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March 2012 Article Archive

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Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Express Scripts in Court News
bloomberg.com | Mar 30, 2012
Bank of America Corp. won dismissal of a lawsuit by investors in mortgage-backed bonds that said the bank should buy back defective loans underlying more than $1 billion in securities.
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UPDATE: Thornburg Trustee Can Proceed With Suit Against RBC Capital
online.wsj.com | Mar 29, 2012
A federal judge ruled the court-appointed trustee overseeing the liquidation of Thornburg Mortgage Inc. (THMRQ) can move forward with a lawsuit against RBC Capital Markets LLC alleging the bank shortchanged the mortgage lender when it seized and subsequently sold some of its assets.
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Plosser: Fed overstepped in buying mortgage-backed securities
housingwire.com | Mar 26, 2012
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia CEO Charles Plosser is not a fan of the Fed buying mortgage-backed securities. In a speech to the Global Society of Fellows of the Global Interdependence Center in Paris, Plosser said central banks should be wary of continuing down a path in which they step too far into the zone of taking on fiscal policy. He cited the Fed's effort to assist the fledgling housing market through the acquisition of mortgage-backed securities as one example.
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Wells Fargo Scoffs At Subpoenas In $60B Fraud Probe: SEC
ibtimes.com | Mar 24, 2012
In conducting an investigation of possible fraud in relation to Wells Fargo & Co.'s sale of almost $60 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday requested that a federal court order the country's largest mortgage lender to comply with its subpoenas.
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SEC Files Subpoena Enforcement Action Against Wells Fargo in Mortgage-Backed Securities Investigation
citybizlist.com | Mar 23, 2012
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it has filed a subpoena enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Wells Fargo & Company. According to the filing, the Commission is investigating possible fraud in connection with Wells Fargo's sale of nearly $60 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities to investors. Pursuant to subpoenas dating back to September 2011, the bank was obligated to produce (and agreed to produce) documents to the Commission, but has failed to do so. Accordingly, the Commission filed its Application for an Order Requiring Compliance with Administrative Subpoenas.
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Home Loans Can Walk, Your Mortgage Nightmare Explained
huffingtonpost.com | Mar 23, 2012
These days home loans, especially loans in default or otherwise in distress, get traded around more often than a mid-career relief pitcher. The lender that makes the loan may sell it to an investor, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or another bank. Sometimes the original lender gets bought out by another bank and the loan is transferred.
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Whistle-Blower Lynn Szymoniak Beats the Banks
businessweek.com | Mar 23, 2012
Attorney Lynn Szymoniak had spent her career investigating insurance fraud when Deutsche Bank (DB) moved to foreclose on her Florida home in 2008. Almost four years later, she’s still fighting the foreclosure. Yet the fraud by numerous banks she uncovered after combing through mortgage documents has earned her $18 million.
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Understanding the Securitization of Subprime Mortgage Credit
Sept 26, 2007
This paper is a largely a primer on the securitization of subprime mortgage loans. We start with an overview of the seven key informational frictions involved in this process, discuss how market participants work to minimize these frictions, and speculate on how this process broke down. We continue with a complete picture of the subprime borrower and the subprime loan, discussing both predatory borrowing and predatory lending. Moreover, we discuss the key structural features of a typical subprime securitization, document how the rating agencies assign credit ratings to mortgage-backed securities, and outline how the agencies monitor the performance of mortgage pools over time. Throughout the paper, we draw upon the example of a mortgage pool securitized by New Century during 2006.
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Wells Fargo Scoffs At Subpoenas In $60B Fraud Probe: SEC
ibtimes.com | Mar 24, 2012
In conducting an investigation of possible fraud in relation to Wells Fargo & Co.'s sale of almost $60 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday requested that a federal court order the country's largest mortgage lender to comply with its subpoenas.
Read More

SEC Files Subpoena Enforcement Action Against Wells Fargo in Mortgage-Backed Securities Investigation
citybizlist.com | Mar 23, 2012
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it has filed a subpoena enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Wells Fargo & Company. According to the filing, the Commission is investigating possible fraud in connection with Wells Fargo's sale of nearly $60 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities to investors. Pursuant to subpoenas dating back to September 2011, the bank was obligated to produce (and agreed to produce) documents to the Commission, but has failed to do so. Accordingly, the Commission filed its Application for an Order Requiring Compliance with Administrative Subpoenas.
Read More

Home Loans Can Walk, Your Mortgage Nightmare Explained
huffingtonpost.com | Mar 23, 2012
These days home loans, especially loans in default or otherwise in distress, get traded around more often than a mid-career relief pitcher. The lender that makes the loan may sell it to an investor, like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, or another bank. Sometimes the original lender gets bought out by another bank and the loan is transferred.
Read More

Whistle-Blower Lynn Szymoniak Beats the Banks
businessweek.com | Mar 23, 2012
Attorney Lynn Szymoniak had spent her career investigating insurance fraud when Deutsche Bank (DB) moved to foreclose on her Florida home in 2008. Almost four years later, she’s still fighting the foreclosure. Yet the fraud by numerous banks she uncovered after combing through mortgage documents has earned her $18 million.
Read More

Understanding the Securitization of Subprime Mortgage Credit
Sept 26, 2007
This paper is a largely a primer on the securitization of subprime mortgage loans. We start with an overview of the seven key informational frictions involved in this process, discuss how market participants work to minimize these frictions, and speculate on how this process broke down. We continue with a complete picture of the subprime borrower and the subprime loan, discussing both predatory borrowing and predatory lending. Moreover, we discuss the key structural features of a typical subprime securitization, document how the rating agencies assign credit ratings to mortgage-backed securities, and outline how the agencies monitor the performance of mortgage pools over time. Throughout the paper, we draw upon the example of a mortgage pool securitized by New Century during 2006.
Download PDF

Proposed State Bill Would Give Homeowners 'Bill Of Rights'
ocregister.com | Mar 19, 2012
California Attorney General Kamala Harris recently unveiled a legislative package aimed at ending mistreatment of homeowners and tenants caught in the cross hairs of the foreclosure crisis. The plan includes measures to guarantee of a single point of contact for questions to their lenders about their mortgage, the restriction of “dual-track” foreclosures, and an increase in penalties for “robo-signing.”
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Foreclosure Whistleblower Wins $18 Million in Bank Accord
huffingtonpost.com | Mar 16, 2012
Attorney Lynn Szymoniak had spent a career investigating insurance fraud when a bank moved to foreclose on her Florida home in 2008. Almost four years later, the fraud she said she uncovered by combing through mortgage documents earned her $18 million.
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As Crisis Fades, Risk Returns to Asset-Backed Debt
reuters.com | Mar 16, 2012
As the credit crisis recedes and underwriting standards begin to loosen, bonds backed by consumer debt such as auto loans, credit card payments, and student loans are becoming increasingly risky, Moody's said on Thursday.
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NY and Delaware Preserve Their Mortgage Claims Against Banks
dailykos.com | Mar 15, 2012
The biggest news of today may be in the attachments to the Consent Judgements agreed to by the US government, the State AGs, and the big banks. The state AGs preserve their rights to pursue their major pending cases against MERS and the banks.
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NC County Sues MERS, LPS, Major Lenders to “Clean Up the Mess” Made of Public Land Records
totalmortgage.com | Mar 14, 2012
A little over a year ago, I wrote that Jeff Thigpen, the Registrar of Deeds in Guilford County, North Carolina, was considering suing MERS over alleged misdeeds, including falsifying documents, robo-signing, and other similar abuses.
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Mortgage Fraud Charges Target Execs
thestreet.com | Mar 14, 2012
The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged top executives at now-defunct Thornburg Mortgage with fraudulently hiding the mortgage lenders problems as the financial crisis put the company on the brink in 2008.
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Robo-Signing Settlement May Boost Short Sales
inman.com | Mar 13, 2012
The settlement doesn't prevent the government from punishing wrongful securitization conduct that will be the focus of the new Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, HUD noted. State and federal authorities can also pursue criminal enforcement actions related to conduct by servicers, including civil rights, fair housing, fair lending and other violations.
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Banks OK Foreclosure Settlement That Could Give State Homeowners $8.4 Billion
palmbeachpost.com | Mar 13, 2012
Florida's struggling homeowners are one step closer to getting a share of the state's foreclosure settlement - valued at $8.4 billion - after formal bank agreements were filed in federal court Monday.
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Homeowners on Bottom in Mortgage Noteholder Scheme
shawlawtexas.com | Mar 12, 2012
A large contribution to the home mortgage melt down is “Securitization.” The vehicle by which securitization begins is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS.) MERS is an entity with few assets and few employees.
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US FHFA Announces Timeline For Fannie,Freddie Strategic Plan
deutsche-boerse.com | Mar 9, 2012
The U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency Friday announced a timeline for the initial steps it will take to reduce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's market share and build a new infrastructure for the secondary mortgage market.
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Musto Endorses Anti-Foreclosure Legislation
acorn-online.com | Mar 9, 2012
State Sen. Anthony Musto, D-22nd District, testified before the General Assembly's Banks Committee on Tuesday in favor of legislation that would prevent banks from seeking a home mortgage foreclosure unless they also possess the title to that property.
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National Mortgage Settlement Hints at a Solution for States
muninetguide.com | Mar 8, 2012
The recent $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement, an historic joint agreement between 49 states along with the federal government and the nation’s five largest loan servicers may seem insignificant in the context of the $10 trillion dollar U.S. mortgage market. But when you consider the astonishing political diversity of the 49 state attorneys general involved in these negotiations, in light of the awesome loan servicing might of the largest banks, the settlement hints at a much larger possible impact.
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Insurer Prevails On Fraud Claim In Mortgage Securitization Action Against Countrywide
lexology.com | Mar 7, 2012
A New York trial court recently granted partial summary judgment in favor of MBIA Insurance Corporation (“MBIA”) on fraud and breach of warranty claims it had brought against Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. and various affiliates (collectively, “Countrywide”) concerning certain financial guaranty insurance policies that MBIA had issued in connection with residential mortgage-backed securitizations originated by Countrywide.
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Court Sides with Nevada in BoA Foreclosure Case
newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com | Mar 5, 2012
A federal appeals court on Friday granted Nevada's request to send its lawsuit alleging mortgage modification and foreclosure abuses against Bank of America Corp back to Nevada state court.
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Homeowners on Bottom in Mortgage Noteholder Scheme
shawlawtexas.com | Mar 12, 2012
A large contribution to the home mortgage melt down is “Securitization.” The vehicle by which securitization begins is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS.) MERS is an entity with few assets and few employees.
Read More

Former Real Estate Agent Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Leadership Role in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
justice.gov | Mar 5, 2012
Robert Alexander, 36, of Phoenix, Ariz., was sentenced to 30 months in prison by U.S. District Court Judge James A. Teilborg on Feb. 29, 2012. Alexander, a real estate agent, represented buyers who purchased multiple homes with loan applications containing false information and concealing from the lenders “kick backs” to the buyers. Alexander pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. One other co-conspirator has pleaded guilty for his involvement in the conspiracy.
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Boom-Era Property Speculators to Get Foreclosure Aid
bloomberg.com | Mar 5, 2012
The Obama administration will extend mortgage assistance for the first time to investors who bought multiple homes before the market imploded, helping some speculators who drove up prices and inflated the housing bubble.
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Foreclosed Homeowners Challenge Banks to Prove They Still Hold Their Notes
host.madison.com | Mar 4, 2012
When several major U.S. banks agreed last month to pay $25 billion to settle charges of foreclosure fraud — including allegations workers faked signatures, backdated records and "re-created" missing documents — it offered some measure of resolution for millions who lost their homes in the housing bust.
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Will Wall Street Ever Face Justice?
nytimes.com | Mar 2, 2012
LAST week, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. proclaimed in a speech that when it comes to fighting financial fraud, the Obama administration’s “record of success has been nothing less than historic.” Such self-congratulation is not only premature, but it also reveals a troubling lack of understanding about what is required to win the war against financial wrongdoing.
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Securitization Trust Sues Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital
galaxystocks.com | Mar 1, 2012
Morgan Stanley (MS) division was charged for violation of contract by a securitization trust seeking to compel the bank to repurchase almost $300 million in mortgage loans.
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