JPMorgan Agrees to $55 Million Settlement of Mortgage Discrimination Complaint: Source

Reuters | January 18, 2017          JPMorgan Chase & Co has agreed to pay $55 million to settle a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit accusing it of discriminating against minority borrowers by allowing mortgage brokers to charge them more for home loans, a person familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Justice Department complaint, filed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, accused the bank of willfully violating the U.S. Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act between 2006 and 2009 and showing "reckless disregard" for the rights of at least 53,000 African-American and Hispanic borrowers.

"We’ve agreed to settle these legacy allegations that relate to pricing set by independent brokers," JPMorgan spokeswoman Elizabeth Seymour said. "We deny any wrongdoing and remain committed to providing equal access to credit."

A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had no immediate comment.

The alleged discrimination involved so-called wholesale loans that were made through mortgage brokers the bank used to help originate loans, the complaint said. Chase allowed brokers to change rates charged for loans from those initially set based on objective credit-related factors, the complaint said.   Read more here.

JPMorgan Getting Back in the RMBS Game

New securities would be bank's first “house transaction” since the financial crisis

The Real Deal |  March 16, 2016     JPMorgan Chase is dipping back into the mortgage-backed securities market in the banking giant’s first “house transaction” since the financial crisis.

JPMorgan is expected to price a new residential mortgage-backed securities deal, which would pass along most of the credit risk on $1.9 billion in mortgages owned by the bank, over the next two weeks. JPMorgan would hold 90 percent of the deal, keeping the most senior tranches, while selling off riskier pieces to investors.

The deal would be JPMorgan’s first “house transaction,” entirely backed by mortgages it owns, since the financial crisis, according to the Wall Street Journal. The pool backing the securities includes a mix of more than 6,000 mortgages, around 75 percent of which conform with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underwriting standards.  Read more here.

JPMorgan Fined $48 Million for Failures in U.S. Robo-Signing Settlement

Reuters |  January 6, 2016    JPMorgan Chase has been fined $48 million for failing to meet terms of a settlement to resolve mortgage servicing violations, U.S. bank regulators said on Tuesday.  The fine will be on top of $2 billion that JPMorgan had been ordered to pay to cover remediation costs and foreclosure assistance to borrowers, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said.

JPMorgan was among a number of banks that participated in a 2013 nationwide settlement with regulators over the practice of robo-signing, where banks pursued faulty foreclosures by using defective or fraudulent documents.

The OCC also said on Tuesday that EverBank will pay a $1 million fine for similar violations connected to the mortgage servicing case.   Read more here

JPMorgan Reaches $388 Million Settlement In Mortgage Securities Lawsuit

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) agreed to pay $388 million to settle a suit by investors who claimed the bank misled them about the safety of $10 billion worth of residential mortgage-backed securities it sold before the financial crisis. Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP announced a $388 million recovery on behalf of a class of investors in nine 2007 residential mortgage-backed securities or MBS offerings issued by JPMorgan- bringing to a successful conclusion one of the last remaining MBS purchaser class actions arising out of the global financial crisis.  Read more here.

J.P. Morgan, Justice Department Reach $50 Million Robo-Signing Settlement

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. struck a $50 million deal with regulators who accused the bank of filing “robo-signed” mortgage documents to bankruptcy courts across the country.  This is just another example of systemic defiance of the law by large banking corporations in the name of making a dollar.  It was this way of thinking that led us to the brink of an unprecedented economic depression and it is the type of corporate practice that must be condemned by all Americans as fundamentally opposed to the rule of law.  Bank officials admitted to filing more than 50,000 payment-change notices that were improperly signed, under penalty of perjury, by persons who hadn’t reviewed the accuracy of the notices.  J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A. promised to make payments to more than 25,000 homeowners in the form of cash payments, mortgage-loan credits and loan forgiveness.  Unfortunately this settlement barely begins to give victims of the mortgage industry justice.  Robo-signing was utilized to the detriment of American homeowners for a decade or longer in a number of ways from forged deeds to re-created documents for litigation.  It is highly likely there are millions more victims of robo-signing nationwide.  Call Jackson & Elrod, LLP to find out if you have been a victim of robo-signing.

Chad D. Elrod, Esq.

Wall Street Watchdog Can't Sue Over JP Morgan Deal

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has negotiated several “back room” deals related to the 2008 financial collapse with the titans of high finance over the last few years. Recently, the DOJ settled financial fraud claims related to the subprime housing bubble in a deal with the mega bank, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., for $13 Billion.  J.P. Morgan Chase’s role in causing the worst financial collapse since 1929 was arguably greater than any other bank. The fact that our government is settling these claims in these secretive, closed door meetings with very large, politically powerful, and potentially criminal banks is repugnant to our free and democratic society.

Recently, Better Markets challenged the DOJ’s decision to negotiate this type of sweetheart deal with the megabanks. For those who don’t know, Better Markets is a Wall Street watchdog group dedicated to ensuring that we achieve real, substantive financial reforms and that large financial institutions don’t use their considerable political clout to evade justice filed suit against the DOJ. A Washington Federal District Court dismissed the case ruling that Better Markets and other similar groups lack the requisite standing to sue the U.S. Department of Justice for how it exercises its Federal law enforcement powers. Better Markets is evaluating the court’s opinion and exploring all of its options including appeal.

Sadly, this is another example of a “too big to fail” bank simply purchasing immunity from the Federal government for a pittance in a secret negotiation. This is NOT how American democracy works and it shows how powerful the titans of Wall Street truly are. While the courts have ruled groups like Better Markets lack standing to sue the government for cutting these banks slack, they cannot take away an individual’s right to seek justice for what the banks have done to them personally. This leaves those seeking justice one option, to challenge the wrongdoing perpetrated by the banking industry against them in a court of law. As long as the banks want to burn the little guy and buy their way out of trouble, Jackson & Elrod, LLP will be here to stand up for the rights of those deemed small enough to fail and file lawsuits on their behalf. What is done in the dark will be brought to the light.

Chad D. Elrod, Esq.

Former JP Morgan Chase Broker Charged in $20 Million Fraud

A former JPMorgan Chase broker treated accounts maintained by his clients as his own personal piggy bank — using about $20 million in client money to make unprofitable options trades and even paying down the mortgage on his New Jersey home, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed on Thursday.  Read more here.