Author Archives: justiceleague00

Bank of America issues apology to Spring Hill family after account closure

Bank of America has issued an apology to Spring Hill resident Benjamin Atria Aguirre following the closure of his checking account amidst allegations of discrimination, saying that it was simply a case of “human error.”

Atria Aguirre noticed on August 29 that his checking account was inaccessible. He was not notified until August 31 that his checking account had been closed, and that a check with the remaining balance had been sent in the mail.

Atria Aguirre’s checking account was fully restored on September 4, however, as it was near the end of the month, the closure caused some difficulties in paying mortgage and bills. Bank of America has said they will cover any late fees Atria Aguirre incurred because of the account closure.

It wasn’t until a friend of Atria Aguirre forwarded him a news articlethat detailed reports of other Bank of America customers having their accounts closed or frozen after being asked to provide proof of citizenship, that Atria Aguirre suspected that the cause of his account closure might be more than just human error.

Atria Aguirre has been a green card holder in the United States since 2012, after meeting his American-born wife, Sharra Luke, in a business class in his native country of Chile and moving to the United States.

Read on.

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Wells Fargo banking unit probed for employee fraud: Report

The Department of Justice is probing Wells Fargo’s wholesale banking unit for fraud in the wake of reports that employees adjusted corporate customers’ information on documents without their knowledge or consent, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Workers in the bank’s wholesale unit are said to have added or changed personal information including birth dates, Social Security numbers and addresses for people associated with its business clients in 2017 and early 2018. At the time, the unit was pressed with regulatory deadlines, including one related to anti-money laundering controls.

The DOJ is said to be investigating whether management influenced employee actions, people familiar with the matter told the Journal, looking to see whether there is a pattern of behavior when it comes to management pressure.

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Mulvaney Student Fee Whitewash Benefits Bank of America, US Bank

In December 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau produced a study that was useful for the university administrators looking after millions of college students in the United States.

In an annual report to Congress, the agency published an analysis of agreements between credit and debit card issuers and institutes of higher learning—one that included warnings about boilerplate deals enabling banks to ply fees out of students.

“Many general marketing agreements contain features or lack protections that may make them inconsistent with the ‘best financial interests’ of students,” the report warned in boldface text. The agency noted these deals “do not expressly prohibit certain fees,” and stressed that “colleges may negotiate…to include additional key consumer protections.”

Since the Trump administration took power, however—under the leadership of interim CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney—the tenor of the report changed drastically. Last year’s version, published in January 2018, reads more like it was written the night before. The paper has updated quantitative data, little qualitative analysis and no discussion of overdraft charges.

A university that takes a hands-off approach to debit and credit card deals could see its student body incur “hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees per year,” according to the 2016 version of the report.

Read on.

Wells Fargo diving back into securities that fueled 2008 financial crisis

Wells Fargo just can’t help itself.

The nation’s third-biggest bank is planning to ramp up trading in controversial securities tied the mortgage market — just weeks after it paid a $2 billion fine for its role in the financial crisis, The Post has learned.

Headed by Chief Executive Tim Sloan, Wells Fargo is actively working on deals with non-bank mortgage lenders to package up home loans “in mass capacity” and sell them off to investors hungry for returns, according to a person directly familiar with the plans.

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Bloomberg News Reportedly Threw Its Reporter Under the Bus After Wells Fargo CEO Complained

A good rule of thumb in investigative journalism is that if someone in power is complaining about your work, you’re probably on the right track. That, however, didn’t stop Bloomberg News from reportedly reassigning one of their reporters after a bank CEO complained about their coverage.

According to CNN, Bloomberg reporter Shahien Nasiripour had been working on a series of reports about Wells Fargo—beginning with an article in Marchabout the bank’s relationship with the National Rifle Association—when Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan called Bloomberg’s Editor in Chief John Micklethwait to voice his displeasure with Nasiripour’s reporting.

The call between the two bosses reportedly came after Nasiripour and a representative from Wells Fargo go into a heated argument over a memo Sloan had sent the company in response to the article linking the bank with the NRA. Per CNN:

Following the conversation, a member of the Wells Fargo public relations team contacted Caroline Gage, the global executive editor for finance at Bloomberg News. Gage then asked Nasiripour to apologize to the Wells Fargo public relations team for his conduct during the call. Nasiripour agreed to do so and did.

Finally, the feud came to a head last month when Nasiripour was reportedly called into Micklethwait’s office, and told he’d been reassigned to cover the Trump Organization. Citing “people briefed on the conversation,” CNN reported that Micklethwait mentioned Sloan’s complaint about Nasiripour’s behavior during the meeting.

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Wells Fargo to lay off 638 mortgage lending employees

The big bank announced this week it is laying off 638 mortgage employees in California, Colorado, Florida and North Carolina, according to an article written by Hanna Levitt for Bloomberg.

The bank’s latest earnings report indicated it continues to struggle following its fake accounts scandal. Not only did the bank report a lower net income, its latest earnings report shows that although originations are increasing, it is still struggling with mortgage banking revenue.

Affected employees were informed of the upcoming layoffs on Thursday. Employees will be eligible to receive pay and benefits through Oct. 21, the company said.

However, employees unable to find another position within the company may be eligible to participate in the Wells Fargo salary continuation plan for separation benefits based upon the number of years of service with the bank, according to Wells Fargo’s SVP of Consumer Lending Operations Tom Goyda.

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Homeowner using Wells Fargo glitch admission against them

Let the blowback begin.

A New York homeowner last week fought back against the denial of a mortgage modification by Wells Fargo — using as a cudgel in the bitter spat the bank’s admission just weeks earlier that a computer glitch wrongly denied hundreds of customers home loan help.

The move by Mia Derosa is the first known effort by a Wells Fargo customer to act on the bank’s Aug. 3 admission that its goof led to about 625 homeowners being denied mortgage relief.

Roughly 400 of those homeowners who were battling a foreclosure action between April 2010 and October 2015 eventually lost their homes because of Wells Fargo’s mistake, the bank said in a regulatory filing.

Derosa, who lives in Nyack, NY, about 30 miles north of Midtown Manhattan, took out a $650,000 “Pick-a-Pay” mortgage in February 2006 — and by 2011 was in financial trouble.

“Pick-a-Pay” mortgages were all the rage in the home-buying craze early in the aughts. They offered borrowers an extremely inexpensive route to home ownership by requiring them to make monthly payments of just some of the interest on the loan — and no principal.

The unpaid interest would be added to the principal.

The loans turned toxic when monthly payments would balloon past what the borrower could afford — creating a tsunami of defaults and foreclosures.

Derosa got a mortgage modification from Wells Fargo under the federal government’s HAMP program — but defaulted on it in 2016, the bank said. Subsequently, Wells reviewed four modification requests from Derosa — rejecting each of them, it said.

In each of the rejections — the last of which came in January — Wells cited Derosa’s insufficient income, according to court papers.

That’s not true, Linda Tirelli, Derosa’s lawyer, shot back.

Derosa has a “substantial, solid, steady income” of nearly $11,000 a month, according to court papers filed Aug. 16 by Tirelli.

Read on.