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Mortgage Crisis Watch Business and legal issues affecting: loan repurchases | mortgage-backed securities | mortgage insurance

Category Archives: Too Big to Fail

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Judge Denied Bank of America’s Motion to Dismiss $850M Mortgage Fraud Case

Last week, Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina denied Bank of America’s motion to dismiss the Security and Exchange Commission’s claims against it in SEC v. Bank of America Corporation, et al. The SEC’s complaint is founded upon allegations that “[t]he Bank of America … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules National Banks are Residents Only of Their Home State

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (encompassing nine Western states and two Pacific islands) has held that for purposes of diversity jurisdiction a national bank is a citizen only of the state in which its main office is located, and not of every state where it does business, or even the… Continue Reading

Wells Fargo Employee Admits Role in $40.8 Million Straw Buyer Scheme

Last Friday, a former Wells Fargo branch manager, sales manager and loan officer, Robert Serao, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charge stems from Serao’s involvement in a $40.8 million mortgage fraud scheme during his time at Wells Fargo. Allegedly working in concert with at least nine others, Serao used “straw buyers”… Continue Reading

Bank of America’s $8.5 Billion Settlement Will Not Be Delayed by AIG

Late last month, a New York state judge denied AIG’s request to delay approval of Bank of America’s $8.5 billion settlement with private investors in connection with certain mortgage-backed securities that had soured. Bank of America agreed to the settlement in June 2011 in order to resolve claims brought by institutional investors such as Black… Continue Reading

Wells Fargo Gives Subprime Borrowers Another Chance

Wells Fargo has announced that it plans to begin originating FHA-backed loans for borrowers with credit scores as low as 600. This new cut-off is 40 points below Wells Fargo’s current floor, and 20 points below what has traditionally been considered to constitute a “subprime” borrower. After the collapse of the housing market, faced with… Continue Reading

Derivative Suit Filed Against JPMorgan Alleges Culture of Risk

Adding to JPMorgan Chase’s widely publicized recent legal woes, shareholder Bradley P. Miller filed a derivative suit against the bank and its directors in California federal court on January 23, 2014, as a result of the $20 billion in fines the bank paid last year for nearly a decade’s worth of alleged wrongdoing. “Defendants put… Continue Reading

Mortgage Crisis Penalty for the Real Wolves of Wall Street Could Top $50 Billion

The real wolves of Wall Street–sixteen of America’s largest banks–could end up shelling out more than $50 billion to secure settlements from the federal government in connection with their alleged roles in the mortgage crisis. Of this amount, up to $15 billion would go directly to affected homeowners in the form of cash payments and/or… Continue Reading

Bank of America and Freddie Mac Settle Mortgage Loan Claims

Add yet another major settlement to the still-growing list of huge payouts by the nation’s largest banks to settle claims over toxic mortgage-backed securities. Bank of America has now agreed to pay $404 million to Freddie Mac to resolve all repurchase liabilities on home loans that it sold to the government-controlled mortgage company from 2000… Continue Reading

JPMorgan Chase Agrees to $13 Billion Settlement with the U.S. Justice Department for Knowingly Selling Toxic Mortgage-Backed Securities

On Tuesday, the United States Justice Department announced that it finalized a settlement agreement with JPMorgan Chase for $13 billion. This settlement will resolve a multitude of state and federal investigations into JPMorgan Chase’s sale of residential mortgage-backed securities to investors between 2005 and 2008. In addition to paying fines for securities violations, the proceeds… Continue Reading

BofA $1.4 Billion Settlement Talks with Freddie Mac

Bank of America and Freddie Mac are currently attempting to resolve a mortgage repurchase dispute in which Freddie Mac claims that Bank of America should have to buy back more than $1.4 billion in mortgage loans it claims were defective. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Bank of America, which is still recovering from… Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Would Curb JP Morgan’s Potential Multi-Billion Dollar Tax Windfall

Late last month, we commented on JP Morgan Chase’s $5.1 billion settlement with the Fair Housing Financing Agency (FHFA), as conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Wall Street Journal has since reported that JP Morgan will be able to deduct that entire amount on its 2013 tax returns, allowing the company to reap… Continue Reading

FHFA Restricts Forced-Placed Insurance Practices

We recently commented on JPMorgan Chase’s blockbuster agreement to resolve a class-action lawsuit for $300 million brought by more than a million homeowners nationwide. The dispute centered on allegations that Chase profited by collecting kickbacks from insurance companies for imposing force-placed insurance policies at excessive rates on properties that secured its loans where coverage had… Continue Reading

JPMorgan Chase Agrees to Settle Forced-Placed Insurance Class-Action Lawsuit for $300 Million

Forced-Place Insurance Business Surged Following the Housing Collapse JPMorgan Chase and Assurant Inc. recently agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit initiated in June 2012 for $300 million brought by a class of 1.3 million homeowners nationwide who claimed that they were overcharged for forced-placed insurance. The plaintiffs have also entered into a separate settlement for… Continue Reading

Wells Fargo Settles Mortgage Claims With FHFA For Close To $1 Billion

Add another mega-settlement to the rapidly growing list of huge payouts by the nation’s largest banks to federal agencies. Wells Fargo reportedly has now agreed to pay the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, close to $1 billion. The settlement payment will resolve claims that Wells Fargo sold toxic mortgage-backed… Continue Reading

BofA’s Countrywide Found Responsible For Defrauding Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac

A federal jury ruled yesterday that Countrywide, now owned by Bank of America, defrauded Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by selling them defective mortgages in advance of the great financial crisis of 2008. A former Countrywide executive, Rebecca Mairone, was also found liable in the case. Whistleblower Exposed Countrywide’s “Hustle” Program The Justice Department lawsuit… Continue Reading

Wells Fargo Settles Mortgage Buyback Litigation with Freddie Mac for $869 Million

Under Threat of Having to Repurchase Thousands of Home Loans Sold to Freddie Mac Prior to January 1, 2009, Wells Fargo Agrees to Resolve all Remaining Claims in a Single $780-Million Cash Payment As of June 30 of this year, Wells Fargo & Co., this nation’s largest mortgage lender, had received demands to repurchase $1.4… Continue Reading

A Time for Reflection: the Fifth Anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ Collapse

Obama claims progress has been made Sunday, September 15, 2013, marked the fifth anniversary of Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, the largest in U.S. history. It is widely believed that Lehman’s meltdown set off a domino effect that led to the global financial crisis and proved to be a major contributing cause of the housing market collapse…. Continue Reading

Mortgage Servicing System Still Riddled With Problems According To Financial Watchdog

CFBP releases report detailing continuing failures with Mortgage Servicing System The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the financial watchdog agency created following the 2008 financial crisis to protect consumers from unfair, deceptive, and abusive practices in the financial products and services industry, has released a report detailing a host of continuing problems with the handling of mortgages… Continue Reading

LXBN TV Video Interview regarding Bank of America Lawsuits

Following up on my recent post on the cases, I had the opportunity to speak with  Colin O’Keefe of LXBN TV  regarding the recent fraud suits filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Bank of America. The suits accuse Bank of America of allegedly defrauding buyers of mortgage-backed securities by… Continue Reading

Private Mortgage Insurers Return to Profitability after Housing Crisis

Best Quarter Posted in 6 years It should be no surprise that the private mortgage insurance industry was nearly decimated in the wake of the housing crisis. During that tumultuous time, the private mortgage insurers that survived lost a combined $20 billion. However, it appears that the tide has finally begun to turn. Diana Olick of… Continue Reading

DOJ and SEC File Suits Against Bank of America

Civil Lawsuits Filed Stop me if you have heard something like this before.  The Department of Justice announced a civil lawsuit on Tuesday alleging that Bank of America defrauded buyers of mortgage-backed securities by lying about the quality of the home loans involved. The Securities and Exchange Commission also announced a parallel case against BofA…. Continue Reading

Citigroup Resolves Mortgage Buyback Dispute with Fannie Mae

$968 Million Settlement During the aftermath of the financial crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been aggressively demanding that Wall Street and big bank aggregators repurchase millions of defaulted and distressed loans for alleged breaches of representations and warranties. In line with several recent blockbuster settlements with GSEs, Citigroup Inc. has agreed to pay… Continue Reading