Monthly Archives: May 2018


Happy Memorial Day!


Bank Of America Accused Of Discrimination Against Iranian Americans

Bank of America is discriminating against a troubling number of customers of Iranian descent by wrongfully freezing or closing their accounts, according to the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

U.S. sanctions against Iran “do not justify or excuse discriminatory conduct by U.S. banks and corporations,” declared the NIAC, which sent a letter on May 8 to Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan calling for an immediate end to the bank account closures.

The bank’s actions have stunned and alarmed customers of Iranian descent, according to Jamal Abdi, executive director of NIAC Action.

“To be honest, it feels like a personal attack on all of us,” Abdi said. “We understand that fundamentally the issue is with the labyrinth of U.S. sanctions in place that are supposedly aimed at Iran’s government, but that’s no excuse for Bank of America to err on the side of discrimination and punish ordinary people. There’s a profound sense of insecurity that – because of your heritage or geopolitical disputes among governments — you may suddenly find out you’ve been blocked from accessing your own money. You may not be able to pay for groceries or rent.”

Read on.

Another new scandal: Wells Fargo employees altered documents about business clients

Height Capital Markets senior banking analyst Ed Groshans discusses whether investors should still keep Wells Fargo in their portfolios, despite the recent report that the bank’s employees altered documents about business clients.

Banks are working to woo new doctors into home mortgages

When Dr. William Ngo was shopping for his first home two years ago, he ran into a problem: He got rejected for a mortgage because he had about $250,000 in student debt and little savings.

So the surgeon applied for a loan specifically designed for doctors that came with a higher interest rate but no money down, and just a future work contract as proof of income.

Mortgages tailored to doctors have grown more popular in the last few years, according to the lenders who offer them. Bank of America said it has seen the dollar volume of physician mortgages it issued between 2008 and 2017 increase ninefold because of greater awareness from consumers.

Smaller banks also report increases. Stillwater, Oklahoma-based Bank SNB, owned by Simmons First National, issued $50 million in physician home loans last year and is on track to double that amount this year, said Drew Daniels, a mortgage sales manager who launched the loan program.

Read on.

America’s Housing Crisis Is Spreading To Smaller Cities

“Have you considered the racket and the lights and the crowds and the traffic, and everything that’s going to happen to those of us who live here?”

It is a familiar sight in America: the public meeting, the angry residents, the housing developer trying to explain himself over the boos.

Except this is not San Francisco or L.A. or Boston. It is Boise, Idaho.

And it is a preview of the next chapter in the housing crisis. Rising rents, displacement and, yes, NIMBYism are spreading from America’s biggest cities to those in its middle tier. Last year, according to an Apartment List survey, the fastest-rising rents in the country were in Orlando, Florida; Reno, Nevada; and Sacramento, California. Another survey, by RentCafe, found exactly one city with a population greater than 500,000 ― Las Vegas ― in the top 25.

Small cities are starting to face the same challenges as larger ones. Renting a two-bedroom apartment in Jacksonville, Florida, requires earning at least $18.63 per hour ― $10.53 more than the state minimum wage. In Tacoma, Washington (pop. 211,000), a property management company is evicting low-income residents so it can flip their building into luxury units. Boise, where downtown condos are going for $400,000, was the seventh most unequal city in America in 2016, a jump from 79th place just five years earlier.

Read on.

Wells Fargo accused in suit over suspected fraud

Jonalin Depakakibo has something to add to the long list of consumer and regulatory grievances against Wells Fargo Bank, which was slammed last month with a $1 billion fine for consumer abuses in its auto-lending and mortgage businesses.

The resident of Bridgeport, Montgomery County, fell prey in March to a “government-grant scam,” after a fraudster hijacked a coworker’s Facebook Messenger app and convinced Depakakibo to deposit a $6,700 membership fee into a Wells Fargo account — under the name Adeboye Oresanya — to get a $155,567 grant.

Within an hour of making that deposit at Wells Fargo’s King of Prussia branch on March 5 and after talking to other coworkers about whether they had gotten the grant, she realized she had been duped and rushed back to the bank to alert bank personnel of the suspected fraud and to see whether she could get her money back. It was still in the account.

She said she got promises of help through a fraud alert, but no action.

Read on.


It’s about time…

Click here to read the complaint.

April 30, 2018

CONTACT: Jordan Libowitz
202-408-5565 |

Washington—Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), should be investigated for misleading the Senate during his confirmation process and failing to pay debts lawfully owed by his company, according to a complaint filed today with the Senate Committee on the Budget and the inspector general of the Federal Reserve by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

In his confirmation, Mulvaney represented that a foreclosure proceeding involving one of his investments was “uncontested,” but it appears that he knew that to be inaccurate. In addition, it appears that he violated his ethical obligations by taking complex, unusual, and potentially dishonest steps to avoid paying debts his company owed related to the property at issue in the foreclosure.

“As acting director of the CFPB, Mulvaney is expected to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices and take action against companies that break the law,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “His real estate dealings, and his apparent failure to come clean about them to the Senate, appear to be at odds with his legal and ethical requirements and run directly counter to the basic principles he is expected to uphold at the CFPB.”

Read on.