Law Suits

BofA Reaches Settlement With Investors Over Legacy Countrywide Deals

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Bank of America has agreed to pay investors $8.5 billion to compensate them for Countrywide’s dealings years before the subprime lender was acquired by BofA. The company said in a statement Wednesday that the settlement resolves “nearly all” of its repurchase exposure stemming from legacy first-lie...

Bank of America Settles Claims Stemming From Mortgage Crisis

Posted on Monday, July 04, 2011

Just how much will it cost the big banks to atone for the mortgage mess? Bank of America announced Wednesday that it would take a whopping $20 billion hit to put the fallout from the subprime bust behind it and satisfy claims from angry investors. But for its peers, the settlements may just be sta...

Mortgage Servicing Litigation Jumps 88%: Report

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Litigation related to mortgage servicing surged during the first quarter, after last fall’s robo-signing issues raised questions about servicers’ procedures and garnered widespread attention from mainstream media. Mortgage servicing litigation increased 88 percent over the first three months of thi...

Bankers Advocate Opposition of Mortgage Servicing Amendment

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The American Bankers Association has sent a letter to key lawmakers in the Senate, urging them to reject foreclosure legislation proposed by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Their bill, tagged the Regulation of Mortgage Servicing Act, has been introduced as an amendment t...

New York Appellate Court Rules Against MERS

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

In another blow to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS), a New York appellate court ruled against the embattled mortgage ownership and servicing rights company in a case last week, casting doubt on its business model and increasing speculation about the role that possible re-foreclo...

Foreclosure fees haunt homeowner associations

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three years into the foreclosure epidemic, desperate condominium and homeowner associations are now beginning to employ aggressive law firms and collection agencies in a new tactic aimed at recovering delinquent fees. The debt collectors working for these associations are asking the courts to use m...

California Appeals Court Declares MERS Proper Beneficiary

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ruling in favor of Avelo Mortgage, the Second Appellate District of the California Court of Appeals declared Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) a proper beneficiary on the deed of trust in Ferguson v. Avelo Mortgage. In his June 1 ruling, Judge David S. Milton stated that MERS, ...

Community association sues delinquent owners

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Lawsuit brings cash beyond state foreclosure limits South Florida condominium and homeowners communities that have foreclosed on delinquent owners have been stymied by a state law limiting what boards can get from a bank for past-due assessments to 12 months or 1 percent of the original mortgage. ...

Justice Watch: Suit challenges state law redirecting rent payments

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who would have thought financially strapped condo owners and banks would be on the same side? Leave it to the Florida Legislature to find a way. Lawmakers amended the Condominium Act last year to allow condo and homeowner associations to direct tenants — under threat of eviction — to redirect rent...

Communities find creative ways to collect homeowner fees

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The sun was getting high and Alex Diaz de Villegas was perspiring as he rode a golf cart across a Homestead community's 60 lushly landscaped acres. He inspected recently planted palms and visited three newly built gatehouses where guards screen nonresidents by asking for identification. "You would...

Class-action lawsuit ties VA to plight of homeless veterans

Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2011

The alleged failure of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide stable housing to veterans suffering from severe cases of post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental disorders leaves many of them facing homelessness, according to a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court ...

FHLB Boston Sues to Rescind Purchases of $5.8B in Mortgage Bonds

Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Superior Court to rescind investments it made in private-label mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issued by 115 securitization trusts totaling $5.8 billion. The suit alleges that the securities dealers, underwriters, i...

State sues mortgage modification firms

Posted on Thursday, May 05, 2011

The office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced it filed a lawsuit on Friday against three South Florida companies that allegedly were charging upfront fees for loan modification services to homeowners facing foreclosure, which is illegal under state law. Home Owner Protection Economics,...

In Foreclosure Settlement Talks With Banks, Predictions of a Long Process

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

The nation’s top mortgage servicers met Wednesday in Washington with the attorneys general from five states as well as Obama administration officials, beginning negotiations in earnest over new rules for homeowners who are in default. The one thing everyone seemed to agree on was that an agreement...

Judge says David J. Stern can't just drop foreclosure cases

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

Palm Beach Circuit Chief Judge Peter Blanc has advised foreclosure attorney David J. Stern that he gave improper notice to withdraw from his firm’s cases and will consider dismissals as a last-ditch solution if no one picks up cases for mortgage lenders. In a March 4 letter to Blanc, Stern begged...

Servicers to Meet with Officials Wednesday to Discuss Settlement

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

After reports that the timeline to iron out final details of the robo-signing settlement is “ambitious,” representatives from several major servicers, attorneys general, and some federal regulators are said to have a meeting planned for Wednesday, marking their first face-to-face discussion of terms...

Shareholders sue BofA over foreclosure practices

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

A group of Bank of America Corp. shareholders filed suit Monday against the bank over its foreclosure paperwork practices. The suit was filed in the N.Y. Supreme Court in Manhattan. The Charlotte-based bank (NYSE:BAC) “did not properly record many of its mortgages when originated or acquired, which...

BofA says ‘school’s out’ with foreclosure

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

Bank of America is about to give the students at Baldwin Preparatory School in North Palm Beach an economics lesson that could send them packing. The banking giant (NYSE: BAC) filed a foreclosure lawsuit March 11 against the for-profit Baldwin Preparatory School, along with managing members Gena S....

David Stern strikes back, sues banks

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

Embattled foreclosure attorney David J. Stern has filed about $15 million in claims against eight lenders he formerly represented. Stern recently filed eight lawsuits in Miami-Dade and Broward counties against the very lenders that once hired him to handled tens of thousands of foreclosures. The l...

BofA's Shareholders Sue Over Foreclosure Processing Errors

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said last week that Bank of America, along with several other major servicers, must give shareholders a vote on whether or not the company must open up its foreclosure practices for an independent audit. The SEC ruled that BofA must include the option o...

Servicers Release a Proposal in Response to Robo-Signing Settlement

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

Perhaps in preparation for the meeting between bank representatives and lawmakers scheduled for Wednesday, servicers have reportedly drafted their own proposal in response to the robo-signing settlement they were given earlier this month. Ron D’Vari, CEO of asset management and capital markets adv...

roso signer settlement talks

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

> According to a story in the Financial Times, "The five biggest US mortgage servicers > were told this week at a private meeting with regulators to consider paying delinquent > borrowers up to $21,000 each as part of a broader settlement of the foreclosure > crisis...The industry-wide "cash for...

Attorney General Bondi Settles Investigation Against One of Florida’s Largest Foreclosure Firms

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

Today Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced a first-of-its-kind settlement against attorney Marshall C. Watson and his law firm, one of the largest foreclosure firms in Florida, for alleged improprieties in the prosecution of foreclosure cases throughout Florida. This settlement, which calls ...

JPMorgan Loses Court Ruling Over Loan Putbacks

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

NEW YORK - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) could be forced to repurchase thousands of home equity loans, after a judge ruled in favor of a bond insurer that argued it could build its case based on a sampling of loans. The ruling against EMC Mortgage Corp, once a un...

Servicers Asked to Consider a $21,000 "Cash for Keys" Option

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

After reports that the largest mortgage servicers, some attorneys general, and even some government agencies are not comfortable with the terms in the servicer proposal, there has been renewed effort to try to come to a solution that works for all parties. The proposal was given to servicers with t...

Disagreement, Negotiation Delays

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

Opposition to the proposed servicer settlement developed a stronger stance this week as four attorneys general released a letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is leading the states’ investigation. Attorneys general Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia, Greg Abbott of Texas, Pam Bondi of Florid...

AGs Threaten Lawsuits If Servicers Don't Make Fundamental Changes

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

State attorneys general say they are willing to work with mortgage servicers to reach a settlement deal that would resolve the joint investigation of industry practices that led to last fall’s robo-signing scandal and widespread foreclosure moratoriums. But no slap on the wrist will do. The group ...

Attorneys General Say Foreclosure Terms May Cause ‘Moral Hazard’

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

A plan to resolve a nationwide probe of foreclosure and mortgage-servicing practices is being opposed by four more Republican state attorneys general, who say the terms of a deal may foster a “moral hazard.” In a letter to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat who has taken the lead in the i...

FDIC Files Lawsuit Against Former WaMu Execs and Wives

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) filed a lawsuit last week against three former Washington Mutual (WaMu) executives and two of their wives, alleging that they ran the bank into the ground in order to increase their own compensation. The lawsuit names former WaMu CEO Kerry Killinger,...

Proposal on Mortgages

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

To the Editor: In “Another Inside Job” (column, March 14), Paul Krugman endorsed the proposed settlement between the state attorneys general and five of the largest mortgage servicing firms in the nation, and condemned those policy makers who have questioned or criticized the proposal. Let’s be ...

National Credit Union Association Threatens Lawsuit Against 4 Firms

Posted on Monday, April 04, 2011

Another lawsuit centered around mortgage securities backed by faulty loans may be brewing. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has threatened to sue four banks and investment firms unless they refund more than $50 billion for mortgage-related bonds that went bad, according to the Wall...

Lehman Brothers Trustee Sues Citibank To Recover $1B Deposit

Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NEW YORK - The trustee overseeing the liquidation of Lehman Brothers Holdings'(LEHMQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) broker dealer has sued Citibank to recover more than $1.3 billion in cash and other assets, according to court papers filed on Friday. The assets include a $1 billion depos...

Ex-Goldman Sachs Director Rajat Gupta Sues SEC For Not Providing Jury Trial

Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

NEW YORK - A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) director accused of leaking confidential boardroom information has sued U.S. regulators, saying they are trying to unfairly deprive him of a jury trial. Rajat Gupta is fighting civil charges that he tipped Gall...

The Law Is a Class

Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The British economist John Maynard Keynes famously observed, 75 years ago, that statesmen who think that they are pursuing policies of their own devise are really showing themselves to be "the slaves of some defunct economist." In America today statesmen are more likely to be the slaves of some defu...

Attorneys General Push for Loan Reductions, Seek Bank Accord

Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

State attorneys general are pushing lenders to reduce loan balances and said they hope to reach a final settlement with banks over their mortgage-servicing and foreclosure practices within two months. The states along with federal agencies submitted a 27-page settlement proposal last week to the c...

Tim Geithner: All Parties 'Have A Strong Stake' In Quickly Settling Alleged Mortgage Abuses

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

WASHINGTON - A comprehensive settlement between U.S. authorities and banks over alleged abuses of mortgage servicing needs to be reached quickly to help the housing market heal, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday. Geithner said such a settlement would allow the government to focus ...

Obama Administration Pushing For Banks To Modify Millions Of Mortgages To Settle Foreclosure Claims

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

NEW YORK -- The Obama administration is seeking to force the nation's five largest mortgage firms to reduce monthly payments for as many as three million distressed homeowners in as little as six months as part of an agreement to settle accusations of improper foreclosures and violations of consumer...

Ex-WaMu Execs Sued By FDIC For Gross Negligence Over Bank's Collapse - READ The Lawsuit

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

WILMINGTON, Del., - A U.S. government regulator sued three former top executives at Washington Mutual Bank for their role in the biggest bank failure in the nation's history, accusing them of recklessly making billions of dollars in shoddy home loans. The three "gambled billions of dollars of WaMu'...

Welcome to Debtors' Prison, 2011 Edition

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some lawmakers, judges and regulators are trying to rein in the U.S. debt-collection industry's use of arrest warrants to recoup money owed by borrowers who are behind on credit-card payments, auto loans and other bills. More than a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who can't or won't pay to...

Senate proposal still leaves courts $33 million short

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Senate proposal to fill a shortfall in the budgets of the state courts and clerks would fill most of the gap but still leave the judicial system $32.9 million short of what it needs to finish the fiscal year. A draft budget released by the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Committe...

3rd DCA: Companies in foreclosure must still make payments

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

I. A Doral company must make monthly payments to its lender regardless of the expected outcome of its commercial foreclosure cases, the 3rd District Court of Appeal decided Wednesday. The ruling on the cases brought by the Bank of Miami against Farah Real Estate and Investment marks the first appel...

Lawyer loses license for advising clients to break into foreclosed homes

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

The State Bar of California has removed the law license of Michael T. Pines, a lawyer who garnered substantial media coverage for advising clients to break into their foreclosed homes. The state bar advised Pines, of Pines & Associates in Encinitas, Calif., on March 11 that the it was placing hi...

$144,000 real estate commission fight in shopping center deal

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

This article has been corrected to show that requests for attorney and accounting fees have yet to be submitted by the plaintiffs to the court. Due to a reporting error, the original version erroneously stated that the fees were included in a final judgment totaling $3.4 million. In one of the lon...

Foreclosure Deal Could Be Delayed

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

A plan to force the nation’s biggest mortgage firms into helping millions of homeowners avoid foreclosure was supposed to take two months to hammer out. The timeline, it turns out, was overly optimistic. The effort, endorsed by the Obama administration and an assortment of state regulators, is fac...

California Foreclosure Losses in Billions, Lawmaker Wants Banks to Pay

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

According to a community advocacy group in California, home value losses from foreclosed homes in California have cost a minimum of $632 billion, and could end up costing as much as $1 trillion. The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) released a report on Thursday detailing th...

In Proposed Mortgage Fraud Settlement, a Gift to Big Banks

Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lurking in a proposed mortgage fraud settlement with the state attorneys general is a clause that could be worth billions for the big banks. Yes, I mean the settlement that might extract the supposedly large sum of $20 billion from the banks to settle foreclosure fraud. The one denounced as a “shak...

Details of Servicer Settlement Surface, Resolution Still A Long Way Away

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

The settlement terms prompted by robo-signing investigations and presented to servicers by government agencies and attorneys general last week feature 27 pages of rules and regulations for the handling of loans on owner occupied primary residences. Though the details of the settlement have been rel...

Class Warfare III -- Losing Your Right to Fight Back

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

Everyone has heard of the woman who spilled coffee on herself and won $3 million from McDonald's. Perhaps you recall an editorial similar to this one, which ran in the San Diego Union Tribune: "A winning lottery ticket... absurd... a stunning illustration of what's wrong with America's civil justice...

Proposed Servicer Settlement Met With Resistance

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

As predicted by many reports following the recent settlement proposal from the state attorneys general and several federal agencies, servicers are not reacting with enthusiasm to the terms offered. One of the biggest conflicts in coming to an agreement is the proposed punishments servicers will ha...

Foreclose Deal Near, State Officials Say

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

WASHINGTON — A broad agreement could be struck within two months to overhaul how millions of foreclosures are handled by the nation’s biggest banks and to expand the use of home loan modifications, according to Tom Miller, the attorney general of Iowa. All 50 state attorneys general, along with fe...

Variety of bills would restructure courts

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

The Florida Supreme Court is in for an upheaval if the Republican-dominated Legislature has anything to say about it. A blockbuster announced Monday by House Speaker Dean Cannon would break the court in two — one for civil cases and the other for criminal cases. The measure, which would require a ...

State attorneys general expect major changes in their mortgage servicing settlement

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

State attorneys general expect major changes in their mortgage servicing settlement, reports Brady Dennis: "State attorneys general, who soon will enter settlement talks with the nation’s largest mortgage servicers after revelations of flawed foreclosure paperwork and other shoddy practices, will ac...

The nation's overburdened foreclosure system is riddled with faked documents

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

By Ariana Eunjung Cha and Brady Dennis Washington Post Staff Writers The nation's overburdened foreclosure system is riddled with faked documents, forged signatures and lenders who take shortcuts reviewing borrower's files, according to court documents and interviews with attorneys, housing adv...

Q&A with AG Tom Miller

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

By Brady Dennis Washington Post Staff Writer Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is heading a 50-state investigation into flawed and fraudulent foreclosure practices by big banks and lenders, is scheduled to testify about the issue Tuesday afternoon before the Senate Banking Committee. He also ...

State attorneys general tackle mortgage servicing

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

By Brady Dennis, State attorneys general, who soon will enter settlement talks with the nation’s largest mortgage servicers after revelations of flawed foreclosure paperwork and other shoddy practices, will accept nothing less than wholesale changes to the way those companies treat troubled homeowne...

The latest on the Attorney General servicer settlement

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

The latest on the Attorney General servicer settlement news can be found here:PostAGServicer[http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=zy6u9cdab&et=1104871779075&s=6013&e=001XoJ2389h64umIjsfiB-i9lGEjohAzRzFXKhOL1gjsF6P7dN6_Xlxj1ZAgQe6yKM6uR4wyC1dmgPjhrY9BvXbdvSZlsWy8CkVUkA3WACK6Mi41zbEXbAK8IoWPK2ikrjQUx6UDsa18x...

SIFMA pushes back on mortgage settlement proposal

Posted on Friday, March 18, 2011

States' mortgage settlement proposal with banks WASHINGTON, (Reuters) - The leading U.S. securities industry trade organization expressed strong reservations about a settlement proposal that state attorneys general have presented to five banks over allegations of widespread wrongdoing in servicing...

Talks Continue over Servicer Penalties in Robo-Signing Settlement

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Federal regulators and state attorneys general say their investigations of servicing practices and foreclosure processes have uncovered “critical deficiencies and shortcomings” that have resulted in violations of foreclosure laws. They’ve made it clear that mortgage servicers will be required to mak...

Bank of America Facing More Lawsuits and Repurchase Demands

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

More legal woes have developed for Bank of America, as some of its mortgage investors brought a lawsuit against the lender in an attempt to force the bank to buy back bad loans. According to Bloomberg, the original balance of securitized loans involved in the case was $2.8 billion, and the plainti...

Michael Lewis Sued For Defamation In 'The Big Short'

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

NEW YORK - Michael Lewis, best-selling author of "The Big Short" about the mortgage meltdown, has been sued for defamation by an asset manager featured in the book. Other targets in the lawsuit are Lewis' publisher and prominent hedge fund manager Steven Eisman of FrontPoint Partners LLC. Wing Cha...

HSBC Suspends All U.S. Foreclosures

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

HSBC Holdings PLC has suspended all foreclosure actions in the United States, according to the company’s annual regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). HSBC says it decided to temporarily halt foreclosure proceedings after examinations by federal regulators uncovered w...

Two More Rulings Confirm MERS' Right to Foreclose

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two more rulings have defended the right of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) to foreclose on behalf of lenders. A case in New Hampshire and another in California affirmed the right of the company to act as a nominee on behalf of its members and foreclose on properties. In his decis...

SunTrust Discloses Affidavit Problems in Thousands of Foreclosure Cases

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

An internal review by SunTrust Banks, Inc. has uncovered problems with the paperwork in thousands of foreclosure cases, according to the Atlanta-based company’s annual regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “We recently conducted an assessment of our foreclosure process in ...

Officials Disagree on Penalties for Mortgage Mess

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Even as state attorneys general and regulators in Washington approach the end of their investigation into abuses by the nation’s biggest mortgage companies, deep disputes are emerging over how much to punish the banks as well as exactly who should benefit from a settlement. The newly created Consu...

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS)

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

UNDERWRITING BULLETIN 2011-06 To: ALL FLORIDA OFFICES AND AGENTS OF Chicago Title Insurance Company Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company Fidelity National Title Insurance Company From: FNTG Florida Agency Underwriting Department Date: March 3, 2011 Re: Mortgage Electroni...

A Swift Deal May Not Be a Sound One

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

ONE crucial reason the nation’s mortgage industry ran itself — and the entire nation — off the rails was its obsession with speed. Mortgages had to be approved chop-chop, loans pooled instantly. When it came to foreclosure, well, the quicker the better. So it is disturbing that the same need for s...

The Continuing Mortgage Mess

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

One of the most startling exit-poll results to emerge from the 2010 midterm elections was the finding that the 35 percent of voters who (correctly) blamed the economic collapse on Wall Street actually voted Republican by a margin of 56-42 percent. As Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin wrote in a sifting...

Guilty Plea in Fraud Case Tied to TARP

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Raymond E. Bowman, the former president of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage, pleaded guilty on Monday in connection with a $1.9 billion fraud that included trying to deceive the federal bank bailout program. Mr. Bowman, 45, of Atlanta, admitted to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank...

More Mortgage Mischief

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

The new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website proclaims that no financial company "should be able to build, or feel pressure to build, a business model around unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices." How ironic, then, that the bureau itself is trying to extend its reach by extort...

Lawmakers Demand Answers from Treasury on Proposed Settlement

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

More backlash from the 27-page proposed servicer settlement developed on Wednesday when five representatives from the House Financial Services Committee voiced their disapproval and concern in a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The letter, signed by committee chairman Spencer Bachus, ...

Too Big to Sue

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Never underestimate the power of an employee who feels wronged. One of the striking ideals of the American experiment in democracy is that we should all be equal under the law, whether we are a middle-aged African-American woman struggling to make ends meet or a multi-billion dollar internationa...

Bank Of America Pushes Back Against Government Mortgage Proposal

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan is pushing back against a government proposal that would force his company to assume responsibility for billions of dollars in mortgage debt, according to The New York Times. The proposal would encourage financially-troubled homeowners to default, Bank of Ameri...

U.S. Pushes Mortgage Deal

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Obama Proposal Seeks Multibillion-Dollar Settlement of Loan-Servicing Cases The Obama administration is trying to push through a settlement over mortgage-servicing breakdowns that could force America's largest banks to pay for reductions in loan principal worth billions of dollars. Terms of th...

Does That Proposed Foreclosure Deal Help Main Street or Wall Street?

Posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bankers began whining as soon as word of a proposed mortgage fraud settlement case hit the street, even though it was a pretty sweet deal for them. From the Wall Street Journal: "Banks Bristle at Mortgage-Loan Plan." Even the lightest, most symbolic of penalties is apparently too much for their ...

Re: Insurance after Foreclosure and Purchase of REO

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To: All Florida Offices and Agents of Chicago Title Insurance Company Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company Fidelity National Title Insurance Company From: FNTG Florida Agency Underwriting Department This Bulletin supplements Underwriting Bulletin 2010-23. The Bank of America (“B...

Banks Say They Expect Penalties From Foreclosure Probe

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three of the nation's largest banks said Friday that they expect to be sanctioned by the U.S. government for their foreclosure practices, securities filings show. The disclosures come on the heels of reports federal regulators are nearing a multi-billion dollar deal to settle allegations that the b...

Regulator Stands In Way Of Potential Multi-Billion Dollar Mortgage Settlement

Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Obama administration is seeking to broker a deal that would have the nation's largest mortgage lenders agree to pay as much as $30 billion in fines to settle state and federal claims that they abused borrowers and illegally foreclosed on homes, according to state and federal officials engaged in...

Judge Rules MERS Cannot Act on Behalf of Banks

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A New York judge has ruled that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) does not have the right to transfer mortgages on behalf of its members, meaning it does not have the right to file foreclosures on behalf of lenders. The company has recently been under fire for the practice, but...

Lehman Brothers Deceived JPMorgan With 'Goat Poo' Assets, Lawsuit Says

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

NEW YORK - Lehman Brothers and Barclays deceived JPMorgan Chase & Co with bad assets that the failed investment bank's own employees dubbed "goat poo," according to new court papers that escalate a legal battle between the financial firms. JPMorgan filed new court claims in the case, contending tha...

How a Whistle-Blower Conquered Countrywide

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

WHAT does it take to hold your powerful bosses accountable if they try to bully you out the door? Documents, e-mails, a former deputy district attorney as your lawyer — and a never-say-die approach. Such was the lesson learned by Michael G. Winston, a former executive at the Countrywide Financia...

Consumer 10.0: Phila. homeowner wins judgment against Wells Fargo over mortgage fees

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's not clear how this story will turn out, but right now Patrick Rodgers is living a pay-back fantasy probably shared by millions of struggling U.S. homeowners. Frustrated by a dispute with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and by his inability to get answers to questions, the West Philadelphia homeowne...

Allen Stanford Sues Feds For $7.2 Billion

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HOUSTON — Jailed Texas financier R. Allen Stanford has filed a lawsuit accusing prosecutors and federal agents of depriving him of his constitutional rights by using abusive law-enforcement tactics. He is asking for $7.2 billion in damages. The lawsuit filed Wednesday comes after Stanford was decl...

F.D.I.C. Is Said to Weigh Suing Leaders of Washington Mutual

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has sent letters to several former executives of Washington Mutual warning that it was considering taking legal action tied to their role in the collapse of the savings bank, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. F.D.I.C. officials have discu...

U.S. Pushes Mortgage Deal

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Obama administration is trying to push through a settlement over mortgage-servicing breakdowns that could force America's largest banks to pay for reductions in loan principal worth billions of dollars. Terms of the administration's proposal include a commitment from mortgage servicers to reduc...

New York's U.S. Bankruptcy Court Rules MERS's Business Model Is Illegal

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

United States Bankruptcy Judge Robert Grossman has ruled that MERS's business practices are unlawful. He explicitly acknowledged that this ruling sets a precedent that has far-reaching implications for half of the mortgages in this country. MERS is dead. The banks are in big trouble. And all foreclo...

SEC Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Former IndyMac Executives

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged three former executives at IndyMac Bancorp with securities fraud for misleading investors about the lender’s failing financial condition. The executives, former CEO Michael Perry, and former CFOs A. Scott Keys and S. Blair Abernathy, alleged...

SEC Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Former IndyMac Executives

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged three former executives at IndyMac Bancorp with securities fraud for misleading investors about the lender’s failing financial condition. The executives, former CEO Michael Perry, and former CFOs A. Scott Keys and S. Blair Abernathy, alleged...

SEC Files Fraud Lawsuit Against Former IndyMac Executives

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged three former executives at IndyMac Bancorp with securities fraud for misleading investors about the lender’s failing financial condition. The executives, former CEO Michael Perry, and former CFOs A. Scott Keys and S. Blair Abernathy, alleged...

Conflicting Rulings Abound in MERS Judgments

Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Last week a New York judge ruled that the relationship between Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) and its members is not one in which the company can act on behalf of the lenders in filing documents and proceeding with foreclosures. But the next day a judge in Kansas ruled the connecti...

California Appeals Court Rules Oral Promises Are Binding

Posted on Monday, February 14, 2011

A California appeals court ruling could have far reaching effects for servicers who believe oral promises do not carry weight. Last month, the three judges hearing the case of Aceves v. U.S. Bank found that the bank had promised to negotiate a loan modification for a customer while intending to pr...

4th DCA gives Bank of New York Mellon a reprieve

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011

The 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in favor of a lender Wednesday in a foreclosure case examining the question of fraudulent court filings but asked the Florida Supreme Court to review the issue. Bank of New York Mellon rightly escaped a claim that it committed a fraud on the court by voluntari...

California AG to Use $6.5M Settlement to Help Foreclosed Homeowners

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011

California Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Friday that the $6.5 million settlement from two former Countrywide Financial Corp. executives will be used to establish a fund to help foreclosed homeowners. The settlement comes from a litigation that began more than two years ago against Angelo...

Ohio Judges Halt Foreclosure Proceedings In Fraud Search

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011

Three Ohio judges are forcing lawyers to double-check foreclosure documents. Judges in Franklin County, Ohio, are making lawyers verify documents for residential foreclosures, and asking lawyers to sign certifications that verify that clients said the documents were accurate. The Columbus Dispatch ...

Lawyers' Carelessness Was Key to the Mortgage Mess

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011

Two of my biggest concerns about the mortgage mess involve the conduct of lawyers at every stage, from creating the toxic securities to foreclosing on homes, and that so far the major players haven't been held accountable for their actions in creating the crisis. Both concerns are neatly encapsula...

California Court Gives Hope to Homeowners Lied to by Banks

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011

On Jan. 27, a California appeals court ruled that U.S. Bank conned Claudia Aceves out of her home. Specifically, the court found that U.S. Bank (USB) told Aceves that if she gave up bankruptcy court protection on her home, it would negotiate a loan modification with her. But, the court found, the ba...

Fraudclosure: Will State AGs Step Up to Their Moment in History?

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011

Rumor has it that the 50-state attorneys general investigation into the Fraudclosure scandal is wrapping up. It's time for a backbone check. Will the state attorneys general just ask the big banks and service providers to turn over a chunk of change from seemingly bottomless pockets? (This strategy ...

Foreclosed Homeowners Go to Court on Their Own

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011

ALBUQUERQUE — Saving your home from foreclosure is increasingly a do-it-yourself project. Lawyers are scarce and free legal assistance is overwhelmed in New Mexico, so a community center here is offering an hourlong class in how to download the correct forms, decipher the lingo and mount a defen...

Homeowners fight 'unjust' foreclosures by lenders

Posted on Friday, February 04, 2011

Although Teresa O'Neal and Marco Delgado are among the millions who have lost their homes to foreclosure, they're fighting back by claiming a giant lender used "false and insufficient" documents to seize their properties. The two Tampa-area residents are seeking class action status for a suit aga...

Groups Say Iowa AG Retreats From Promise To Be Tough On Robo-Sign Banks

Posted on Friday, February 04, 2011

The attorney general leading the investigation into "robo-signing" mortgage companies may be backtracking on promises to help Americans wrongly foreclosed on stay in their homes. Iowa Attorney General Tim Miller is no longer promising to press criminal charges against bank officials who fraudulen...

BANKS - Bank of America and Wells Fargo Most Sued Banks in 2010

Posted on Friday, February 04, 2011

A recent report by Institutional Risk Analytics (IRA) says Bank of America, and Wells Fargo are two of the most sued financial service firms in the United States. IRA says that mortgage exposure is what is causing these two banks and others in similar situations to be embroiled in so many federal l...

BANKS - Dispute over collateral ties up bulk condo deal

Posted on Friday, February 04, 2011

Finding buyers for condos at the Ibis Villas at Doral has been almost impossible for developer Pablo Valdes. So, when investor Michael Lawrence agreed to pay cash for five units in the mostly unsold project, Valdes began counting the days to closing. Now, almost a month after the deal was to be...

Condo seeks sanctions over 'fraudulent' foreclosure filings

Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011

A condominium association in Weston is seeking monetary sanctions against the Law Offices of David J. Stern, which it claims filed "fraudulent" court documents that led to two simultaneous foreclosures being filed on the same unit. The foreclosures brought on behalf of two lenders claiming to own t...

Mass Supreme Court Rules...more thoughts

Posted on Wednesday, January 19, 2011

From a PR standpoint, the Mass ruling is further encouraging parties on both side to ‘dig’ in. It's being leveraged by everyone else to essentially further their own agendas. This is a situation where, in truth, very few folks are driven purely by the desire for an accurate and just foreclosure s...

MBA Files Suit Against Labor Dept. Over Reversal of Overtime Ruling

Posted on Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in an attempt to set aside a March ruling by the department that declared loan officers are entitled to overtime pay. In 2006 DOL issued an interpretation to MBA stating that typical loan ...

Attorneys General Close to Making Agreements with Top Five Servicers

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

There has been no shortage of reports of state attorneys general seeking accountability from servicers that they allege mishandled foreclosures. In December, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard filed a fraud suit against Bank of America (BofA). Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto als...

New Jersey orders 6 mortgage lenders into court over charges of foreclosure irregularities

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. - Six lenders who have combined to file nearly 30,000 foreclosure actions in New Jersey this year face the possible suspension of their operations next month under a court order announced Monday by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. The action follows a report submitted t...

New Jersey Threatens Statewide Suspension of Foreclosures

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

At the direction of the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, the New Jersey Superior Court yesterday directed six of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders and servicers to show cause why uncontested foreclosure actions they have filed should not be suspended. The Order to Show Cause, w...

New jersey Admin Orders

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four other mortgage lenders and service providers face a possible suspension of foreclosures in New Jersey by Jan. 19, under a judge’s order. The action, announced today by New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, also covers Citigroup ...

More From Jersey

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

NOTICE TO THE BAR RE: Emergent Amendments to Rules 1:5-6, 4:64-1 and 4:64-2 In light of irregularities in the residential foreclosure practice as reported in sworn deposition testimony in New Jersey and other states, the Court has adopted, on an emergent basis, amendments to Rules 1:5-6, 4:64-1 ...

SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

It is ORDERED that the attached amendments to Rules 1:5-6, 4:64-1 and 4:64-2 are adopted effective immediately. And, It is FURTHER ORDERED that in all uncontested residential foreclosure cases pending entry of judgment as of December 20, 2010, (1) within 60 (sixty) days, plaintiff’s counsel shal...

Admin Order 01-2010 Jersey

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

IN THE MATTER OF RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE PLEADING AND DOCUMENT IRREGULARITIES Administrative Order 01-2010 ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER DIRECTING SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION FROM RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE PLAINTIFFS CONCERNING THEIR DOCUMENT EXECUTION PRACTICES TO A SPECIAL MASTER ...

Mass Supreme Court Rules

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

In a major ruling in the Massachusetts Supreme Court today, US Bank and Wells Fargo lost the “Ibanez case,” meaning that they don’t have standing to foreclose due to improper mortgage assignment. The ruling is likely to send shock waves through the entire judicial system, and seriously raise the sta...

Pending Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling May Invalidate Securitization Mortgage Transfers

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

Bloomberg has a bombshell today, that a case before the Massachusetts Supreme Court may invalidate certain types of mortgage transfers, a central process in mortgage securitizations. A ruling for the plaintiffs would render some past foreclosures invalid, raising the possibility that the borrowers...

Mass. court ruling has potential to void thousands of foreclosures

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

The Massachusetts Supreme Court on Friday upheld a lower court ruling voiding two foreclosures because the banks failed to show the proper paperwork to prove they owned the loans-a decision that challenges the way mortgages were bundled and sold around the world. Shares of Wells Fargo and U.S. Ba...

A court case to challenge securitisation standards

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

Currently winding its way through the Massachusetts Supreme Court — a little court case that could end up having big consequences for mortgage securitisations. It’s called the ‘Ibanez case’ and here’s the story. In late 2005, Antonio Ibanez gets a $103,500 adjustable-rate mortgage loan on a Spring...

Pending Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling May Invalidate Securitization Mortgage Transfers

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

Bloomberg has a bombshell today, that a case before the Massachusetts Supreme Court may invalidate certain types of mortgage transfers, a central process in mortgage securitizations. A ruling for the plaintiffs would render some past foreclosures invalid, raising the possibility that the borrowers...

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

U.S. BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, trustee FN1 v. Antonio IBANEZ (and a consolidated case FN2 ). For ABFC 2005-OPT 1 Trust, ABFC Asset Backed Certificates, Series 2005-OPT 1.FN3). No. SJC-10694. October 7, 2010. January 7, 2011. Real Property, Mortgage, Ownership, Record title. Mortgage, Real...

Deficiency Judgments in Florida - Statute

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

Florida Statutes 55.10 Judgments, orders, and decrees; lien of all, generally; extension of liens; transfer of liens to other security. — (1) A judgment, order, or decree becomes a lien on real property in any county when a certified copy of it is recorded in the official records or judgment lien...

Attorneys General Close to Making Agreements with Top Five Servicers

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

There has been no shortage of reports of state attorneys general seeking accountability from servicers that they allege mishandled foreclosures. In December, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard filed a fraud suit against Bank of America (BofA). Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto a...

Homeowner Beats Bank Of America In Small Claims Court

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

A California homeowner sued Bank of America in small claims court and won $7,595 from the bank after it burned him on a mortgage modification. "It was a good victory for me and I think for homeowners around the country," Dave Graham told HuffPost. Graham, who lives in Big Bear City, Calif., appl...

Bank of America Agrees to $3B Settlement with Fannie and Freddie

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have reached another agreement with a lender to cover repurchase claims from alleged faulty underwriting standards in origination. Bank of America (BofA) announced Monday that it paid a nearly $3 billion settlement to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on the last day of 2010 ...

Ally Financial Reaches $462M Settlement with Fannie Mae

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

Last week Ally Financial announced that its mortgage unit, Residential Capital (ResCap), and some of its subsidiaries reached an agreement with Fannie Mae to resolve potential repurchase exposure for breaches in selling representations and warranties. The $462 million settlement releases ResC...

GSEs Settle Buy Back Claims with BoA, Other Banks

Posted on Friday, January 07, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC-Bank of America has settled demands from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that it buy back mortgage loans that the GSEs said were sold and repackaged based on faulty data. The $2.8-billion settlement will relieve some pressure of Bank of America's balance sheet, as well as its stock price...

Bank Of America Takes Multi-Billion Charge Off To Deal With Mortgage Woes

Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2011

NEW YORK — Bank of America Corp. reached a $2.8 billion settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over claims that one of its businesses sold bad mortgages. The payment is far lower than analysts expected and removes some uncertainty that has hovered over the bank. The settlement is the bigg...

Bank Of America Takes Multi-Billion Charge Off To Deal With Mortgage Woes

Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2011

NEW YORK — Bank of America Corp. reached a $2.8 billion settlement with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over claims that one of its businesses sold bad mortgages. The payment is far lower than analysts expected and removes some uncertainty that has hovered over the bank. The settlement is the biggest ...

Foreclosure Settlement May Be Coming For 5 Largest Mortgage Loan Companies

Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The five largest mortgage loan servicers, including Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), may be the first to settle with 50 state attorneys general who are investigating foreclosure practices, Bloomberg reported, citing Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. The attorney-genera...

Judge sanctions Chase Home Finance for trying to delay foreclosure

Posted on Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Miami-Dade judge has moved out of the mainstream by imposing sanctions on a bank for attempting to delay finalizing a foreclosure — a tactic seen by the defense as a way to avoid taking title and becoming responsible for the payment of association fees. Shortly before the Christmas holiday, Miami...

Where Things Stand: Foreclosure Paperwork Scandal

Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Some struggling homeowners are currently getting a temporary reprieve [1] from foreclosure sales and evictions during the holiday season, but that doesn't mean [2] all foreclosure cases have stopped moving through the courts -- and it doesn't mean we're done covering the developments in the forecl...

WaMu Settlement Deadline Extended

Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011

WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) - Washington Mutual Inc reached agreement to extend a key deadline in its $10 billion settlement that is at the end of its plan to end its bankruptcy, according to a court filing on Tuesday. The company said in a filing with Delaware's bankruptcy court it extended the...

Allstate Sues BofA, Mozilo Over Countrywide Losses

Posted on Tuesday, January 04, 2011

NEW YORK (By Jonathan Stempel) - Allstate Corp has sued Bank of America Corp, its Countrywide lending unit and 17 other defendants for allegedly misrepresenting the risks on more than $700 million of mortgage securities it bought from Countrywide. Allstate, the largest publicly traded U.S. home and...

U.S. Marshals Mishandled Forfeitures, Suit Says

Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010

An arm of the United States Marshals Service undervalued what could amount to untold millions of dollars in assets forfeited by white-collar criminals — including some from the family of Bernard L. Madoff — and sold them for far less than they were worth, according to a lawsuit filed in federal...

Rush to foreclose by Fannie, Freddie helped feed problems with legal paperwork

Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2010

As the housing market came crashing down in 2008, the giant mortgage company Fannie Mae took an unprecedented step to help tackle the rising tide of foreclosures. It named an exclusive group of law firms that would help rapidly carry out the unsavory task of filing legal paperwork to remove homeowne...

Florida attorney general investigating companies that serve foreclosure papers

Posted on Thursday, December 23, 2010

The first step in foreclosure process is that the homeowner is supposed to informed that the foreclosure is beginning. But as millions of Americans face foreclosure, even the process of alerting the homeowner with the serving of a summons has been filled with errors. The Times-Union wrote abou...

In a Sign of Foreclosure Flaws, Suits Claim Break-Ins by Banks

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TRUCKEE, Calif. — When Mimi Ash arrived at her mountain chalet here for a weekend ski trip, she discovered that someone had broken into the home and changed the locks. When she finally got into the house, it was empty. All of her possessions were gone: furniture, her son’s ski medals, winter clot...

Defense lawyers raise new issue: 'Robo-verifiers'

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I. Lenders and their law firms are violating new procedures implemented by the Florida Supreme Court intended to address a controversy over botched foreclosure cases, according to attorneys for homeowners. After a national foreclosure scandal that resulted in a moratorium, new procedures implemen...

E.E.O.C. Sues Kaplan Over Hiring

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sending a sharp warning to employers nationwide, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the Kaplan Higher Education Corporation on Tuesday, accusing it of discriminating against black job applicants through the way it uses credit histories in its hiring process. The lawsuit, an unusual...

In a Sign of Foreclosure Flaws, Suits Claim Break-Ins by Banks

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

TRUCKEE, Calif. — When Mimi Ash arrived at her mountain chalet here for a weekend ski trip, she discovered that someone had broken into the home and changed the locks. When she finally got into the house, it was empty. All of her possessions were gone: furniture, her son’s ski medals, winter cl...

Ernst & Young Sued For Fraud Over Lehman

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

| NEW YORK — New York's attorney general is suing accounting giant Ernst & Young, accusing it of helping defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers hide billions of dollars in debt from investors even as it teetered on the brink of financial collapse. The civil lawsuit, filed by Attorney General ...

Deutsche Bank Fraud Probe Leads To $550 Million Settlement

Posted on Wednesday, December 22, 2010

NEW YORK (AP, By LARRY NEUMEISTER) - Federal authorities say Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay more than $550 million to resolve a federal tax shelter fraud investigation. Authorities announced Tuesday that the bank also admitted criminal wrongdoing in connection with its participation in financial t...

Arizona Sues Bank Of America, Alleges Loan Modification Fraud

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2010

PHOENIX — Attorneys general in Arizona and Nevada filed civil lawsuits Friday against Bank of America Corp., alleging that the lender is misleading and deceiving homeowners who have tried to modify mortgages in two of the nation's most foreclosure-damaged states. Bank of America violated Arizona's ...

SEC mortgage probe big banks targeted reuters

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2010

U.S. regulators have opened a new line of inquiry in their mortgage foreclosure probe and are asking big Wall Street banks about the beginning stages of mortgage securitization, two sources familiar with the probe said. The Securities and Exchange Commission launched the new phase of its investigat...

Arizona Attorney General Files Fraud Suit Against BofA

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2010

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard announced Friday that his office has filed a lawsuit against North Carolina-based Bank of America (BofA) and its affiliated companies for alleged fraudulent acts committed after a March 2009 lawsuit. In March 2009, a judgment was entered into in order to resol...

SEC Subpoenas Big Banks' Mortgage Securitization Documents

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2010

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly investigating lenders’ procedures for packaging home mortgages into securities bonds for sale to investors. Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the probe, says the SEC sent subpoenas last week to Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorga...

Loan Servicers: Opening the Bag of Mortgage Tricks

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2010

ALL the revelations this year about dubious practices in the mortgage servicing arena — think robo-signers and forged signatures — have rightly raised borrowers’ fears that companies handling their loans may not be operating on the up and up. But borrowers aren’t the only ones concerned about...

Lenders, servicers scramble to shift cases to new firms

Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010

As the one-time largest plaintiff foreclosure law firm in Florida, the Law Offices of David J. Stern at its peak handled 20 percent of all foreclosures in the state, processing more than 70,000 foreclosure cases on behalf of major lenders like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Bank of America and JPMorgan Ch...

Bank of America Starts Talks on Soured Mortgages

Posted on Friday, December 17, 2010

In a bid to turn down the temperature in what promises to be an extended legal battle, Bank of America has opened a dialogue with investors who want the bank to buy back tens of billions in soured mortgages. But bank officials insisted on Wednesday the talks did not represent a shift in strategy ...

Nationwide Title goes on attack against vocal critics

Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010

Nationwide Title Clearing, a Palm Harbor company at the center of the nation's robo-signing controversy, is going on the offensive against its critics. On Wednesday, the company sued a St. Petersburg foreclosure defense lawyer, Matthew Weidner, for alleged libel and slander. And it recently obta...

From big breaks for buyers in 2010 to brakes on foreclosures 2010 in review

Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010

FORECLOSURE MESS How The Mighty Have Fallen It was a hard fall for one of South Florida’s wealthiest law firm heads, who started the year with 1,200 employees and sold his back-office processing company to a publicly traded company for more than $100 million. But David Stern of the Plantation-bas...

Interesting..Article from 2003 Title Insurance Guidelines on how to deal with missing mortgage assig

Posted on Monday, December 13, 2010

LandAmerica Adopts New Underwriting Position: Assignments of Mortgages Suppose you’ve just sold your investment or income producing property and have a signed contract of sale. Is it too late to do a 1031 Exchange? Certainly not. As long as the relinquished property transaction has not closed, you...

B of A Unit to Pay 137 Million in Bond Payoff

Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2010

WASHINGTON — Bank of America has agreed to pay $137 million to resolve allegations that it paid for information that helped rig the bidding process and win business from cities and towns in 20 states. Federal and state officials announced the settlements Tuesday with the nation's largest bank. B...

Lender Processing Services, Foreclosure Giant, Faces Growing Legal Trouble

Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2010

JACKSONVILLE, Florida (Reuters) - Lender Processing Services is riding the waves of foreclosures sweeping the United States, but in late October its CEO, Jeff Carbiener, found himself needing to reassure investors in the $2.8 billion company. Although profits were rolling in, LPS's stock had take...

Appeals court reverses another South Florida foreclosure

Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2010

A state appeals court reversed another foreclosure Wednesday, ruling that leaving notice of a lawsuit at a homeowner's front door is not sufficient notification. It's the latest in a string of foreclosure reversals based on flaws in documents or the legal process, as appellate courts closely scr...

Circuit Judge Meenu Sasser reverses orders against Ice firm

Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Palm Beach Circuit Judge has overruled fellow Circuit Judge Meenu Sasser and vacated orders accusing foreclosure defense firm Ice legal of filing "fraudulent" motions. Judge John Hoy reversed Sasser's orders directing the Royal Palm Beach firm to withdraw motions in three foreclosure cases becaus...

Appeals court reverses another South Florida foreclosure

Posted on Friday, December 03, 2010

A state appeals court reversed another foreclosure Wednesday, ruling that leaving notice of a lawsuit at a homeowner's front door is not sufficient notification. It's the latest in a string of foreclosure reversals based on flaws in documents or the legal process, as appellate courts closely scrut...

Attorney defends taking on mortgages as contingency fee

Posted on Friday, December 03, 2010

Foreclosure defense attorney Peter Ticktin has told the Florida Bar that he has not done anything wrong by signing agreements that give him the right to take on mortgages on his client’s houses if he wins their foreclosure cases. The Bar launched an investigation of Ticktin after the New York Times...

BofA's 'sloppy' prime mortgages add to pressure for buybacks

Posted on Friday, December 03, 2010

Bank of America Corp., battling demands for almost $13 billion of refunds from mortgage investors, reported that the fastest-growing group of claims involves loans to people with the best credit scores. Claims for refunds on prime mortgages surged 150 percent to $3.6 billion in the first nine mont...

Wall Street Banks In Talks To Settle SEC Lawsuit Over CDOs

Posted on Friday, December 03, 2010

As the government hunts for conflicts of interest at Wall Street banks that peddled investments which contributed to the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression, those banks are reportedly near settlement. The SEC is looking at banks such as Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanl...

Banks' legal right to foreclose is questioned in testimony before House panel

Posted on Friday, December 03, 2010

The system of pooling and selling mortgages around the world has caused widespread confusion about who owns the loans and raises questions about whether banks in some cases have the legal standing to foreclose, a state judge and consumer attorneys testified before Congress on Thursday. New York ...

County Register of Deeds Picks Fight with MERS

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

About a week ago, John O'Brien, Register of Deeds in Essex County Massachusetts, sent a letter to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley asking that she look into whether MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.) failed to pay legally required recording fees in Massachusetts when ...

Judges blocking foreclosures when mortgage notes not in hand

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

State and federal judges in New Jersey are putting mortgage foreclosures under greater scrutiny, not letting them go forward without timely possession of the note in a pair of recent decisions. On Nov. 16, a bankruptcy judge in Camden disallowed a proof of claim on a mortgage because the part...

Justice Watch: BankAtlantic verdict to buoy suits against big banks

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

As part of their Contract with America, Republicans in Congress tried to shut the door on shareholder class actions against publicly traded companies in 1995. Many lawmakers at the time felt shareholders needed to learn to take losses when fickle markets dipped and not blame hard-working executive...

Judge won't dismiss suit against Trump, developers

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Donald Trump and the developers of Fort Lauderdale's Trump International Hotel have failed in their latest attempt to dodge a lawsuit by buyers seeking to recover more than $6 million in pre-construction deposits. Broward Circuit Judge Peter Weinstein on Friday denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit ...

Foreclosure Firms Blamed For 'Inexcusable Breakdowns' By Obama Administration

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

WASHINGTON (By Martin Crutsinger, AP) - An Obama administration official says a preliminary investigation into the foreclosure process has found inexcusable breakdowns in the basic controls mortgage lenders should have been using. Assistant Treasury Secretary Michael Barr said Tuesday that a for...

Greenberg in middle of suit over bad property deal

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Wall Street real estate firm and Greenberg Traurig are on the defensive in a lawsuit sparked by a $41.5 million land deal gone wrong. A 587-page lawsuit filed Monday by a Hollywood real estate company against the nation's eighth-largest law firm and its client, GFI Acquisitions, signals the table...

Greenberg in middle of suit of bad property deal

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A Wall Street real estate firm and Greenberg Traurig are on the defensive in a lawsuit sparked by a $41.5 million land deal gone wrong. A 587-page lawsuit filed Monday by a Hollywood real estate company against the nation's eighth-largest law firm and its client, GFI Acquisitions, signals the table...

Does the Defense of Foreclosures by Lawyers Border on the Unethical?

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I am torn between my sympathy for those who are about to lose their homes through foreclosure and the injury I see to the rule of rule and the economy itself in the way foreclosure proceedings are being challenged and processed. People are angry with the banks and for good reason, but it is importan...

U.S. Preparing Sweeping Insider-Trading Charges: Report

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

NEW YORK: U.S. officials are preparing insider trading charges against a host of financial players, including investment bankers and hedge fund managers, The Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. The charges could surpass any previous investigations on Wall Street, a...

Wells Fargo To Pay Citi $100M To Settle Wachovia Lawsuit

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

NEW YORK — Wells Fargo & Co. has agreed to pay $100 million to Citigroup Inc. to settle a dispute related to its acquisition of Wachovia Corp. in October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. Wachovia was teetering on the brink of collapse from bad real estate loans when it initially agre...

Robo-Signer Problems May Be A Problme For EVERYONES TITLE

Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The term ‘robo-signer’ has come to mean those individuals who signed their names to tens of thousands of flawed documents at a million miles an hour with complete disregard for the truth and accuracy of contents of those documents. This word may well wind up being the official Miriam Webster Dictio...

U.S. Preparing Sweeping Insider-Trading Charges: Report

Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010

NEW YORK: U.S. officials are preparing insider trading charges against a host of financial players, including investment bankers and hedge fund managers, The Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. The charges could surpass any previous investigations on Wall Street, and...

Wells Fargo To Pay Citi $100M To Settle Wachovia Lawsuit

Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010

| NEW YORK — Wells Fargo & Co. has agreed to pay $100 million to Citigroup Inc. to settle a dispute related to its acquisition of Wachovia Corp. in October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. Wachovia was teetering on the brink of collapse from bad real estate loans when it initially agree...

Prominent foreclosure defense attorney faces losing his own home

Posted on Monday, November 22, 2010

Peter Ticktin, the South Florida attorney who has received national attention as a foreclosure defense expert, has something in common with his clients: He is fighting the bank to keep his house. Deutsche Bank National began foreclosure proceedings on Ticktin's Boca Raton home in 2007 after the l...

States, mortgage lenders in talks over fund for borrowers in foreclosure mess

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

State attorneys general and the country's biggest lenders are negotiating to create a nationwide fund to compensate borrowers who can prove they lost their home in an improper foreclosure, state and industry officials said. The fund would present a solution for both sides, helping banks avoid leng...

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Robo-Signing

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

The industry’s foreclosure paperwork problems were the focus on Capitol Hill Tuesday. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) called a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee to discuss the so-called robo-signing issue, which he called just the tip of the iceberg. Executives from several major banks – i...

David J. Stern's Florida Foreclosure Firm May Default On Loan

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

NEW YORK (By Jonathan Stempel) - A mortgage business run by a Florida lawyer whose foreclosure practices are under investigation may be forced to close if it fails to resolve a default with its lender, a regulatory filing shows. DJSP Enterprises Inc, run by the lawyer David Stern, on Monday said it...

Banks Are Escaping Big Foreclosure Class Action Lawsuits

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (By Dan Levine) - Lenders snarled in the legal thicket over shoddy U.S. foreclosure procedures have so far avoided national class action lawsuits from homeowners, largely because borrowers cannot demonstrate economic harm, according to plaintiff lawyers. Several large plaintiff fir...

Jury: BankAtlantic misled investors

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

BankAtlantic Bancorp misled investors about its banking subsidiary’s financial health as South Florida’s commercial real estate market headed downhill in the recession, a Miami federal jury found today in a shareholder class action. The verdict could be a harbinger for financial institutions around...

David Stern's offices lays off 155 more employees

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

Another 155 employees received pink slips Thursday from the Law Offices of David J. Stern and DJSP Enterprises, which processes home foreclosure cases for the Plantation-based law firm. The layoffs came as Fannie Mae, which withdrew it business from the Stern firm after becoming one of its biggest ...

Judge's order forcing return of condo deposits is reversed

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

A state appeals court on Wednesday reversed a trial court order forcing a developer to fork over a portion of deposits by 15 condo purchasers who sued when their luxury lofts on Sunny Isles Beach weren’t completed on time. The 3rd District Court of Appeal found Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Peter Adrien...

Jury: BankAtlantic misled investors

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

Fort Lauderdale-based BankAtlantic Bancorp intentionally misled investors about problems with loans to commercial developers, a Miami federal jury found Thursday in a rare securities fraud class action trial. The bank holding company made a series of eight false statements in financial filings with...

BankAtlantic Loses Class Action Trial

Posted on Friday, November 19, 2010

A jury has ruled that BankAtlantic Bancorp and its officials violated federal securities laws. After more than a week of deliberations, the jury came back with a verdict Thursday, finding that the price of the bank’s stock was inflated during parts of 2007 because of misstatements by the company. ...

Florida chief justice says foreclosures must be open

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady issued a memorandum Wednesday directing chief judges of the state's trial courts to make sure foreclosure proceedings are open to the public. Canady's memo also emphasized that the Trial Court Budget Commission's goal of resolving 62 percent of f...

Bank Of America Wants Judge To Throw Out Racketeering Lawsuit Over 'Robo-Signers,' Foreclosures

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NEW YORK (by Jonathan Stempel) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) has urged a federal judge to throw out a racketeering lawsuit over its alleged use of "robo-signers" in foreclosures. The largest U.S. bank said the Indiana plaintiffs, who lost their home to foreclosure in 2009, failed to show they were...

At issue: Can homeowners reopen cases?

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pressing for a Lake Worth homeowner's right to expose alleged fraud by a bank, a foreclosure defense attorney argued before a state appeals court that Bank of New York Mellon cannot stop a trial judge from reopening a case that had been dismissed. Oral arguments heard Wednesday looked at the caus...

Stern-led companies may have to shut down

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Companies led by foreclosure defense attorney David J. Stern face a shutdown if a subsidiary is unable to repay a credit line worth about $12 million, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Bank of America gave DAL Group, a unit of Plantation-based DJSP Enterprises, a Nov...

Suits over foreclosure 'robo-signing' are piling up

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The expected litigation frenzy against mortgage lenders that used "robo-signing" tactics — mass signing and approval of foreclosure documents without verification — has launched, with class actions in Florida and Maine and a lawsuit by Ohio’s attorney general filed this month, all against GMAC Mortg...

Foreclosure attorney Stern struggling to pay his bills

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Law Offices of David J. Stern, which has helped banks seize thousands of homes from homeowners who missed mortgage payments, is now having trouble paying its own bills. One of its subsidiaries is seeking bank forbearance for defaulting loans, and the shrinking company has fallen behind on rent...

Stern-led companies may have to shut down

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Companies led by foreclosure defense attorney David J. Stern face a shutdown if a subsidiary is unable to repay a credit line worth about $12 million, according to a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Bank of America gave DAL Group, a unit of Plantation-based DJSP Enterprises, a Nov. ...

Plaintiff attorney says BankAtlantic loans were like 'time bomb'

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Loans to real estate developers ticked like a "time bomb" ready to sink BankAtlantic Bancorp’s stock, but investors were purposefully kept in the dark, a shareholder attorney argued Wednesday as a securities fraud class action trial neared its conclusion in Miami. Company attorney Eugene Stearns ex...

Matt Taibbi: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The following is an article from the November 25, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone. This issue is available Friday on newsstands, as well online in Rolling Stone’s digital archive. The foreclosure lawyers down in Jacksonville had warned me, but I was skeptical. They told me the state of Florida had cr...

Question: What Do Wells Fargo Bank and Class Action Lawyers Have in Common?

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Answer: An Insatiable Appetite for Fees. We comment regularly about the misdeeds of plaintiff's class action lawyers and the dysfunctional class action system in which they operate. But we want to make it clear that by no means do we whitewash the misdeeds of corporate America. Indeed, could any...

Bank of America Brings Suit Against Old Republic

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bank of America says Old Republic International Corp. is “wrongfully withholding payment” on hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgage insurance claims on home equity loans that have defaulted. BofA has filed a lawsuit against the mortgage insurer with a federal court in Charlotte, North Carol...

Largest Bank Will Resume Foreclosure Push in 23 States

Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010

Bank of America announced on Monday that it would resume home foreclosures in nearly two dozen states, despite the running controversy over how banks handled tens of thousands of cases of homeowners facing eviction. Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank and the servicer of roughly one in fi...

Taxas Ag on Non Judical Process

Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010

After GMAC, Ally, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America publicly admit they have a credibility gap (to put it nicely), they only agreed to stop foreclosures in the minority of states where foreclosures require judicial approval. As long as they can hide their problems, they don’t exist? More like th...

Fannie Mae Release of Stern Robo Signers

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

Servicing Notice: Termination of Relationship with the Stern Law Firm Fannie Mae has issued the following Notice (the entire text of the Notice is included in this e-mail): This Notice affects existing and future mediation, foreclosure, bankruptcy, and litigation referrals of mortgage loans in t...

Due Process

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last October, attorney Josh Bleil was being threatened with fines by a Miami-Dade circuit judge for presenting general defense motions on behalf of a client going through foreclosure. Judge Ronald Friedman struck all defense motions, handed the house back to the lender and told Bleil, "Tell your cl...

Subpoena discrepancy will go to 4th DCA, experts say

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

When the Shapiro & Fishman foreclosure law firm moved to quash a subpoena from the Florida attorney general’s office, Palm Beach Circuit Judge Jack Cox agreed, calling the subpoena overbroad, invasive and beyond its scope of authority. But when another foreclosure firm, the Law Offices of David J. ...

Some judges chastise banks over foreclosure paperwork

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

EAST PATCHOGUE, N.Y. - A year ago, Long Island Judge Jeffrey Spinner concluded that a mortgage company's paperwork in a foreclosure case was so flawed and its behavior in negotiations with the borrower so "repugnant" that he erased the family's $292,500 debt and gave the house back for free. The j...

Foreclosure roundup: More problems for developer Pugliese

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

The rough couple of months for Delray Beach developer Anthony Pugliese III got worse on Nov. 4, when Great Florida Bank filed a foreclosure lawsuit over his planned Coconut Creek apartment project. The Miami Lakes-based bank (Pink Sheets: GFLB) named Pugliese and his St. Lucie Industrial Properties ...

Despite Warnings From States, Federal Regulators Failed to Act on Foreclosure Problems

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

While they may be conducting their own investigations, federal prosecutors and national bank regulators for the most part aren’t the ones leading the investigation [1] into the foreclosure mess. At least that's the perception—one that's reinforced when Elizabeth Warren, Obama's head of consumer fina...

Rocket Docket Breakdown: Will borrowers get due process

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last October, attorney Josh Bleil was being threatened with fines by a Miami-Dade circuit judge for presenting general defense motions on behalf of a client going through foreclosure. Judge Ronald Friedman struck all defense motions, handed the house back to the lender and told Bleil, "Tell your cl...

Taking On a Second Mortgage to Pay the Foreclosure Lawyer

Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010

For some Florida residents, the price of getting out of foreclosure will include taking on a second mortgage — payable this time to their lawyers. The new mortgage, which takes effect only if the foreclosure is dismissed and the homeowner’s debt to the bank is reduced, is controversial among defen...

Stern law firm, DJSP lay off 200 employees

Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010

The troubled Plantation foreclosure firm the Law Offices of David J. Stern and affiliate DJSP Enterprises laid off about 200 employees Thursday on the heels of word it lost major clients Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Stern attorney Jeffrey Tew of Tew Cardenas in Miami said he didn’t know how many a...

Ally CEO: We 'Screwed Up' and We're 'Embarrassed' over Robo-Signers

Posted on Monday, November 08, 2010

I Ally Financial’s GMAC Mortgage subsidiary was the first major servicer to admit to problems in its foreclosure procedures that led to errors in legal affidavits. The findings led the company to freeze foreclosures and REO sales in certain states and cast a shadow of doubt over the integrity of ...

A Government-Mandated Foreclosure Moratorium Is a Popular (and Bad) Idea

Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010

A new poll released by the Washington Post shows that just over half of Americans, and two-thirds of Democrats, believe that the government should impose a temporary moratorium on foreclosures. On the eve of an important election, the White House is definitely caught in a bad spot. Someone needs to...

The “Mortgagegate” Scandal: Congratulations America, You’re Now in the Title-Insurance Business

Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010

U.S. taxpayers already own pieces of such problem-plagued companies as General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC, American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG), Fannie Mae (OTC: FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC). Now the increasingly problematic "Mortgagegate" saga could land American taxpayers in the trou...

Wells Fargo Owns Up to Finding Errors in 55,000 Foreclosure Affidavits

Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010

For weeks, Wells Fargo has insisted that it’s not a part of the robo-signing debacle that’s given the industry another black eye, adamantly professing that its foreclosure affidavits are legitimate. That tune has changed with an announcement from the company late Wednesday that it will submit new af...

Amid mortgage mess, owners blindsided

Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010

After Valarie Stovall fell behind on the mortgage on her home near Hagerstown, her lender agreed in April to slash her monthly payment by $300, and she immediately started paying the reduced amount. That's why, Stovall said, she thought nothing of the yellow flier she ripped off her screen door as...

The States Take on Foreclosures

Posted on Friday, November 05, 2010

Have you noticed that the lead dogs investigating the mortgage foreclosure mess are not any federal prosecutors or national bank regulators, but rather the state attorneys general? I sure have. I can’t think of a more encouraging development. Yeah, yeah, a handful of federal investigations have al...

Foreclosure Investigation by States to Stay on Track

Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010

Though some of the players will change, the coordinated effort by attorneys general across the country to investigate — and ultimately reshape — foreclosure procedures is not expected to lose momentum because of Tuesday’s election. Tom Miller, Iowa’s attorney general, who is leading the effort, ...

Attorney says transcript shows BankAtlantic CEO Alan Levan hid problems

Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010

An attorney for BankAtlantic Bancorp shareholders bombarded the company’s chairman and chief executive officer with questions Wednesday, contending Alan Levan did not publicly express his true concerns about the quality of bank loans hurt by the real estate collapse. During cross-examination by sh...

Pending Sales of Government-Owned REOs May Experience Delays

Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010

Buyers of REO homes owned by HUD may have their closing dates pushed back after this Friday, but the federal agency says any delays will be brief. Rumors have circulated from various corners of the industry that HUD is planning a moratorium on REO sales expected to close after the end of this week,...

Lenders Told to Disclose Likely Losses from Paperwork Errors, Buybacks

Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is putting mortgage lenders on alert regarding disclosures about potential losses from foreclosure paperwork defects and loans they may be forced to buy back from investors. In a letter sent to the CFOs of publicly traded banking companies, the federal ...

Robo Signer Update

Posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010

The expanding investigation into Florida's foreclosure crisis has turned up a new problem that may involve a number of cases: Individuals hired by law firms to notify struggling homeowners when their foreclosure cases are to be heard in court may have filed faulty or false documents. Foreclosure ...

The States Take on Foreclosures

Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve have made it clear that they are more concerned about keeping the foreclosure mill going full speed than they are about determining whether the banks broke the law. Somehow throwing people out of their homes quickly is supposed to help the economy. Or ...

Debt Collectors Face a Hazard: Writer’s Cramp

Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2010

When Michael Gazzarato took a job that required him to sign hundreds of affidavits in a single day, he had one demand for his employer: a much better pen. “They tried to get me to do it with a Bic, and I wasn’t going — I wasn’t having it,” he said. “It was bad when I had to use the plastic Paper...

Title Insurers Forego Guarantees on Foreclosure Paperwork Accuracy

Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Title insurers are voicing their confidence in mortgage servicers’ ability to correct foreclosure paperwork problems. They’ve decided not to require banks to consent to agreements vouching for the validity of foreclosure documentation, after talks between the two industry groups reportedly fell thr...

Report on NAR’s Meetings with Large Lenders

Posted on Tuesday, November 02, 2010

SUMMARY NAR is meeting with several of the largest national mortgage lenders in an effort to communicate REALTOR® concerns and discuss how we can work together to make significant improvements to both the origination and short sale processes. These meetings mark a new phase of the relationship b...

Homeowners Facing Foreclosure Demand Recourse

Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010

Ricky Rought paid cash to the Deutsche Bank National Trust Company for a four-room cabin in Michigan with the intention of fixing it up for his daughter. Instead, the bank tried to foreclose on the property and the locks were changed, court records show. Sonya Robison is facing a foreclosure suit ...

Foreclosure lawyers go to North Carolina farm for edge on lenders

Posted on Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloomberg News Consumer lawyers have been traveling to a remote 160-acre farm in the mountains of western North Carolina since 2006 to network, drink Scotch and prepare for legal combat in foreclosure and bankruptcy cases. They arrive in groups of a dozen or so for a four-day boot camp where they...

Foreclosures Had Errors, Bank Finds

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ NYTimes.com Even as Bank of America begins to restart foreclosure proceedings in 23 states on Monday, the bank confirmed that it had discovered errors, including incorrect data and misspelled names, in the paperwork it has reviewed. For weeks, Bank of America has insisted i...

One Mess That Can’t Be Papered Over

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON NYTimes.com LAWYERS representing delinquent homeowners have been shouting for years about documentation problems in residential mortgages. Now that their complaints have gained traction with investors, attorneys general and some state court officials, the question of conseque...

Fannie Mae asks Stern firm to put foreclosure cases on hold

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Paola Iuspa-Abbott Daily Business Review Fannie Mae has asked a Plantation-based law firm under investigation by state officials to put on hold all cases involving the government-sponsored mortgage buyer. Fannie Mae late Monday also told the Law Offices of David Stern, which the Florida attorney...

Attorney general's subpoena was a 'constitutional absurdity'

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Commentary by Andrew Berman Daily Business Review Palm Beach Circuit Judge Jack Cox ignited consternation Oct. 4 when he quashed a subpoena Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum issued against a law firm, effectively blocking an investigation into its foreclosure practices. In doing so, he call...

Title Insurer Guidelines

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To: All Florida Offices and Agents of: Chicago Title Insurance Company Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company Fidelity National Title Insurance Company From: FNTG Florida Underwriting Department Date: October 27, 2010 Re: CLARIFICATION OF PORTIONS OF UNDERWRITING BULLETIN 2010-23 (INSURING ...

Title insurers seek to insulate themselves from foreclosure losses

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

By Elizabeth Razzi Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, October 22, 2010; 10:31 PM The title insurance industry is maneuvering to protect itself from losses if courts rule that banks have played fast and loose with the foreclosure process. But people who buy foreclosed properties from banks may...

Big Problem for Banks: Due Process

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 22, 2010 By JOE NOCERA NYTimes.com Earlier this week, Bank of America, the nation’s largest consumer bank, reported its third-quarter earnings. It was a very good quarter; putting aside an accounting charge — a very large, $10.4 billion accounting charge, admittedly — the bank reported...

The real foreclosure mess: Lack of accountability for banks

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

By Allan Sloan Fortune Wednesday, October 27, 2010; 12:27 AM The biggest danger to the U.S. capitalist system doesn't come from communists or community activists or left-wing academics. It comes from some of the nation's biggest financial institutions. These companies, which helped create the f...

Bank of America hit with foreclosure fraud class action suit

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Charles Toutant Daily Business Review October 27, 2010 Bank of America has been hit with a class action on behalf of homeowners seeking damages for alleged disregard of foreclosure process rules. The suit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, accuses Bank of America and two s...

Mortgage lenders say 'enough is enough' as buybacks curb loans

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bloomberg News October 25, 2010 Home lenders are making it tougher to get loans as investors step up demands for refunds on defective mortgages, damaging the housing market, executives said today at an industry conference. Already beset by billions of dollars in forced buybacks, originators ha...

Foreclosure Freezes Come on Heels of Rise in Distressed Sales: Report

Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

By: Carrie Bay 10/26/2010 DSNews.com The proportion of foreclosure and other distressed property sales continued to climb in September, according to a report released this week by Campbell Surveys. The company says the new data suggests that any significant delay in foreclosures resulting from t...

Iowa attorney general launches foreclosure probe amid fierce public outrage

Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

By Brady Dennis Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, October 22, 2010; 11:45 PM DES MOINES - Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, the man heading up a 50-state investigation into practices that generated mountains of flawed and possibly fraudulent foreclosure filings, understands the wave of anger...

Title insurers seek to insulate themselves from foreclosure losses

Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

By Elizabeth Razzi Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, October 22, 2010; 10:31 PM The title insurance industry is maneuvering to protect itself from losses if courts rule that banks have played fast and loose with the foreclosure process. But people who buy foreclosed properties from banks may...

Big Problem for Banks: Due Process

Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

By JOE NOCERA Earlier this week, Bank of America, the nation’s largest consumer bank, reported its third-quarter earnings. It was a very good quarter; putting aside an accounting charge — a very large, $10.4 billion accounting charge, admittedly — the bank reported $3.1 billion in profits. It was t...

Ben Bernanke: Regulators Looking Into Foreclosure Mess

Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Huffington Post JEANNINE AVERSA | WASHINGTON — Federal banking regulators are examining whether mortgage companies cut corners on their own procedures when they moved to foreclose on people's homes, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday. Preliminary results of the in-depth review in...

Title Guidelines for Robo Signer Cases

Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2010-23 To: All Florida Offices and Agents of: Chicago Title Insurance Company Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company Fidelity National Title Insurance Company From: FNTG Florida Underwriting Department Date: October 26, 2010 Re: INSURING FORECLOSED PROPERTIES In the current environment o...

Title Implications of FDIC Take Over

Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010

2010-22 To: All Florida Offices and Agents of: Chicago Title Insurance Company Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company Fidelity National Title Insurance Company From: FNTG Florida Underwriting Department Date: October 26, 2010 Re: FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF JACKSONVILLE (Jacksonville, FL) – FDI...

Fidelity Response to Foreclosure Freeze

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010

All Florida Offices and Agents of: Chicago Title Insurance Company Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company Fidelity National Title Insurance Company From: FNTG Florida Underwriting Department Date: October 22, 2010 Re: INSURING FORECLOSED PROPERTIES Company guidelines require a complete and...

Summary Judgement Cases

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010

35 Fla. L. Weekly D2254a Mortgages -- Foreclosure -- Error to grant summary judgment of foreclosure where mortgagors had asserted affirmative defenses which were not denied by mortgagee, dealt with during hearing on motion for summary judgment, or addressed in final judgment JUDITH ALEJANDRE and ...

Developers

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010

Lenders, creditors battle over home-builder Tousa's loans A group of big lenders will face off against creditors of home-builder Tousa today in a legal tug of war over more than $500 million. The case involves a loan issued to Tousa in the months leading up to its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in J...

LawSuits Over HAMP

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010

A federal judicial panel recently consolidated class-action lawsuits from across the country alleging that Bank of America treated homeowners with bad faith when they applied for mortgage modifications under the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program. "What this demonstrates i...

Foreclosure Freeze HUD Review

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said Wednesday that the Obama administration will attempt to protect homeowners and police the kind of paperwork fraud that led the nation's largest banks to temporarily halt foreclosures this month, but added that the administration had yet...

New Law Allows Homeowners to Recoup Legal Fees in Foreclosure Cases

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010

A new state law signed in Albany this week will allow homeowners who win foreclosure proceedings to have the lender pay their lawyers’ fees. Supporters say the law balances what they see as the long unfair practice of lenders writing provisions in mortgage contracts that allow them to collect lawy...

Donovan Interview

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

JIM LEHRER: A federal task force met today in Washington to sort through the housing foreclosure mess, much of it caused by reports of major paperwork problems. More than 2.5 million American homes are currently in foreclosure. The secretary for housing and urban development, Shaun Donovan, briefe...

U.S. Tries to Ease Wider Worries Over Foreclosures

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

WASHINGTON — Administration officials renewed efforts on Wednesday to ease concerns about the integrity of the foreclosure process, saying that no evidence had emerged so far of any problems that threatened the health of the financial system. Shaun Donovan, secretary of housing and urban developme...

Battle Lines Forming in Clash Over Foreclosure

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

About a month after Washington Mutual Bank made a multimillion-dollar mortgage loan on a mountain home near Santa Barbara, Calif., a crucial piece of paperwork disappeared. But bank officials were unperturbed. After conducting a “due and diligent search,” an assistant vice president simply drew up...

N.Y. Fed joins investors demanding Bank of America buy back mortgages

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has joined a group of investors demanding that Bank of America buy back billions of dollars worth of mortgage securities that are plagued with shoddy documentation and lending standards, according to people familiar with the matter. Some of the most powerful in...

Major title insurer insists lenders vouch for foreclosure paperwork

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

The country's largest title insurer said Wednesday that banks and other lenders must vouch for the accuracy of their mortgage documents before the firm will write insurance for a foreclosure Fidelity National Financial announced the policy change - the strongest move yet by a title insurer to protec...

Foreclosure Freeze Started With Small Firms

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

The paperwork mess muddying home foreclosures erupted last month. But the legal strategy behind it traces to a lawyer's gambit in 2006 that has helped keep one couple in their home six years beyond their last mortgage payment. Lillian and Robert Jackson stopped paying on their home in Jacksonville,...

Florida activists read between the lines on foreclosure paperwork

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Nearly a year before the national furor over foreclosures began, Lisa Epstein, a nurse, ran into three other amateur sleuths who separately were investigating shoddy practices at mortgage companies. While meeting for the first time in November at an old one-story law office...

Task force probing whether banks broke federal laws during home seizures

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Federal investigators are exploring whether banks and other financial firms broke U.S. law when using fraudulent court documents to foreclose on people's homes, according to sources familiar with the effort. The criminal investigation, still in its early days, is focused on whether companies misle...

First witness called in BankAtlantic trial

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

1The attorney representing shareholders suing BankAtlantic Bancorp told jurors Tuesday he would prove executives lied to investors about a deteriorating loan portfolio. As the shareholder class action suit opened in U.S. District Court in Miami, plaintiffs' attorney Mark Arisohn pointed to internal...

Pugliese shocked by foreclosure

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Anthony Pugliese III, who has proposed building the 41,300-acre Destiny in Central Florida, said hes shocked that a bank filed to foreclose on a storage facility he built in Coconut Creek. Branch Banking & Trust Co. filed a lawsuit Oct. 4 against Coconut Creek Johnson Road. Pugliese is not named in...

Stern leaves chairman post of DJSP Enterprises

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Attorney David Stern stepped down as chairman of DJSP Enterprises. The company also accepted the voluntary resignations of three top executives who had been hired earlier this year to plot a growth strategy for the company. Paola Iuspa-Abbott View the full article here: http://www.dailybusi...

Attorney general's subpoena was a 'constitutional absurdity'

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Palm Beach Circuit Judge Jack Cox ignited consternation Oct. 4 when he quashed a subpoena Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum issued against a law firm, effectively blocking an investigation into its foreclosure practices. In doing so, he called this effort to usurp the Florida Supreme Court's ex...

FDIC faces challenge in going after banks

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Local banking attorneys say federal regulators will face plenty of challenges if they pursue plans to seek civil penalties against the directors and officers of failed banks. Wayne Tompkins View the full article here: http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/PubArticleDBR.jsp?id=1202473595680 ...

Broward judge denies firm's bid to stop state investigation

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Broward County judge's ruling on Friday gives Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum the right to continue his investigation into a Plantation foreclosure law firm. Circuit Judge Eileen O'Connor denied a request from the law offices of David J. Stern to quash the state's subpoena for documents ...

Countrywide Settlement

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

In the end, Angelo Mozilo settled for pennies on the dollar. The former Countrywide Financial Corp. chief agreed Friday to a settlement that requires him to pay 16 cents out of his own pocket for every dollar federal authorities claimed he had taken out of the company in ill-gotten personal gains....

More on Countrywide Settlement

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

It is hard to see how the Mozilo settlement -- coming on the heels of another weak SEC settlement with financier Steve Rattner -- will deter future wrongdoing. . . . Indeed, it could have the contrary effect. If you can make a great fortune behaving badly, get busted, and still end up with most of t...

Citi and the Foreclosure Freeze

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Top Citigroup executives sought to assure investors and the public Monday that the firm's foreclosure process and its handling of key documents in securitizing home mortgages is "sound," despite growing concerns over how lenders may have skirted the law when bundling home mortgages, selling them and...

Pimco, NY Fed Said to Seek BofA Repurchase of Mortgages

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pacific Investment Management Co., BlackRock Inc. and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York are seeking to force Bank of America Corp. to repurchase soured mortgages packaged into $47 billion of bonds by its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit, people familiar with the matter said. Oct. 19 (Bloombe...

Lawsuits over mortgage mods

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

A federal judicial panel recently consolidated class-action lawsuits from across the country alleging that Bank of America treated homeowners with bad faith when they applied for mortgage modifications under the Obama administration's Home Affordable Modification Program. "What this demonstrates i...

Intermission, at Best, in Battle Over Foreclosures

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bank of America may be trying to bring down the curtain on the foreclosure furor, but there were numerous indications Tuesday that the problems would not move off-stage so quickly. A day after the bank said it would once again pursue defaulting borrowers in the 23 states where foreclosures were ...

Fed Wants Banks to Buy Back Some Bad Mortgages

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two years after the Fed bought billions of dollars in mortgage securities as part of the financial bailout, its New York arm is questioning the paperwork — and pressing banks to buy some of the investments back. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and several giant investment companies, includi...

Settlement Offered in Suit Over Farm Loans

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

The government is offering a $680 million settlement to American Indians who say they were denied Agriculture Department farm loans. The two sides met on Tuesday to present the settlement to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Federal District Court. The agreement also includes $80 million in debt forgivenes...

Bank of America and Fidelity National Reach Agreement for REOs

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

BY: JOY LEOPOLD Bank of America and Fidelity National Financial have come to an agreement regarding the foreclosure paperwork issues that have plagued several of the largest lenders in the past weeks. Under the agreement, Jacksonville, Florida-based Fidelity agreed to continue to provide title...

Fraud Task Force Pursues Criminal Investigation of Mortgage Servicers

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

BY: CARRIE BAY Allegations that some of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers cut corners in processing foreclosures and filed unsubstantiated paperwork could turn criminal. The Washington Post, citing people “familiar with the matter,” reports that President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enfo...

GMAC Mortgage to Move Forward with Foreclosures

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

BY: CARRIE BAY GMAC Mortgage was the first company to halt foreclosures in 23 states where a judge’s approval is required because of concerns that the legal paperwork was not validated and processed correctly. After two months of reviewing individual case files, the company says it will restar...

House Committee to Investigate Mortgage Servicing Problems

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

BY: CARRIE BAY The House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity will hold a hearing on the industry’s foreclosure paperwork errors when Congress reconvenes next month. The hearing, scheduled for Thursday, November 18th, will investigate the problems that have recently surfaced in...

New York Courts First to Institute New Foreclosure Filing Requirement

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

The New York state court system has instituted a new filing requirement in residential foreclosure cases that officials say will “protect the integrity of the foreclosure process and prevent wrongful foreclosures.” Lenders’ counsel are now required to file an affirmation with the court certifying...

Wells Fargo Posts Q3 Report, Explains Lack of Foreclosure Freeze

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

BY: JOY LEOPOLD Enter your email to receive Daily Email Updates: Wells Fargo & Co. released its third quarter profits on Wednesday, with earnings per share of 60 cents, an increase of seven percent from the 55 cents earned in Q3 2009 and an increase of nine percent from the 56 cents reported ...

Banks face two-front war on bad mortgages, flawed foreclosures

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bloomberg News Daily Business Review OShoddy mortgage lending has led bankers into a two-front war, pitting them against U.S. homeowners challenging the right to foreclose and mortgage-bond investors demanding refunds that could approach $200 billion. While federal regulators and state attorneys ...

Center For Responsible Lending Chimes in on Foreclosure Freeze

Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010

What’s a State to Do? Highlight: State-by-State Data This new report includes the latest foreclosure figures, state-by-state, including projected foreclosures through 2012, the rate at which foreclosures are increasing (or, in very rare cases, declining), and the amount of home equity wealth that ...

How not to help homeowners

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

THERE WOULD NEVER be a good time to find out that vast numbers of home foreclosures have been tainted by flawed or phony documentation. Now is an especially bad moment: In September, lenders foreclosed on 102,000 houses, a record for a single month. More are in the pipeline. Of course, it's election...

Ex-clerk: Foreclosure lawyer Stern hid files

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Foreclosure attorney David Stern, who is being investigated for fabricating legal documents, purposefully hid files from inspectors with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a former employee said in recently released deposition. Stern had a tight-knit relationship with the two mortgage giants, and referr...

Politics Chimes in on Robo Signers

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How long will President Barack Obama and Congress be able to avoid wading into the foreclosure mess? “I think the [federal government] is going to need to act pretty soon,” said John Taylor, president of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, who predicts Democrats will introduce bills to ...

Politics of Robo Signers

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Asking the banks to figure this out on their own won't strike voters as terribly credible because the base of the problem here was that the banks -- and their procedures -- have not proven credible. Letting the courts decide on a case-by-case basis doesn't make for great policy. By and large, the Wh...

Banks Said Move Forward, Will Judges Stop Them Now?

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"If judges approve the new filings, the bank expects that the sales of foreclosed properties will start up once again in the states where a court order is needed to foreclose on a home. The bank said it will continue to freeze foreclosure sales and review files in the District of Columbia and the ot...

Bank of America to restart foreclosures in 23 states

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

ust 10 days after announcing a nationwide halt to foreclosure sales, Bank of America, the nation's largest bank, said Monday that it would begin resubmitting paperwork on Oct. 25 to restart foreclosures on borrowers who missed their payments in 23 states. If judges approve the new filings, the bank ...

Countrywide...who are cul;prits in foreclosure crisis?

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I read that Angelo R.Mozilo of Countrywide Financial fame is paying a $67.5 million fine of which Countrywide is paying $20 million. It reminds me of the old story that lawyers are wont to tell. A petty thief is charged with stealing a watch. He vehemently denies it. He is convicted and sentenced to...

Robo Signer Perks

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

At a large Florida "foreclosure mill," a manager signed up to 1,000 documents a day without reading them and employees were given gifts to speed up foreclosure paperwork, according to depositions released today by the Florida Attorney General's Office. The news, also reported by Tampa Online, come...

Largest Bank Will Resume Foreclosure Push in 23 States

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bank of America announced on Monday that it would resume home foreclosures in nearly two dozen states, despite the running controversy over how banks handled tens of thousands of cases of homeowners facing eviction. Bank of America, the nation’s largest bank and the servicer of roughly one in five A...

Foreclosure freeze leads to uneasy politics for Democrats

Posted on Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The calculus is clear for most Democratic incumbents, especially those in tight races like Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid: Nothing could be worse on the eve of elections than images of people being booted out of their homes by big banks that have relied on sloppy, if not fraudulent, paperwork....

Stewart Evaluating Title Insurance for Foreclosures Case-by-Case

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

Stewart Title Guaranty Co. is taking a guarded stance when it comes to repossessed properties that may be the subject of foreclosure paperwork reviews. The Associated Press, citing an internal memo obtained by the news agency, reports that the Houston-based title insurer has issued new guidelin...

All 50 States Start Inquiry Into Foreclosures

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

The regulatory body, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, made it clear that the foreclosure process should “proceed without delay” if no problems were found, even though some Democratic lawmakers have called for a nationwide moratorium. “The country’s housing finance system remains fragile, and I ...

Bankers Ignored Signs of Trouble on Foreclosures

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

At JPMorgan Chase & Company, they were derided as “Burger King kids” — walk-in hires who were so inexperienced they barely knew what a mortgage was.At Citigroup and GMAC, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on home foreclosures was outsourced to frazzled workers who sometimes tossed the paperwork i...

FHFA Orders Paperwork Fixes but Insists Foreclosures Should Proceed

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees the nation’s two largest mortgage financiers, has issued a directive outlining specific steps servicers should take to identify and correct potential deficiencies in foreclosure paperwork. Recent widespread reports of so-called robo-signe...

More Law Makers Call For Foreclosure Freeze

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

The number of lawmakers calling for investigations or a freeze on foreclosures is growing, in the wake of an increasing amount of evidence pointing to faulty proceedings. Nearly all of these public officials, however, are Democrats; most Republicans have either stayed silent or opposed a moratorium....

Foreclosure Freeze/How Title Insurance Helps

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

To the Editor: Re “After Foreclosure, a Focus on Title Insurance,” by Ron Lieber (Your Money column, Oct. 9): Americans need assurance that the economy will rebound, yet this column simply incited fear by suggesting that homeowners who purchase foreclosed properties could lose their homes. Whe...

AG Gear Up

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

Attorneys general in all 50 states have pledged a coordinated investigation into chaotic foreclosure practices by some of the nation’s largest banks. The Department of Justice is also looking into what happened, while some lawmakers are now calling for a nationwide moratorium on all foreclosures unt...

Need a Lawyer? Good Luck

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

Across the country, programs that provide legal representation in civil cases to low-income Americans are so cash-strapped that they are turning away numbers of people. Hard-pressed Americans fighting foreclosure or seeking protection from domestic violence or access to medical care or unemployment ...

Foreclosure fiasco trail leads to Washington

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

What were banking regulators doing while some of the biggest U.S. lenders routinely filed false foreclosure documents in local courthouses around the country? In the case of IndyMac Federal Bank, it turns out the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was running the joint. This may help explain why the ...

Foreclosure Armageddon’ looms

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

1. Stays on foreclosure proceedings involving four major lenders create such a state of legal flux that one real estate lawyer refers to it as “foreclosure Armageddon.” The lenders, including Bank of America and GMAC, recently suspended foreclosures while they conduct internal investigations int...

McCollum subpoenas Lender Processinig

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

Attorney General Bill McCollum has supoenaed foreclosure-related records from Lender Processing Services and four law firms, according to a report by Bloomberg News. Bloomberg News Service Lender Processing Services Inc., which provides foreclosure services, was subpoenaed by the Florida attorne...

Attorney general's subpoena was a 'constitutional absurdity'

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

Commentary by Andrew Berman Daily Business Review When he quashed a subpoena Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum issued against a law firm, effectively blocking an investigation into its foreclosure practices. In doing so, he called this effort to usurp the Florida Supreme Court's exclusive fun...

Judge clears AG subpoena of Stern firm

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

Adolfo Pesquera and Julie Kay Daily Business Review Broward Circuit Judge Eileen O'Connor cleared the way Thursday for a state attorney general's office subpoena to obtain foreclosure records from the Law Offices of David J. Stern in Plantation, which has filed foreclosures with the courts by the ...

FHFA Chimes In

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

On October 12, 2010, NAR wrote to Treasury Secretary Geithner, HUD Secretary Donovan, and Acting Director DeMarco of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to convey REALTOR® concerns about the confusion and uncertainty that questions about the validity of foreclosures are causing in local commun...

I. White House Urges Calm on Foreclosures

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

Amid a rising uproar over slipshod bank foreclosure practices, members of the Obama administration on Sunday expressed anger about the revelations, but urged caution as multiple investigations into the crisis unfold. In a piece posted on the Huffington Post Web site, Shaun Donovan, the secretary o...

Wells Fargo Says All is Well

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2010

WASHINGTON — Wells Fargo & Co. does not plan to halt foreclosures despite an employee's testimony that she signed up to 500 foreclosure documents daily without reading them. The employee of the San Francisco-based bank said in a deposition taken last March that she signed between 300 and 500 forecl...

GMAC Finds "No Evidence" of Improper Foreclosures, Expands Reviews

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

GMAC Mortgage says although reviews of foreclosure affidavits involving homes in 23 judicial states are ongoing, the company “has found no evidence to date of any inappropriate foreclosures.” GMAC suspended foreclosure actions and REO sales in states where courts oversee homeowner evictions and pro...

First witness called in BankAtlantic trial

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The attorney representing shareholders suing BankAtlantic Bancorp told jurors Tuesday he would prove executives lied to investors about a deteriorating loan portfolio. As the shareholder class action suit opened in U.S. District Court in Miami, plaintiffs' attorney Mark Arisohn pointed to internal ...

Foreclosure investigation growing, state official says. Plantation firm asks judge to toss subpoena

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A lawyer with the Florida Attorney General's Office urged a Broward County judge Tuesday to allow the state to continue its investigation of a giant South Florida foreclosure law firm, saying regulators were uncovering "substantial, egregious activity." Jeffrey Tew, representing the law offices o...

California might join probe of lenders that seized homes

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

California officials are considering joining a multistate investigation of whether lenders have violated foreclosure laws when seizing houses from delinquent borrowers. The investigation, which is expected to be publicly announced Wednesday, is spearheaded by Iowa Atty. Gen. Tom Miller. Under his l...

LA Lenders

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LOS ANGELES — Two big mortgage lenders are reviewing foreclosures as public officials heighten pressure on the industry over allegations that they made errors in documents used to evict homeowners. GMAC Mortgage, a unit of Ally Financial Inc., said Tuesday that it has enlisted legal and accounting ...

Big Efin Deal Per Biden

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The foreclosure fraud scandal is a big deal (or a big "effin'" deal, as Joe Biden might say). But its real significance is an even bigger deal. Foreclosure fraud is one domino, and if it falls others will follow. The result could be an end to the "invisible bailout" -- the one you never hear about, ...

Unprecedented

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The current foreclosure crisis is unprecedented in American history, Barry Ritholtz said on Monday. The Fusion IQ CEO told CNBC's Larry Kudlow and Diana Olick that the flaws in the foreclosure system are not simply "a matter of paperwork." At stake are U.S. property rights, which are "being dramatic...

Owner and Holder Status

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A coalition of groups led by the SEIU is launching a campaign to help homeowners capitalize on a growing foreclosure fraud scandal that has forced banks to halt foreclosures across the country. The campaign suggests a question for borrowers to ask when fighting foreclosure in court: "Where's the n...

Possible Costs to Tax Payers

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

WASHINGTON — A government watchdog is investigating government-owned GMAC Mortgage after a company employee admitted to approving thousands of foreclosures without reading the paperwork. The special inspector general for the $700 billion financial bailout is looking into the improper foreclosures, ...

NAr Chimes in on Robo Signers

Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 12, 2010 The Honorable Timothy F. Geithner Secretary U.S. Department of the Treasury 1500 New York Ave., NW Washington, DC 20220 The Honorable Shaun Donovan Secretary U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Washington, DC 20410 Mr. Edward J. DeMarco Acting Director Feder...

FDIC v Failed Bank Directors

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is poised to sue over 50 executives from failed banks, Bloomberg News reports. The potential lawsuits would help the FDIC recover more than $1 billion it lost during the credit crisis, which has forced the FDIC to take over 294 lenders since 2008. So far th...

Halting Foreclosures for Robo Sighers Would be a Disaster

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Halting foreclosures across the nation would be "catastrophic" for the economy, a financial industry trade group said Monday. Tim Ryan, CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, released a statement in which he warned that stopping foreclosures nationwide would cause far mor...

Robo Signers v The AGs

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I. By ROBBIE WHELAN And RUTH SIMON A coalition of as many as 40 state attorneys general is expected Wednesday to announce an investigation into the mortgage-servicing industry, an effort some of them hope will pressure financial institutions to rewrite large numbers of troubled loans. The move co...

Florida AG v. Robo Signers

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has joined top regulators from 39 other states in scrutinizng the banks, mortgage companies and loan servicers involved in the widening foreclosure crisis. But McCollum stopped short of calling for some or all lenders to temporarily halt to foreclosures, sho...

Stern Warning

Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A former paralegal with Florida's largest foreclosure law practice has told state investigators that the firm routinely signed court paperwork without reading it, misdated records, forged signatures and passed around notary stamps in the rush to foreclose on homes. "This is just the beginning real...

White House Says No Need for Foreclosure Moritorium

Posted on Monday, October 11, 2010

White House Aide Doubts Need to Halt Foreclosures By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON (AP) — A top White House adviser questioned the need on Sunday for a blanket halt to home foreclosures, even as pressure grows on the Obama administration to do something about growing evidence that ba...

GMAC Cover Up?

Posted on Monday, October 11, 2010

Is GMAC Mortgage, the company under siege by numerous state attorneys general and members of Congress for its use of dubious foreclosure legal filings, trying to silence the lawyer who exposed the bank's practices? So says Thomas Cox, the Maine attorney whose case is at the center of GMAC's ongoing ...

Robo Signers Part of Bigger Cultural Problem?

Posted on Monday, October 11, 2010

Two seemingly unrelated stories from the past week illustrate a fundamental problem with today's financial system. While this problem may seem "philosophical" or abstract, it's very real, and we won't put our economy back on a sound footing until we get a handle on it. The problem is this: Banking i...

Robo Signer Cases May Delay Crisis

Posted on Monday, October 11, 2010

NEW YORK (By MICHELLE CONLIN, AP) -- Karl Case, the co-creator of a widely watched housing market index, was upbeat three weeks ago. Mulling the economy while at a meeting at a resort near the Berkshires, Case thought the makings of a recovery were finally falling into place. "I'm a 60-40 optimis...

washington considers what to do about robo signer cases

Posted on Monday, October 11, 2010

Government had been warned for months about troubles in mortgage servicer industry By Zachary A. Goldfarb Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, October 10, 2010; 12:45 AM Consumer advocates and lawyers warned federal officials in recent years that the U.S. foreclosure system was designed...

Iowa AG Stops Robo Signers

Posted on Friday, October 08, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is calling on three large mortgage companies to halt foreclosure proceedings in the state while he investigates problems with documents filed with the courts. At a news conference Thursday, Miller said his office has contacted Ally Financial's G...

Wells Paying the Price for World Savings Loans

Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010

More than 4,000 Florida homeowners will be eligible for loan modifications and mortgage-balance forgiveness totaling nearly $388 million under an agreement Wells Fargo Bank reached with eight states, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said Wednesday. The pact settles allegations of deceptive ...

Ohio Sues on Robo Signers

Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010

WASHINGTON — Ohio's attorney general is suing Ally Financial Inc. and its GMAC Mortgage division, alleging the company violated state fraud laws in handling foreclosure cases. The action could be the first in a wave of lawsuits by state regulators over what appear to be widespread problems in doc...

Investors and Robo Signers

Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010

Two new posts today articulate where the battle lines are beginning to take shape in the Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud mess. Because few mortgages are held on bank balance sheets, having been sold into Mortgage Trusts which support Mortgage Backed securities (MBS), there are parties who may find themse...

Robo Signers No Matter How Thin You Slice It You Can still Slice it Thinner

Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010

Foreclosure Halt May Shift Bondholder Pain - Foreclosure halt may shift pain By ROBBIE WHELAN And RUTH SIMON WSJ The recent suspension of foreclosures by three of the largest mortgage-servicing companies in the U.S. is expected to result in more pain for some investors, and less pain for others, ...

Robo Signers No Matter How Thin You Slice It You Can still Slice it Thinner

Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010

Foreclosure Halt May Shift Bondholder Pain - Foreclosure halt may shift pain By ROBBIE WHELAN And RUTH SIMON WSJ The recent suspension of foreclosures by three of the largest mortgage-servicing companies in the U.S. is expected to result in more pain for some investors, and less pain for others, ...

Borrowers Counsel Chimes in on Robo Sigenrs

Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The paperwork scandal that has prompted several banks to halt evictions and review their foreclosure procedures is reminiscent of the predatory lending scheme that inflated the housing bubble. "It's the same process, falsifying documents to make them look acceptable to someone," said Tom Domonosk...

Pelosi Chimes in on Robo Signers

Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the other California Democrats are calling for an investigation into the foreclosure fraud scandal that has forced the nation's biggest banks to halt foreclosures in 23 states. "It just shows the irresponsibility of the banks, so eager were they to securitize those ...

Demoncratics Chime in on Robo Signers

Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Foreclosure Furor Rises; Many Call for a Freeze By DAVID STREITFELD and GRETCHEN MORGENSON The uproar over bad conduct by mortgage lenders intensified Tuesday, as lawmakers in Washington requested a federal investigation and the attorney general in Texas joined a chorus of state law enforcement fi...

More on Robo Signers

Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Three major mortgage lenders have halted foreclosures in states where the process is handled through the court system after suspicions surfaced that employees did notfollow legal procedures in preparing the required documentation. GMAC Mortgage was the first to do so, followed by JPMorgan Chase and ...

DC Heres Robo Signer Stories From CA

Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow members of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation are petitioning federal regulators and the U.S. Department of Justice to launch a formal investigation into servicers’ foreclosure practices. Prompted by the recent reports of systemic mishandling of...

Old Republic Takes firm stand on Robo Signers

Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Even more questions about the legality of foreclosure proceedings have prompted Minneapolis-based Old Republic National Title Insurance to decide it will no longer insure titles to homes foreclosed by JPMorgan Chase and GMAC Mortgage. Chase and GMAC both halted foreclosure sales in 23 states a...

Analysts Respond to Robo Signers

Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Last week, GMAC Mortgage’s parent company, Ally Financial, called for a halt on residential foreclosures and a suspension of REO sales in 23 judicial states that may have been impacted by what the company said was a glitch in its internal procedures. It soon came to light that the “glitch” t...

Judges Respond to Robo Signers

Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010, 6:17pm EDT | Modified: Tuesday, October 5, 2010, 8:51am McCollum foreclosure probe dealt setbackSouth Florida Business Journal - by Paul Brinkmann Attorney General Bill McCollum suffered a setback in his investigation of foreclosure law firms Monday when a Palm Beach C...

Robo-Signers

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

Flawed Paperwork Aggravates a Foreclosure Crisis By GRETCHEN MORGENSON NYT As some of the nation’s largest lenders have conceded that their foreclosure procedures might have been improperly handled, lawsuits have revealed myriad missteps in crucial documents. The flawed practices that GMAC ...

Freddie Mac Reaction to Robo Signers

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

Freddie Mac Statement on Foreclosure Processing Issues For Immediate Release October 01, 2010 Contact: corprel@freddiemac.com or (703) 903-3933 McLean, VA – The following statement was issued today by Bruce Witherell, Chief Operating Officer for Freddie Mac (OTC:FMCC). "Freddie Mac i...

Fannie Mae Responds to Robo Signers

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

Execution of Legal Documents On October 1, 2010, Fannie Mae issued the following Lender Letter: • Lender Letter LL-2010-11: Servicer Review of Procedures Relating to the Execution of Affidavits, Verifications, and Other Legal Documents. In LL-2010-11, Fannie Mae directs all of its servicers t...

Title Insurance Underwriters Respond to Robo Signer

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

By Stephanie Armour, USA TODAY Old Republic National Title Insurance, among the nation's largest title insurance companies, will no longer write new policies for homes foreclosed upon by J.P. Morgan Chase and Ally Financial's GMAC Mortgage unit –– a sign that concerns about faulty foreclosure paper...

Bank of American Responds to Robo Signer

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

Bank of America to Freeze Foreclosure Cases By DAVID STREITFELD NYT Bank of America, the country’s largest mortgage lender by assets, said on Friday that it was reviewing documents in all foreclosure cases now in court to evaluate if there were errors. Related Times Topic: Bank of Ameri...

Foreclosures Slow Due to Robo Signer

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

David Streitfield NYT The foreclosure machinery that has forced millions of Americans out of their homes is beginning to seize up as some lenders and their lawyers are accused of cutting corners in their pursuit of rapid home repossessions. Evictions are expected to slow sharply, housing analysts...

JP Morgan Chase Resopmds to Robo Signer

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

Even as August saw more Americans lose their homes to foreclosure than in any other month on record, there are growing concerns over the legality of many of those proceedings. JPMorgan Chase has suspended legal proceedings on 50,000 foreclosures, due to concerns about the validity of the foreclo...

AGs Respond to Robo Signers

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

U.S. State Officials Investigate After Ally's GMAC Unit Suspends Evictions By Joel Rosenblatt Bloomberg JPMorgan Chase & Co., the third- biggest U.S. mortgage servicer, must prove its home foreclosures are legal, and if it can’t, must stop the practice, California Attorney General Jerry Brown sa...

Bank of America Responds to Robo Signers

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

The nation’s largest bank has halted foreclosures in certain states after evidence was disclosed that it too had ill-famed “robo-signers” rubber-stamping approvals of foreclosure cases without verifying their validity. Bank of America has placed foreclosure actions in 23 judicial states on hold ...

OCC Responds to Robo Signers

Posted on Monday, October 04, 2010

The nation’s largest bank has halted foreclosures in certain states after evidence was disclosed that it too had ill-famed “robo-signers” rubber-stamping approvals of foreclosure cases without verifying their validity. Bank of America has placed foreclosure actions in 23 judicial states on hold ...

GMAC

Posted on Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I’ve had 78, count them, 78 telephone calls today about the mess with GMAC foreclosures. And that’s nothing compared to the size of the mess itself. This case is not entirely unlike the one being investigated by the Florida A.G. already. Firm staff signed documents reflecting themselves as of...

Protecting Homeowners From Bank Lawyers Who Dont Follow the Rules?

Posted on Monday, April 19, 2010

Who doesn’t favor judges making sure bank’s foreclosures lawyers follow the rules? Especially where folks losing their homes who often can’t afford their own lawyers are concerned. The problem is, doing so is often detrimental to these homeowners in the long run. Having to withdraw and then re...

v. Bank of America For Not Doing Mods as Promised

Posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010

Homeowners in Washington State are suing Bank of America, alleging the nation’s largest lender is “intentionally” and “systematically” thwarting and ignoring borrowers’ requests to make reasonable mortgage modifications that would prevent homes from being foreclosed. The case, filed in a Seattle ...

An Unpdate on the Countrywide Case

Posted on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Some 16 months after Countrywide Financial reached an agreement with the Florida attorney general’s office to settle one of the biggest predatory lending lawsuits in the nation’s history, restitution is coming for distressedhomeowners. More than 2,700 Countrywide borrowers in the Sunshine State are ...

Judicial Role In Solving Problems

Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2009

As a commercial real estate and foreclosure attorney, author, and occasional commentator on the subject, I must say that Amir Efrati’s observations of apparent tolerance for a vigilante judiciary in the face of our Nation’s massive foreclosure losses (“Foreclosure Challenges Raise Questions About ...

Countrywide Settlement

Posted on Sunday, May 24, 2009

Several months into we're getting a glimpse of how lawsuits against subprime lenders may play out. Bank of America is stepping up for Countrywide. Perhaps the worst hit loans were Countrywide's risky negative amortization products. 42 states have signed on to the settlement estimated to impact 39...

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