Tag Archives: JP Morgan Chase

JPMorgan paid penalties in its mortgage settlements by forgiving loans it already sold

By David Dayen

You know the old joke: How do you make a killing on Wall Street and never risk a loss? Easy—use other people’s money. Jamie Dimon and his underlings at JPMorgan Chase have perfected this dark art at America’s largest bank, which boasts a balance sheet one-eighth the size of the entire US economy.

After JPMorgan’s deceitful activities in the housing market helped trigger the 2008 financial crash that cost millions of Americans their jobs, homes, and life savings, punishment was in order. Among a vast array of misconduct, JPMorgan engaged in the routine use of “robo-signing,” which allowed bank employees to automatically sign hundreds, even thousands, of foreclosure documents per day without verifying their contents. But in the United States, white-collar criminals rarely go to prison; instead, they negotiate settlements. Thus, on February 9, 2012, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced the National Mortgage Settlement, which fined JPMorgan Chase and four other mega-banks a total of $25 billion.

JPMorgan’s share of the settlement was $5.3 billion, but only $1.1 billion had to be paid in cash; the other $4.2 billion was to come in the form of financial relief for homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure. The settlement called for JPMorgan to reduce the amounts owed, modify the loan terms, and take other steps to help distressed Americans keep their homes. A separate 2013 settlement against the bank for deceiving mortgage investors included another $4 billion in consumer relief.

Nation investigation can now reveal how JPMorgan met part of its $8.2 billion settlement burden: by using other people’s money.

Here’s how the alleged scam worked. JPMorgan moved to forgive the mortgages of tens of thousands of homeowners; the feds, in turn, credited these canceled loans against the penalties due under the 2012 and 2013 settlements. But here’s the rub: In many instances, JPMorgan was forgiving loans on properties it no longer owned.

The alleged fraud is described in internal JPMorgan documents, public records, testimony from homeowners and investors burned in the scam, and other evidence presented in a blockbuster lawsuit against JPMorgan, now being heard in US District Court in New York City.

JPMorgan no longer owned the properties because it had sold the mortgages years earlier to 21 third-party investors, including three companies owned by Larry Schneider. Those companies are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit; Schneider is also aiding the federal government in a related case against the bank. In a bizarre twist, a company associated with the Church of Scientology facilitated the apparent scheme. Nationwide Title Clearing, a document-processing company with close ties to the church, produced and filed the documents that JPMorgan needed to claim ownership and cancel the loans.

Read on.

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How JPMorgan Chase Is Cashing In On Private Prisons

National Memo:

Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is increasingly vocal in public about his newfound ethical concerns. He made a very public statement distancing himself from President Trump over Trump’s failure to condemn white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has also described himself as “pro-immigrant”: an opinion that is hard to square away against his roles as a financier, underwriter and bond-holder of private prison corporations like GEO Group and Core Civic (formerly Corrections Corporation of America). Both corporations oversee Immigrant Detention Centers throughout the U.S., many of which house undocumented migrants.

JPMorgan Chase’s investments in private prisons certainly make economic sense: the private prison industry is worth about $5 billion, and the election of Donald Trump has caused the profits of the sector to balloon further. Almost immediately after Trump’s inauguration, the Department of Justice rescinded the Obama administration’s order to phase out federal private prisons from the criminal justice system.

SEC drops case against ex-JPMorgan traders over ‘London Whale’

  • The SEC dropped its civil lawsuit against two former JPMorgan Chase traders on Friday.
  • The traders were accused of trying to hide some of the bank’s $6.2 billion of losses tied to the 2012 “London Whale” scandal.
  • The decision came four weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice abandoned its criminal case against both men.

The top U.S. securities regulator on Friday dropped its civil lawsuit accusing two former JPMorgan Chase traders of trying to hide some of the bank’s $6.2 billion of losses tied to the 2012 “London Whale” scandal.

The decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to dismiss charges against Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout came four weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice abandoned its criminal case against both men, who have denied wrongdoing.

Prosecutors said their case ran into trouble after testimony from Bruno Iksil, a cooperating witness who had been dubbed the London Whale, proved unreliable.

Iksil has publicly shifted blame for the losses toward upper JPMorgan management, including Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who at first called the matter a “tempest in a teapot.”

Read on.

Tampa Bay homeowners sue JPMorgan Chase for billing on already-paid mortgages

ST. PETERSBURG — Two Tampa Bay homeowners are suing JPMorgan Chase Bank for attempting to continue to collect on what they say were already-paid-off mortgages.

Seeking class action, the lawsuit alleges that JPMorgan Chase, “as part of its customary and uniform practice and procedure, attempts to collect debts on its customers’ mortgages even though the debt has been satisfied.”

According to the suit filed last week in Pinellas County circuit court, Brian Huff secured a $30,000 mortgage with JPMorgan Chase in 2006 for a New Port Richey house. In late 2014, Huff paid off the mortgage in full.

Read on.

Jamie Dimon says he’s a ‘patriot’ first, CEO second

You mean profits and loss first?

Jamie Dimon is stepping up his “I’m not running for office” tour of the US.

The JPMorgan Chase boss made a broad call for tax reform and investment in public works — without mentioning that these are also priorities for President Trump — during a TV interview on Tuesday.

“I am a patriot before I am the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase,” Dimon told CNBC at a Chicago robotics plant that the bank is targeting for investment. He declared himself a patriot three times during the interview.

Read on.

CFPB slaps JPMorgan Chase with $4.6M penalty over checking account problems

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hit JPMorgan Chase with a $4.6 million penalty for failures related to information it provides for checking account screening reports.

Under the current process, the bureau explained that banks screen potential customers based on reports about prior checking account behavior created by consumer reporting companies.

Banks, like JPMorgan Chase, that supply information for those reports are legally required to have proper processes in place for reporting accurate information.

The CFPB said Chase did not have these processes in place and kept consumers in the dark about the results of their reporting disputes and key aspects of their checking account application denials.

As a result, the bureau is ordering Chase to pay a $4.6 million penalty and implement necessary changes to its policies to prevent future legal violations.

Read on.

JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs bosses receive $314m windfall, boosted by Donald Trump

Living the thug life…

The bosses of two of Wall Street’s biggest banks received a $314m (£241m) windfall last year as the value of their shares soared after Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

Jamie Dimon, who is chairman, president and chief executive of JP Morgan, and Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, each saw their stock and options rise by more than $150m, new figures compiled by consultancy Equilar for the Financial Times show.

US bank shares jumped in the aftermath of Mr Trump’s win on 9 November, as investors predicted Wall Street-friendly policies and increased spending from the new administration.

Read on.