Daily Archives: August 2, 2016

Judge Denies Media’s Bid for Donald Trump’s Video Depositions

And here is the judge’s order. Click here.

SAN DIEGO (CN) — After a media scramble to get a hold of Donald Trump’s deposition videos taken for the class action lawsuit against now-defunct Trump University, a federal judge on Tuesday declined to release hours of tapes to the handful of national media outlets that requested public access to them.
Multiple media outlets, led by The Washington Post, requested to intervene in the case Cohen v. Trump to get access to deposition videos taken of the GOP nominee on two separate occasions in late 2015 and early this year.
The videos were originally lodged with hundreds of other documents by Cohen’s attorney Jason Forge as part of their response to Trump’s motion for summary judgment to dismiss the case. But because Forge did not follow court procedure for filing the electronic files and seek leave of court, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curielblocked their release in June.
Curiel also granted Trump’s motion to amend the protective order, making it even stricter. Now, now videotaped depositions are allowed to be filed in the case unless under seal and any videotaped deposition is barred from media dissemination.
But the outlets argued that releasing Trump’s videotaped deposition is important because Trump himself has made the lawsuits a campaign issue, and viewing the tapes “would provide the electorate with valuable insight into the demeanor” of the presidential nominee.

Read on.

And also this:

Late Tuesday afternoon, Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel denied Donald Trump’s motion for summary judgment in the Trump University case, finding instead that there is enough evidence to move forward.  The class action lawsuit alleges that Trump University defrauded students out of thousands of dollars.

“The Court agrees with Plaintiff that the evidence in the record raises a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Defendant (Trump) participated in the operation or management of the enterprise,” Judge Curiel wrote in his order in response to Trump’s motion for summary judgement.

Lawyers exploit foreclosure ‘rescue’ fee loophole

Government decision enriches attorneys, stings homeowners

In 2011, three attorneys set up a firm called The Mortgage Law Group that took advantage of a federal program aimed at helping people threatened with foreclosure to stay in their homes.

Business boomed. In just over two years the Chicago firm signed up more than 5,200 clients who paid more than $18 million in advance fees for legal services they hoped would either reduce the size of their mortgage payments or hold off foreclosure.

But federal regulators say the firm was little more than a sophisticated telemarketing scam that masqueraded as a law practice and cheated thousands of financially vulnerable people.

Most Mortgage Law Group clients received little for their money, according to federal officials, who in a lawsuit filed in 2014 accused the firm of employing misleading and deceptive sales tactics to lure in customers.

Read on.

I Was A Bank Teller. Here’s Why Chase’s Raises Aren’t Enough.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is on a mission to improve his company’s image. Just this past week, he reportedly met with Warren Buffet in a secret attempt to improve their corporate image. Earlier this month, tellers and other bank workers learned that they would be getting a raise from a New York Times op-ed, where Dimon very publicly announced that the financial giant would raise pay for 18,000 Chase employees to between $12 and $16.50 over the next three years.

But Dimon is no hero for working people. The pay hike is a victory for thousands of frontline bank workers who have been standing together for years with organizations like the Committee for Better Banks to put pressure on banks like Chase and fight for fair pay. But it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Dimon forgot to mention in his op-ed that he received a raise this past January himself, which looks very different than the one given to front line bank workers. JPMorgan Chase’s board raised Dimon’s salary from $20 million to $27 million.That’s a 35 percent increase in just one year!

Dimon makes roughly $13,000 an hour. In three hours, he earns the same salary as a full-time Chase employee making $15 an hour.  Raising wages for bank workers is the right thing to do, but a miniscule raise—estimated by the Economic Policy Institute at just 3.2 percent annually when adjusted for inflation over the next three years—doesn’t go nearly far enough toward addressing income inequality or the hostile work conditions for frontline bank workers.

I know this from personal experience. From 2010 to 2012, I worked as a personal banker at Chase in my city of Fort Worth, Texas. I was paid just $12 an hour, which wasn’t enough to feed my children in 2010 and definitely wouldn’t be enough now. It was a struggle to make rent, and I couldn’t even afford to repair the car I used to drive to work.

Read on.

JPMorgan Pays Inmates for Fees on Get-Out-of-Jail Debit Card

  • Lawsuit claimed the bank swamped ex-inmates with steep charges
  • Settlement is to be split by thousands of former prisoners

JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s contract to provide debit cards to inmates released from federal prison may have backfired after a former convict raised a ruckus.

The bank agreed to pay a total of $446,822 to thousands of ex-prisoners to settle a class-action suit claiming JPMorgan ripped them off with $10 fees to withdraw money from a teller window and $2 charges for using non-network ATMs, according to a filing on Monday in federal court in Philadelphia.

JPMorgan’s contract with the Federal Bureau of Prisons was a scheme “to exploit one of the most vulnerable groups imaginable — releasees from federal corrections facilities,” according to the complaint. “Every cent counts for federal releasees who are coming out of prison without an immediate means of income.”

Read on.

Top DNC Officials Resign on Heels of Leaked E-Mail Scandal

  • CEO Amy Dacey and two other officials leaving Democratic group
  • E-mails revealed committee favoritism for Clinton over Sanders

The CEO of the Democratic National Committee resigned Tuesday, along with two other senior officials, following the committee’s leaked e-mails scandal, the DNC announced.

CEO Amy Dacey, along with Luis Miranda, the DNC’s communications director, and Brad Marshall, its chief financial officer, are leaving the DNC, interim chairwoman Donna Brazile announced in a statement.

The leaked e-mails showed incidents where the DNC — under former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a U.S. House member from Florida — were favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primaries.

“Thanks in part to the hard work of Amy, Luis and Brad, the Democratic Party has adopted the most progressive platform in history, has put itself in financial position to win in November, and has begun the important work of investing in state party partnerships,” Brazil said. “I’m so grateful for their commitment to this cause, and I wish them continued success in the next chapter of their career.”

Dacey is moving to Squared Communications, a Washington D.C. public-relations firm, which put out a press release announcing she was joining its communications staff.

Read on.

‘We are a law firm’

How telemarketers sold false hope to homeowners struggling to pay mortgages

While selling foreclosure-protection services from a high-pressure telemarketing room in South Florida, Patrick Sweeney had quick comebacks to ease a customer’s doubts.

He simply made up an answer that sounded good enough to close the deal.

Sweeney helped sell legal-services programs for Prime Legal Plans, which enlisted attorneys to help struggling homeowners reduce their monthly mortgage payments through a review process known as loan modification. But he and other salespeople in the Fort Lauderdale phone room admitted that they routinely deceived customers to persuade them to keep paying thousands of dollars in fees for the plans, court records show.

“I generally told consumers that Prime Legal Plans achieved loan modifications for a percentage of its consumers that was in the ‘mid to the high 80s,’ although I made up that number,” Sweeney said in a sworn statement to federal investigators in 2012.

Read on.

Jill Stein Selects Human Rights Activist Ajamu Baraka as VP Running Mate

Nina Turner, Bernie Sanders’ surrogate, declined Jill Stein’s VP offer on Monday and Stein just chose her running mate: Ajamu Baraka.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 1, 2016     Green Party presumptive Presidential nominee Jill Stein has offered her vice-presidential bid to international human rights scholar and activist Ajamu Baraka.   “I am honored and excited to announce that my running mate in the 2016 presidential election will be Ajamu Baraka, activist, writer, intellectual and organizer with a powerful voice, vision, and lifelong commitment to building true political revolution,” Stein announced. “Ajamu Baraka is a powerful, eloquent spokesperson for the transformative, radical agenda whose time has come – an agenda of economic, social, racial, gender, climate, indigenous and immigrant justice. Ajamu’s life’s work has embodied the immortal words of Dr. Martin Luther King: Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Stein continued. “In this hour of unprecedented crisis, we are honored to lift up a unified movement for justice in the only national political party that is not held hostage by corporate money, lobbyists and super-PACs. We look forward to bringing this agenda for justice to the American people in the exciting race ahead.”  CONTINUE READING

On a side note: Voters can cast their votes for Green Party in 6 more states: Kansas, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New Jersey, Vermont, and Missouri. Stein is on the ballot in 24 states. The Green Party Convention is August 4-7.

CFPB adds another layer to controversial complaint database

Seeks comment by Sept. 30

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s complaint database could get another adjustment, as the bureau seeks comments on a proposed addition to the current complaint intake form.

According to an article by Tristram Wolf in the CFPB Monitor, the CFPB filed a request for information in Monday’s federal register.

“The purpose of this information collection is to incorporate a short survey into the complaint closing process. Consumers will have the option to provide feedback on the company’s response to and handling of their complaint via all channels including online, phone, fax, and mail,” the filing stated.

“The results of this feedback will be shared with the company that responded to the complaint to inform its complaint handling. The feedback will also be used to inform CFPB’s work to supervise companies, enforce Federal consumer financial laws, write better rules and regulations and monitor the market for consumer financial products and services.”

Read on.