unable to make the payments and the house goes into foreclosure…you still own it.  You own your home up until the Certificate of Title is issued (usually about ten days after the foreclosure sale).

The up side of non-judicial foreclosure is that it speeds up the process.  It reduces the judges’ workload, and for the homeowner who does not really care, it ends the foreclosure quickly.  The problem is that there are people who do care, but who do not know any better.

What Florida lacks in kudzu it makes up for in opportunity to defend a home foreclosure. 

Read on.

Ex-Wells Fargo compliance officer spared penalty in U.S. SEC case

A former Wells Fargo & Co compliance officer accused of altering a document sought by U.S. securities regulators for an insider trading investigation won the dismissal of her case Wednesday after a judge ruled against sanctioning her.

Judy Wolf, the compliance officer, was found by an U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judge to have willfully aided and abetted and caused securities law violations by Wells Fargo.

But SEC Administrative Law Judge Cameron Elliot, who presided over a trial before the agency’s in-house court, ruled that sanctioning Wolf would create the “misperception” in the industry that she alone was responsible for the violation.

Read on.

New York City Rips Hedge Funds Over Puerto Rico While Giving Them Billions

Melissa Mark-Viverito, New York City’s second-most-powerful elected official, called them vultures.

Hedge funds that hold billions of dollars of Puerto Rico’s high-yield debt “are feeding off the misery of the island,” Mark-Viverito, speaker of the City Council, told a cheering crowd last week at a City Hall rally. She accused the funds of trying to gut wages, education and health care for the island’s 3.5 million residents.

What she and other critics who spoke that day didn’t say was that New York taxpayers and retirees entrust some of those hedge funds with more than $2.2 billion of the city’s $166 billion in pension assets.

Read on.

Payday Lender Blocked Access To Customer Accounts, Lawsuit Claims

Online payday lender Plain Green allegedly blocked borrowers from accessing their accounts or viewing their loan documentation, leaving borrowers unsure of their legal rights and how much they still owed, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Vermont on Tuesday.

The complaint, part of a class-action lawsuit led by two Vermont residents, adds federal racketeering charges to the list of alleged violations of federal trade and consumer protection laws levied against the company when the suit was first filed in in May. The Pennsylvania attorney general is also suing Plain Green in federal court for alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

“None of the Plaintiffs in this action can access any of the records relating to their loans from Plain Green, including any purported arbitration agreement,” the complaint states.

The complaint says that the Chippewa Cree laws that the loans are subject to are not available online, and that “organizations — like law school libraries — will not provide a copy… by remote access” because Plain Green executives “have not granted them the right do to do.”

Read on.

Foreclosure Law Firm ZGA Files for Bankruptcy

I knew this law firm was filing bankruptcy as this was in the New Jersey news paper a couple of weeks ago. I see more foreclosure law firm throwing in the towel in the near future as more regulations are being squeezed on the banks to comply..

A law firm that at one time handled 40% of home foreclosures in New Jersey has filed for bankruptcy, blaming its mortgage-lender clients and tighter rules for its troubles.

Zucker, Goldberg & Ackerman LLC , or ZGA, sought chapter 11 protection Monday, and is in the process of handing off 30,000 active foreclosure and insolvency cases in preparation for liquidation, court papers say. If a turnaround opportunity arises, the firm will seize it. For now, however, the firm is throwing in the towel….

Source: Bankruptcy News

Behavioral Ethics: Too Big To Fail and the Financial Crisis

This coming week, I will be speaking at the annual conference of the American Accounting Association (AAA). AAA is the largest community of accountants in academia; key experts in that field on leading-edge research and publications. They are well known and respected as thought leaders and for shaping the future of accounting through teaching, research and their powerful network.

I’ve been asked to give my presentation on Behavioral Ethics: Too Big To Fail and the Financial Crisis to their Ethics Research Symposium. Part of my time will be spent on my story: the story of what I discovered at Citigroup when I was Business Chief Underwriter during the housing bubble financial crisis meltdown and the fraud I saw within the company of certifying poor mortgages as quality mortgages and then selling them to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other securitizations. I’ll tell of the actions I felt compelled to take, the warnings I repeatedly issued to management and the board of directors on what I discovered was consistently covered up.

 Read More


Meet the Hedge Funders and Billionaires Who Pillage Under the Shield of Philanthropy

For every $1 they give, they take $44 from the rest of us.

America’s parasitical oligarchs are masters of public relations. One of their favorite tactics is to masquerade as defenders of the common folk while neatly arranging things behind the scenes so that they can continue to plunder unimpeded. Perhaps nowhere is this sleight of hand displayed so artfully as it is at a particular high-profile charity with the nerve to bill itself as itself as “New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization.”

British novelist Anthony Trollope once wrote, “I have sometimes thought that there is no being so venomous, so bloodthirsty as a professed philanthropist.”

Meet the benevolent patrons of the Robin Hood Foundation.

Robin Hood in Reverse

The Robin Hood Foundation, named for that green-jerkined hero of redistribution who stole from the rich to give to the poor, is run, ironically, by some of the most rapacious capitalists the country has ever produced – men who make robber barons of previous generations look like small-time crooks. Founded by hedge fund mogul Paul Tudor Jones, the foundation boasts 19 billionaires on its leadership boards and committees, the likes of which include this sample of American plutocracy:

-Hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen, who, when he is not being probed for insider trading  (his company, SAC Capital Advisors, pled guilty to securities and wire fraud) is busy throwing parties for himself worthy of a Roman emperor at his Hamptons palace and bragging about his $700 million art collection. He suspends a 13-foot shark in formaldehyde from the ceiling his office, perhaps as an avatar of his business practices.

-Billionaire Home Depot founder Ken Langone, who threatened to turn off the charity donations if Pope Francis dared to continue criticizing capitalism and inequality, and also likened the plight of the wealthy in America to Nazi Germany. The GOP megadonor doesn’t care for bank regulation and it’s no surprise that he is the main booster for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s presidential bid, as his plan to shred Social Security is a fond wish of the tycoon’s.

– Hedge fund billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, funder of right-wing causes who dedicates himself to spreading deficit hysteria and ginning up generational warfareon college campuses by trying to convince young people that they are being robbed by seniors using Social Security and Medicare. A long-time anti-tax crusader andsupporter of such anti-labor enthusiasts as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Druckenmiller warned President Obama that any attempt to tax the rich to pay for social services for the poor would be futile.

By occupation (the more useless and parasitical the better), it comes as no surprise that 12 of the 19 men in leadership positions at the Robin Hood Foundation happen to be hedge fund managers. A group called Hedge Clippers, supported by a coalition of labor unions and community groups and devoted to exposing how billionaires scheme to inflate their wealth and influence, has pointed out in a scathing reportthat the Robin Hood Foundation has close ties to an organization called the Managed Funds Association (MFA) that — shocker! —lobbies tirelessly for unjustified tax breaks for hedgies. Paul Tudor Jones’s top deputy, John Torell, chairs the MFA, and 31 members of Robin Hood’s governing board and leadership committees are executives at firms that belong to the highest membership levels of the organization.

The MFA was relatively small until 2007, when Congress started eyeing the “carried interest” tax loophole. Then it brought out the heavy artillery to protect elites from paying their fair share. The carried interest loophole is the MFA’s top priority.

Read on.

Bankruptcy Judges Clamp Down on Homeowners in Foreclosure

Bankruptcy judges are sending a strong message to homeowners: They will face penalties if they surrender their property to get bankruptcy protection and keep fighting in state court to save the same homes from foreclosure.

Some U.S. bankruptcy judges, including Chief Judge Paul Hyman Jr. in the Southern District of Florida and Judge Michael Williamson in the Middle District of Florida, are issuing precedent-setting rulings they say will give debtors a chance at a clean slate—not a leg up—on creditors in other courts.

“Surrender must mean something,” Williamson wrote in a May 13 consolidated opinion of two bankruptcy cases, In re Metzler and In re Patel, now at the center of a heated debate over a term not defined in the bankruptcy statute.

To judges like Hyman and Williamson, surrender means relinquishing property to “make it available to the secured creditor by refraining from taking any overt act that impedes” foreclosure.

“Courts have found foreclosure defense attorneys are aggressively defending foreclosure cases after a borrower surrenders property, receives discharge of the debt and therefore has no further obligation to pay the debt,” said lender attorney Roy Diaz, a shareholder at SHD Legal Group in Fort Lauderdale. “Debtors file bankruptcy, say they will reaffirm the debt but instead vigorously defend the foreclosure without reaffirming the debt. The bankruptcy courts have recognized these inconsistencies.”