Monthly Archives: December 2018

Subprime lending under a new name targeting veterans?

Eric Kandell is making his pitch to veterans. Wearing a red T-shirt, with the words “Low VA Rates” emblazoned across his chest, he looks fit and muscular, as if he had stepped off an Army base himself. In this YouTube video and others, he tells current and former service members how they can take tens of thousands of dollars in cash out of their homes. They can pay off credit cards, remodel a kitchen, install a swimming pool, or travel to Las Vegas. “Do whatever you want,” he tells them. “Imagine your home is like an ATM.”

Kandell is targeting borrowers from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mortgage program. He’s the 43-year-old president of a company whose very name is a come-on: Low VA Rates LLC. It’s among the lesser-known financial outfits dominating the business of selling cash-out VA mortgage refinancing, which totaled $41 billion worth of new loans over the past year.

Read on.

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Merry Christmas

‘I begged them for help’: Wells Fargo foreclosure nightmare

New York (CNN Business)Foreclosures can be extremely painful events. Imagine finding out years later that it was all a big mistake.

That’s exactly what happened to Jeff and Eva Reiner. The couple turned to Wells Fargo (WFC), their mortgage servicer, for help making their payments after Eva, the family’s breadwinner, was laid off by Verizon (VZ) in 2010.

“We were desperate. I begged them for help,” Eva Reiner told CNN Business.

But Wells Fargo did not accept their requests for a mortgage modification for their beloved 6-acre property in rural South Carolina. Wells Fargo eventually foreclosed on the home, forcing the couple to move their teenage son, give up three dogs and forfeit the equity they had built up in the house.

This fall, the Reiners learned from media reports they were among the approximately 545 homeowners who lost their homes because of an apparent software glitch with Wells Fargo’s loan modification process.

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Trump administration hid report revealing Wells Fargo charged high fees to students

The Trump administration for months concealed a report that showed Wells Fargo charged college students fees that were on average several times higher than some of its competitors.

The “unpublished” report was obtained by POLITICO through a Freedom of Information Act request. It was produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau office previously led by Seth Frotman, who quit as the bureau’s top student loan official in protest of Trump administration policies. Frotman said in his resignation letter that CFPB leaders had “suppressed the publication” of the report.

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Kushners’ Beachfront Strip Eligible for Trump’s Poor-Area Tax Perks

The opportunity zones in the new tax law are supposed to attract investment to low-income areas. But some of these neighborhoods aren’t exactly struggling.

Pier Village promotes itself as a “jewel on the New Jersey coast.” It features Victorian-inspired oceanfront apartments, a pool club, and expensive restaurants. At a shoreline property built by Extell Development Co. in partnership with Kushner Cos., 786-square-foot one-bedroom apartments are being marketed for as much as $2,765 a month. At an adjacent development site, Kushner Cos. is constructing a 72-room luxury hotel.

The area is also, officially, distressed. That’s because this section of Long Branch, N.J., has been deemed an “opportunity zone,” a classification created in President Trump’s 2017 tax law, meant to spur investment in poor communities. Real estate developers are eligible for generous perks that include deferring some taxes and avoiding them altogether on future capital gains from projects in these areas if they own them for more than a decade. Kushner Cos. is one of many developers buying into about 9,000 opportunity zones across the country.

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Congress may have accidentally freed nearly all banks from the Volcker Rule

A few double negatives buried in legislative text may have inadvertently freed nearly all U.S. banks from a regulation known as the Volcker Rule, which sought to curb risky behavior in response to the 2008 financial crisis.

The text in question comes from a package bill passed in May that pared back portions of the Dodd-Frank post-crisis financial regulatory framework. One of the many provisions of the bill offered an exemption from the Volcker Rule to smaller community banks that policymakers felt were burdened by the regulation, whichlimited banks’ proprietary trading, or trading for their own accounts.

But sources tell Yahoo Finance that some of the largest U.S. banks are now thinking about challenging the interpretation of that May legislation in court, arguing that the bill could be read as also extending regulatory relief to banks far above $10 billion in assets.

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BANK OF AMERICA ALERTS SF WOMAN TO FRAUDULENT CHARGES, THEN DENIES IT WAS FRAUD

SAN FRANCISCO – When your bank alerts you to a fraudulent charge on your debit card – and you confirm it’s not yours, the bank will stop the payment to the scammer.

Right?

That’s what a Bay Area woman thought. Instead, the bank, weeks later, told her she had to prove someone was stealing money out of her account.

“It was surreal,” Sarah Fiene of San Francisco. “It felt surreal. How could this be happening?

Fiene says she was at work when she received a robocall from Bank of America.

“It said, ‘We suspect some fraudulent activity on your debit card.’,” Fiene recalled. “It gave a number to call to find out what was going on.”

She called the number immediately, but had to wait on hold for 40 minutes. A customer service representative asked Fiene if she had made a $372 purchase to a telecom company. Fiene had never heard of it.

“I said no I did not authorize this charge,” Fiene said. “I don’t recognize this company. ”

She was still on the phone as more charges came in.

Read on.