Daily Archives: December 24, 2015

7 Reasons to Be Grateful This Holiday Season

There are many more than 7 reasons to be grateful this holiday season; let me share my list with you and perhaps you will add many more of your own:
1. The Fed has finally raised the rates- a much needed step in the right direction .
2. The Government Accountability Project in making some progress getting a congressional investigation of coverups occurring at the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission.
3. Looks as if a documentary on SEC whistleblowers, in which I’m featured, will be airing this coming year.
4. Elizabeth Warren and other key legislators continue to be vocal in calling for an examination of the TBTF and a reinventing of the Glass-Steagall Act.
Regards,
Richard

Bernie Sanders Op-ed: To Rein In Wall Street, Fix the Fed

WALL STREET is still out of control. Seven years ago, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department bailed out the largest financial institutions in this country because they were considered too big to fail. But almost every one is bigger today than it was before the bailout. If any were to fail again, taxpayers could be on the hook for another bailout, perhaps a larger one this time.

 

To rein in Wall Street, we should begin by reforming the Federal Reserve, which oversees financial institutions and which uses monetary policy to maintain price stability and full employment. Unfortunately, an institution that was created to serve all Americans has been hijacked by the very bankers it regulates.

Read on.

No Signature Guarantees: Just Another Reason To Hate Bank Of America

Yeah, this has nothing to do with real estate but I like to also keep people informed about important financial matters and this is one of them. First some background: In case I’ve never mentioned it before Bank Of America is the worst. Apparently I’m not alone in this belief because all you have to do is Google “hate Bank of America” and you get 37,000,000 results.

We never actually opened an account with Bank of America but our Lasalle Bank business accounts got acquired by them several years ago and the switching costs are just too high to deal with. Maybe if we get pissed off enough we will change someday. My partner keeps threatening to move our real estate scrow account somewhere else.

Here is just a sample of what is wrong with Bank of America:

  • All their branches are always understaffed
  • The branches never answer the phone so you can’t get location specific information – like whether or not certain people are available
  • Their personnel are not trained very well and give you that deer-in-the-headlights look when you try to do anything they haven’t seen 10,000 times before.
  • You can’t get through to customer service without having your account number handy
  • They only provide paper escrow account statements

And now there is yet another huge reason to hate Bank of America. They no longer do signature guarantees. You can click that link for a definition of a signature guarantee but basically you need this whenever you try to transfer securities and I’m sure there are other circumstances I’ve needed it for in the past that I can’t remember off hand.

Read on.

Sued Over Old Debt, and Blocked From Suing Back

Clifford Cain Jr., a retired electrician in Baltimore, was used to living on a tight budget, carefully apportioning his Social Security and pension benefits to cover his rent and medication for multiple sclerosis.

FROM OUR ADVERTISERS

So Mr. Cain was puzzled when he suddenly could not make ends meet. Months later, he discovered why: A debt collector had garnished his bank account after suing him for about $4,500 the company said he owed on an old debt.

Mr. Cain said he never knew the lawsuit had been brought against him until the money was gone. Neither did other Baltimore residents who were among the hundreds of people sued by the collector, Midland Funding, a unit of the Encore Capital Group, in Maryland State Court. Some of them said they did not even owe any money, or their debt had long expired and was not legally collectible, according to a review of court records.

In any case, the Encore subsidiary was not licensed to collect debt in Maryland.

Read on.