Daily Archives: June 3, 2016

Trump University: A Scam, but a Familiar One

Certainly the media has not mention Romney’s financial connected to deceptive for-rofit education practices. Truthout:

And, indeed, the previous Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, is financially connected to similar deceptive for-profit education practices.

As the 2012 GOP nomination contest neared the critical Iowa caucuses, Romney was asked by the Ames Tribune’s editorial board what he planned to do about higher education. Romney’s response was crystal-clear: He liked for-profit colleges, including the University of Phoenix, and especially a Florida school called Full Sail University, which, he said, knew how to “hold down the cost of their education.”

In fact, Full Sail only knew how to hold down the cost of education for its owners; for students, it was the third most expensive college in America.

It also turned out that Full Sail’s owners, the principals of a private equity firm called TA Associates, were among Romney’s top donors. In praising Full Sail, Romney never mentioned that TA executives had contributed heavily to his campaign effort.

Nor did Romney disclose that he was actually in business with them. Romney’s son Tagg and 2012 campaign finance director Spencer Zwick had launched the private equity fund Solamere Capital in 2008 with a $10 million investment from Mitt Romney. In June 2012, the Romney campaign held a retreat in Park City, Utah, for about 200 wealthy donors. Remarkably, right outside the retreat, Solamere Capital held its own investor lunch meeting. In March 2013, following his defeat in the presidential election, Romney took on a more formal role at Solamere, becoming chairman of the executive committee.

Solamere describes itself as a “fund of funds” that allows its privileged investors to buy into high-end private equity firms. TA Associates is one of the firms that Solamere Capital has offered to its clients for investment, according to a prospectus sent to potential investors and obtained by the Boston Globe in 2011.

Another for-profit college owned by TA Associates is Vatterott College, acquired in 2009.

In 2014, a Missouri appeals court upheld a jury verdict against Vatterott for deceiving a single mom, Jennifer Kerr. A jury in Jackson County, MO, had awarded Kerr $27,676 in actual damages and $13 million in punitive damages; the trial judge cut the punitive award to about $2 million because state law caps these awards.

Kerr, from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, saw Vatterott’s TV ads and visited the campus in 2009 to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse. A Vatterott recruiter told Kerr that the school didn’t have a nursing program, but it did offer a medical assistant’s degree. With that credential, the recruiter said, Kerr could make $15 to $17 an hour, and her Vatterott credits would transfer to a nursing program and put her on the “fast track” to being a nurse.

But after signing for more than $27,000 in loans and being in the program for over a year, Kerr discovered that her program wasn’t a medical assistant program at all — it was a medical office assistant program. You might not need college for that. Vatterott staff then told her that a medical assistant’s degree would require more classes and another $10,000.

Jennifer Kerr was not the first student to be deceived by Vatterott College.

The 2010-2012 comprehensive investigation of the for-profit college industry by then-Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) obtained internal training documents from Vatterott that seemed to instruct recruiters to use exploitative tactics: “We deal with people that live in the moment and for the moment. Their decision to start, stay in school or quit school is based more on emotion than logic. Pain is the greater motivator in the short term.” Another Vatterott document described the target market for recruiters: “We serve the UN-DER world, Unemployed, Underpaid, Unsatisfied, Unskilled, Unprepared, Unsupported, Unmotivated, Unhappy, Underserved!”

After Michael Brown was shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, it was often reported that the young man was on the verge of attending college. Less well known was the name and type of school that had signed him up and was ready to cash his federal financial aid checks: It was for-profit Vatterott.

Vatterott’s recruiting abuses have led to bad outcomes for enrolled students. The percentage of Vatterott students who default on their student loans within three years of dropping out or graduating has been a very-high 26.6 percent. In 2012, eight of Vatterott’s 39 programs failed all three initial tests of the Obama administration’s “gainful employment” rule, which established bare minimum standards to penalize schools that consistently leave their students with insurmountable debt. Student bulletin boards are full of complaints about the quality of a Vatterott education.

In 2009 and 2010, three top Vatterott executives pleaded guilty to a criminal conspiracy to fraudulently obtain federal student grants and loans for ineligible students in 2005-06 by providing false general equivalency diplomas (GEDs) and doctoring financial aid forms.

Bank of America employee fired after racist Facebook rant, thousands of social media complaints sent to her bosses

After her racist rant, Christine McMullen Lindgren was called out as an employee at Bank of America.

After her racist rant, Christine McMullen Lindgren was called out as an employee at Bank of America.

After a thorough investigation, Bank of America fired the employee on Thursday.

After a thorough investigation, Bank of America fired the employee on Thursday.

A definitely no no… Glad the employee got fired…

A Bank of America employee has lost her job after posting a racist rant on Facebook, sparking a social media firestorm.

In an expletive-laced Facebook post, Christine Mcmullen Lindgren unleashed a load of her hatred online.

“I hate face book for this reason you f—ing n—-rs,” the Atlanta-based personal banker wrote in her comment. “F—ing n—-rs go back to Africa get over your pity party you created this hatred and you own kind that brought you r great great parents over here.”

In her racist rambling — the majority of which was incoherent — Lindgren spewed her anger over having to “pay for” welfare for families that African Americans “can’t afford.”

Minutes after the hateful post, an eagle-eyed Facebook user quickly noticed Lindgren was an employee at Bank of America, through her Facebook profile. Looks like she has a new reason to hate the social network.

Read on.



Report details extensive costs of abandoned, decaying bank-owned properties dragging down neighborhoods –
with $2M stolen directly from New York City taxpayers

NEW YORK, NY— Senators Jeff Klein (D-Bronx Westchester) and Diane Savino (D-SI/Brooklyn), stood with victims and housing advocates today to unveil “The Great American Bank Robbery,” a distressing report detailing the multi-million dollar price tag abandoned and vacant properties cost communities throughout New York City. Joined by foreclosure and legal advocates, they called for a two-step legislative plan to hold banks accountable while ensuring that decaying properties are maintained.

The investigative report revealed neighborhoods where cars with missing plates rot in driveways, doors lay broken in front yards and garbage is strewn throughout decrepit unlocked houses. These vacant properties abandoned by banks stain entire communities, with $14.2 million lost in home value depreciation. Major banks skipped paying thousands of violations issued to these properties by Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Department of Buildings (DOB), and Environmental Control Board (ECB), costing New York City taxpayers $2 million in unpaid fines.

Although current law requires banks to maintain foreclosed properties that they currently own, as of 2015, 200 bank-owned properties remained in the outer boroughs, with the majority failing to comply with New York State law. The report found that these abandoned properties had accumulated over $2 million in nearly 1,800 unpaid violations, while they cost another $14.4 million in depreciating home values. Queens County residents suffered the most, accounting for $7.4 million dollars in house price value depreciation.

Read on.




Here we go again…

“For so long people have known or thought that if their credit was not pristine, they had no opportunity to buy a house, and the way real estate works, Realtors filter people out. They have learned to ask lots ofquestions since the crash, to ask ‘have you had a foreclosure or a bankruptcy?’ and if they say yes the Realtor says ‘talk to a mortgage lender and call me back in a couple of years when you can qualify,’ but now Realtors and lenders are learning there are some options out there for these people,” Hutchens said.

He said that a few years ago, real estate agents might have just stayed away from clients who didn’t qualify for conventional loans, but that today more and more Realtors understand that people with less than great credit might qualify for a “band aid loan and then work on refinancing later.”

With interest rates on most of its loans ranging from the 5s to the 9s, he said most borrowers intend torefinance as soon as they can. In addition to nonprime loans for people with less than perfect credit, he said Angel Oak also underwrites interest only loans for people with better credit.

Mortgage brokerage CEO jailed for stealing homes, renting them back to struggling homeowners

And not one big bank exec is jailed…

The former owner and chief executive officer of a California mortgage brokerage will spend nearly the next eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges that he falsely promised to help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure.

But instead of actually helping the struggling homeowners keep their homes, David Singui, and his company, Direct Money Source, stole the equity in the homes and served as the homeowners’ impostor landlord for a period of years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said this week.

Read on.

Goldman Sachs subsidiary continues snapping up non-performing loans from GSEs

For the fourth time in 2016, and the second time in a week, MTGLQ Investors, L.P., a “significant subsidiary” of Goldman Sachs, is the winning bidder for a pool of non-performing loans from one of the government-sponsored enterprises, increasing its total amount of loans bought from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac further beyond $2 billion.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Goldman Sachs owns, directly or indirectly, at least 99% of the voting securities of MTGLQ Investors, L.P.

Read on.