Daily Archives: October 9, 2015

Woman hopes $327K win against Ocwen warns collectors

Tampa, FL — When the real estate market tanked, Rolena Drew and her husband were forced to declare bankruptcy. It was reflected on their credit report, and property records showed their home was deeded back to the bank.

Yet for nearly two years, Drew says she got a relentless barrage of cell phone calls from Ocwen Financial Corporation demanding she keep making payments.

“I thought they would look at the records and it would go away. But it didn’t,” said Drew, “They didn’t care at all. They did not care what I was saying.”

Drew asked Ocwen to stop — even threatened to sue.

But in call after call, she said, the company’s representatives would offer a seemingly dismissive response.

“I mean, I’m sure you buy multiple groups of loans and then just trying to collect them, but it’s against the law to try and collect the loan from someone who has declared bankruptcy. Are you aware of that?” she asked one representative.

The answer? “Mmm Hmm.”

Drew started documenting the calls and saving the records.

In September, a federal jury awarded her $327,000 in damages: $1,500 for each of 218 calls.

Judge Richard Lazzara found Ocwen’s conduct so egregious, telling the company’s lawyers, “I don’t know who the president or the CEO is, but that person ought to personally apologize to those good people for what they went through.”

Read on.

Respite for Citigroup: City of Los Angeles Lawsuit Dismissed

The city of Los Angeles has reportedly dropped the discriminatory lending charge against Citigroup Inc..Interestingly, Citigroup’s earlier plea to dismiss the same lawsuit had been rescinded by the U.S District Judge – Otis Wright II – in Jun 2014.

While Wednesday’s court filing did not clarify the reason behind the dismissal of lawsuit, earlier filings state that lawyers of Citigroup had raised questions over the limited relevance of the U.S. Fair Housing Act (the lawsuit claimed violation of FHA) in this matter, since the act was aimed at providing fair housing only.

Notably, Los Angeles had filed a lawsuit against Citigroup in 2013, accusing the bank of engaging in biased lending practices since 2004. The city claimed that the bank provided restricted as well as overcharged (higher fees and interest rates) loan offerings to targeted minority borrowers. – See more at:

http://www.zacks.com/stock/news/193137/respite-for-citigroup-los-angeles-lawsuit-dismissed#sthash.P0GiIqGR.dpuf

Senator Brown Inquiry Targets Banks, Wall Street Settlements

Banking Committee member Sherrod Brown wants to know whether banks changed any behavior after penalties

WSJ (sub. req.):

A powerful Democratic senator has launched an inquiry into bank misconduct, asking top financial institutions to turn over information about the settlements they have entered into with federal agencies over the past decade. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, asked banks in a letter dated Sept. 30 to to provide details of any “legally enforceable judgment, agreement, settlement, decree or order dated January 1, 2005 to the present,” involving 15 federal agencies including the Department of Justice, the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and several Treasury Department units. The inquiry could add fuel to growing criticism by lawmakers and others that such settlements have failed to deter repeated bank misbehavior.

Ex-Deutsche Trader Pleads Guilty To Role In Libor Plot

Law360, New York (October 8, 2015, 5:59 PM ET) — A former Deutsche Bank currency trader pled guilty Thursday in New York federal court to charges alleging an eight-year plot to manipulate the published value of the key Libor interest rate, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Prosecutors say Deutsche Bank senior trader Michael Curtler reported false information used in the calculation Libor. (Credit: AP) Michael R. Curtler, 43, was released on a personal recognizance bond on Thursday, according to court records, after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank…

Source: Law360

Presidential hopefuls, housing experts attack housing crisis

Presidential candidates from both parties will join New Hampshire officials and national experts for a major housing summit on Friday, Oct. 16, at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

The event is hosted by the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families and theBipartisan Policy Center. HousingWire is the trade media partner for the event.

The Foundation is making a push to put housing policy front and center in the 2016 political campaign.

Presidential candidates Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Martin O’Malley and George Pataki are scheduled to participate in the summit, where they, along with New Hampshire officials and national housing experts, will tackle what has been called the “silent crisis” of rising rents and diminished access to homeownership.

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, former Sen. Scott Brown, former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas are among the public figures pitching in to help find solutions to these worsening problems.

Leading voices from the real estate and finance industry will also be involved, including the Mortgage Bankers Association, American Bankers Association, Zillow, realtor.com, the National Association of Realtors, Moody’s Analytics and the Urban Institute.

Read on.

Did Sen. Corker violate SEC rules, Senate ethics by telling investors to short GSEs?

Loose lips, sink ships…

Made questionable remarks on CNBC regarding stocks

[Update 12:25 p.m. ET: Response from Corker’s office]

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. appeared on CNBC Wednesday discussing the issue of conservatorship for the GSEs, and in dismissing a report suggesting the White House is open to ending conservatorship he said investors should shortFannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Corker said “hedge funds” are spreading false rumors that the White House wants to “re-IPO” Fannie and Freddie.

“People should be short it, because it’s major BS,” Corker said. “It’s just talking your own book.”

He was referring to an Oct. 5 note from the research firmPolitical Alpha. This note made the rounds in both Washington and Wall Street causing GSE shares to trade-up. The note states:

Multiple sources have confirmed that the White House has reached out to the housing finance community to better understand its options on what to do with the GSEs after conservatorship.

The Administration is in the very early stages of looking at various options to end the GSEs conservatorship.  This is a major shift in thinking as it would entail ending the GSE profit sweep allowing Fannie and Freddie to begin to retain capital.  While we have been told the Administration is not close to deciding how to proceed, the initial announcement of the White House’s intent would clearly be beneficial to the entire capital structure of the GSEs.

……

This raises serious questions about whether Corker, who serves on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and is author of a bill, “Jumpstart the GSEs” which is currentlylanguishing in the Senate, violated Senate ethics rules, Securities & Exchange Commission or both.

Corker is also co-author of Corker-Warner, a housing reform bill that failed in the Senate.

Read on.

Click here to see video of Sen. Corker’s interview with CNBC’s Rick Santelli. 

BREAKING, DC SOURCES: Renee Ellmers, Kevin McCarthy To Resign?

Wow, we will stay tune on Friday if this is true…

Speculation continued late Thursday night that Congresswoman Renee Ellmers and Congressman Kevin McCarthy would resign Friday morning, GotNews.com has learned.

The possibility of a double resignation was discussed at the Media Research Center (MRC) dinner by Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson.

Several prominent lobbyists and staffers have confirmed that the rumors are flying all over Capitol Hill.

Read on.