Wells Fargo Pays $70M for Failures in Foreclosure Accord

The Charlotte Observer (Bloomberg News) | May 25, 2016      Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to pay a $70 million penalty in ending the bank’s five-year fight to settle legal claims over foreclosure missteps after the 2008 credit crisis.

U.S. regulators announced the fine for the San Francisco- based bank on Wednesday as part of an agreement that also frees the nation’s biggest mortgage lender from loan-servicing restrictions imposed last year.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had accused Wells Fargo of failing to move fast enough in fixing deficiencies outlined in a series of settlements overimproper activity including so-called robo-signing of foreclosure documents. The agency, which said the bank is now in compliance, had also identified more recent problems, including faulty payment-change notices filed in bankruptcy courts and faulty escrow calculations.

Wells Fargo said it was pleased that the regulator accepted its work on the settlement. The bank neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in the OCC agreement.  Read more here.

Donald Trump’s Finance Chair Is the Anti-Populist From Hell

Steve Mnuchin specialized in fraudulent foreclosures during the heart of the Great Recession. Power to the people.

New Republic |  May 9, 2016     Donald Trump’s first major staff selection since securing the Republican nomination, national finance chairman Steven Mnuchin, co-founded and manages the hedge fund Dune Capital. Not only did he make partner at Goldman Sachs, so did his father in the 1960s. With over 30 years of experience at the top levels of finance, Mnuchin was present for every recent major banking innovation, including those that brought the country to the brink of economic collapse.

Critics have raised many questions about Mnuchin’s financial dealings, from a lawsuit over pocketing profits in the Bernie Madoff case to his suspiciously quiet exit from the Hollywood production company Relativity Media just before it took huge losses and filed for bankruptcy. Just his association with “vampire squid” Goldman Sachs has motivated some anger. But another part of Mnuchin’s history is more relevant: his chairmanship of OneWest Bank, a major cog in America’s relentless foreclosure machine.

Even among the many bad actors in the national foreclosure crisis, OneWest stood out. It routinely jumped to foreclosure rather than pursue options to keep borrowers in their homes; used fabricated and “robo-signed” documents to secure the evictions; and had a particular talent for dispossessing the homes of senior citizens and people of color.  Read more here.

Attorneys at Jeffrey Jackson & Associates, LLP are against Donald Trump and his Wall Street insiders.

2 Banks Agree on Fines to End Foreclosure Enforcement

The Detroit News | February 9, 2016   U.S. Bancorp will pay $10 million and Banco Santander SA agreed to turn over $3.4 million to settle Office of the Comptroller of the Currency complaints over missteps in how the banks handled regulators’ orders to fix faulty foreclosure practices.

The fines stem from violations of 2013 accords over mortgage-servicing flaws, the OCC said in a statement Tuesday. The new penalties close out a series of restrictions the companies were placed under in June after they failed to live up to earlier agreements related to loans mishandled after the 2008 financial crisis.

U.S. Bank and the Santander U.S. unit formerly known as Sovereign Bank were among a group of mortgage servicers accused of mishandling loan papers or robo-signing — fraudulently endorsing affidavits used in foreclosures. After an aborted effort to force the banks to review individual files for wrongdoing, most of the companies agreed in 2013 to pay a combined $10 billion in settlements and to fix their practices.  Read more here.

HSBC Agrees to $470 Million Settlement Over Alleged U.S. Mortgage Abuses

About 136,000 borrowers will be compensated as a result of the settlement.

Time | February 5, 2016    Some Americans who lost their homes to foreclosure during the financial crisis will soon be eligible for relief. Today New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that the state has reached a settlement with HSBC over charges that the mortgage lender engaged in abusive foreclosures and related practices. The attorney general accused HSBC of “robo-signing” foreclosure documents and evicting people from their homes without adequate verification.

“There has to be one set of rules for everyone, no matter how rich or how powerful, and that includes lenders who engage in abusive business practices,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “The settlement announced today is a joint partnership that will create tough new servicing standards that will ensure fair treatment for HSBC’s borrowers and provide relief to customers across New York State and across the country.”  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

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.

From Robo-Signing to e-Signing: The Future of Mortgaging

Several days ago, the New York Times published a rundown on startups who are looking to digitalize and streamline the mortgage underwriting process, with the aim of putting loans into the hands of information savvy Millennials. Starting small but growing fast, the startups profiled aim to take digitalize mortgaging, allowing loan seekers the experience of getting loans from anywhere, anytime, with ease.  Read more here.

JP Morgan Chase Settles Robo-Signing Charges For $50 Million, Tax Deductible

The U.S. Trustee struck a $50 million deal over charges JPMorgan Chase ‘robo-signed’ mortgage documents to numerous bankruptcy courts. The bank must pay more than 25,000 homeowners in the remedial deal. As a result, there appears to be no restriction on the bank’s ability to write off the entire amount on its taxes. Speaking of taxes, the case and its subject matter contains important reminders for everyone at tax time.  Read more here.