Earlier this year, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed a top Wall Street lobbyist, Bill Mulrow, to serve as his top aide. Now, as a federal corruption probe intensifies questions about influence peddling in Albany, Wall Street has been asking their former compatriot Mulrow for regulatory relief from a Cuomo-controlled agency charged with enforcing the laws governing Wall Street.
In a story looking at how the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) had become “a fearsome Wall Street regulator,” the Wall Street Journal reported:
Over the past six months, financial lawyers like H. Rodgin Cohen, senior chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, which represents numerous banks before the regulator, have called Mr. Cuomo’s top aide — Bill Mulrow, a former Blackstone Group LP executive — to push for a softer touch from the state’s Department of Financial Services, according to people familiar with the matter.
POINT PLEASANT – A Point Pleasant woman is suing her mortgage company over an allegedly botched loan modification application that has put her property into serious arrears.
Alyssa Russell filed the suit Dec. 9 in Mason Circuit Court against Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc., based in Des Moines, Iowa, citing misrepresentation in debt collection, illegal late fees, illegal return of payments, refusal to apply payments and breach of contract.
On March 31, 2006, the plaintiff entered into a mortgage loan agreement with the defendant with the principal amount of $73,800 and an adjustable interest rate, the complaint states.. In early 2015, the plaintiff contacted the defendant about modifying the loan. She says a representative of the defendant instructed her not to make payments while the modification was being processed. She then provided the requested paperwork for the application.
In June, the defendant requested a new modification packet, which the plaintiff filled out and returned. In July, the suit alleges, the plaintiff began receiving debt collection calls from the defendant.
Following the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office findings that mortgage lenders doing business in the county did not commit fraud as asserted by Armando Ramirez, the county Clerk of Courts has turned the case over to the FBI office in Tampa.
After appealing to the U.S. Department of Justice, that agency, on his behalf, forwarded records derived from a 738-page forensic report to the FBI, the DOJ’s investigative arm.
Ramirez said the case needed to be investigated at the federal level.
“Now I feel at ease after pleading to the Justice Department,” he said. “From the beginning, I disagreed with the State Attorney’s Office (who Ramirez originally filed his report with) handing this over the Sheriff’s Office. They are good cops and responders, but no one in that office is trained to handle such a complex forensic audit.”
At the heart of the investigation is the 738-page forensic report commissioned by Ramirez at the cost of $34,500, conducted by David Krieger of DK Consultants in San Antonio. The report listed 156 specific cases of homeowners it claims were defrauded out of their homes, in many cases through a bank’s use of an automated system called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) to divide mortgages into small parts owned by multiple banks or generate bogus quitclaims the bank then sells to investors, who then sell them again. In either case, the unwitting homeowner is evicted from a home they think they own, the report states.
Under the terms of a new agreement between PHH Corp. and Bank of America, PHH will continue to provide mortgage origination services to Merrill Lynch clients. The agreement, which was announced Thursday, renews a deal between PHH and Bank of America that outsources the origination of Merrill Lynch’s mortgages to PHH.
The companies’ current deal will expire on Dec. 31, 2015, and new deal will begin on Jan. 1, 2016.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are extremely pleased to continue our relationship with our largest private label client, a trusted and well-respected firm,” PHH’s president and chief executive officer, Glen Messina said.