Banks | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

Tag Archive | "Banks"

Servicers Behaving Badly: An Insider’s Perspective on the Root Cause of this Recurring Problem

Servicers Behaving Badly: An Insider’s Perspective on the Root Cause of this Recurring Problem


The Subprime Shakeout-

The Principal – Agent Problem: Part I – RMBS Data Integrity

Back near the dawn of time when I was in business school, and the faculty was hard-pressed to find topics to fill up the curriculum, they introduced the Principal – Agent Problem.  As future corporate managers and agents of the stockholders, I suppose they wanted to explain to us that our economic interests were not identical to those of the owners.  This wasn’t exactly the most shocking news we had ever received, but that was all that was said about the issue, back then.

Of course, there is considerably more to this multi-faceted problem. According to Wikipedia, “The principal–agent problem arises when a principal compensates an agent for performing certain acts that are useful to the principal and costly to the agent, and where there are elements of the performance that are costly to observe,” primarily due to asymmetric information, uncertainty and risk.

Let’s look at the relationship between the RMBS bondholder

[THE SUBPRIME SHAKEOUT]

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FDIC Lawsuits Yielded Big Penalties, But Bankers Haven’t Paid Up

FDIC Lawsuits Yielded Big Penalties, But Bankers Haven’t Paid Up


We already know who runs the government. [PERIOD]

They settle for pennies on the dollar and they don’t even pay a single penny!

HuffPO-

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 – Like many banks engulfed by the mortgage crisis, First National Bank of Nevada specialized in risky home loans that didn’t require borrowers to prove their incomes. When the housing bubble burst, First National got crushed in 2008 under the weight of bad loans that it could no longer resell to investors.

Last year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation sued two former senior executives of the defunct bank for alleged negligence and breach of fiduciary duty, hoping to recover nearly $200 million in losses that it tied directly to those executives’ decisions. The two men denied wrongdoing and settled for $40 million.

But they didn’t pay a dime.

[HUFFINGTONPOST]

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What else could banks possibly fail at?…Being a landlord

What else could banks possibly fail at?…Being a landlord


Just like those things you call modifications, tenants face the same issue with toxic homes and no one to call.

NPR-

Across the country, big banks and other large investors are buying up tens of thousands of foreclosed rental properties. They’re not always model landlords, according to tenants and regulators. Some banks are failing to follow local and state housing codes, leaving tenants to live in squalor — without even a number to call in the most dire situations.

[NPR]

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SUE THE BANKS: Deficit tied to foreclosures

SUE THE BANKS: Deficit tied to foreclosures


Simple solution for each and every state that was destroyed by using MERS alone.

Michigan Citizen-

If you believe the status quo media reports and some state officials, the city of Detroit has exhausted all of its options to erase its mounting budget deficit. The only solution, according to Gov. Rick Snyder and State Treasurer Andy Dillion, is imposing an emergency manager.

The city, according to some legal experts, has another possible course of action: Suing the banks to recoup revenue losses caused by fraudulent lending practices.

Since the onset of the nationwide home foreclosure crisis, several cities have challenged the banking industry in court. In most cases, the goal was to establish a direct link between bank-led home foreclosures and municipal budget deficits. The efforts have largely failed thus far.

[MICHIGAN CITIZEN]

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William K. Black: What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds?

William K. Black: What if the SEC investigated Banks the way it is investigating Mutual Funds?


New Economic Prospectives-

The Wall Street Journal ran a story today (12/27/11) entitled “SEC Ups Its Game to Identify Rogue Firms.”

“Rogue” is an interesting word with a range of definitions. When it is used as an adjective its meaning is: “a playfully mischievous person; scamp.” The trivialization of the most destructive elite frauds is one of the most common forms of what criminologists call “neutralization” of the moral content of wrong doing. Neutralization increases crime.

The actual story makes it clear that the criminals that the SEC was identifying were not “rogues.” They were the CEOs of seemingly legitimate firms. The SEC is identifying “accounting control frauds” – the frauds that cause greater financial losses than all other forms of property crime combined. The SEC is not identifying a few rotten apples, but roughly 100 hedge funds likely to have engaged in accounting fraud. The WSJ describes the SEC’s identification system:

“The list is the low-tech product of a high-tech effort by the SEC to crack down on fraud at hedge funds and other investment firms. After the agency failed to detect the $17.3 billion Ponzi scheme by Bernard L. Madoff, who wowed investors with steady returns over several decades, SEC officials decided they needed a way to trawl through performance data and look for red flags that might signal a possible fraud.

In 2009, the SEC began developing a computer-powered system that now analyzes monthly returns from thousands of hedge funds. Officials won’t say exactly how it works or how much it cost to build, but the agency has announced four civil-fraud lawsuits filed as a result of what it calls the “aberrational performance initiative.”” The SEC should be applauded for finally understanding that “if it’s too good to be true; it probably isn’t true.” Our agency put a similar system in place in 1984 to identify the S&L accounting control frauds that were driving that crisis. A quarter-century later, the SEC began to follow our well-trodden trail – but only with regard to felons inhabiting the middle of the fraud food chain (hedge funds). 

The SEC has, inevitably, discovered that accounting fraud is common among …

[NEW ECONOMIC PROSPECTIVES]

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Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts – Matt Taibbi

Woman Gets Jail For Food-Stamp Fraud; Wall Street Fraudsters Get Bailouts – Matt Taibbi


Want to break the law over and over again and promise never to break that law you first broke?

Work for Wall Street!

Rolling Stone -

Had a quick piece of news I wanted to call attention to, in light of the recent developments at Zuccotti Park. For all of those who say the protesters have it wrong, and don’t really have a cause worth causing public unrest over, consider this story, sent to me by a friend on the Hill.

.
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ROCKWELL P. LUDDEN, THE MERS MORTGAGE IN MASSACHUSETTS: GENIUS, SHELL GAME, OR INVITATION TO FRAUD?

ROCKWELL P. LUDDEN, THE MERS MORTGAGE IN MASSACHUSETTS: GENIUS, SHELL GAME, OR INVITATION TO FRAUD?


BY: ROCKWELL. P. LUDDEN

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
……………Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
……………For promis’d joy!

To a Mouse, Robert Burns

MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, was the creation of a mortgage industry
beset by a tremendous spike in the rate at which mortgage assets were being passed around on the
secondary market in an effort to reap the benefits of securitization. More transfers meant more
paperwork, more trips to an increasingly backlogged county land office, more assignments and
other mortgage-related documents to record, and of course more filing fees. Finally the industry
came up with a plan, ingenious on its face, and yet shrouded in just enough mystery to conceal a
number of assertions that are, upon closer scrutiny, decidedly untenable within the framework of
existing law. Further gaps in the system have allowed unscrupulous individuals to play fast and
loose with the foreclosure process, and although MERS has taken steps to prevent such mischief
in the future the damage already done is of potentially staggering proportion.

The mortgage industry had a number of objectives, a salient of which was the creation of
a privately run, electronic database that would be far more efficient and cost-effective in tracking
the beneficial interests in mortgage loans, servicing rights, and warehouse loans than the traditional
system of county recording offices. With today’s information technology this proved to be
a challenging but nonetheless straightforward undertaking. But there was another objective as
well, one that was far more ambitions—and problematic: to design a system that would allow
successive owners of a mortgage loan to avoid the time-consuming and costly process of having
to run to the local land office to file the necessary paperwork every time a transfer of the mortgage
took place. It is in the methodology by which this latter objective would be accomplished
that the intrigue begins.

The idea was for MERS to be set up as a member organization the members of which
would all individually agree to name MERS as the mortgagee of record in the local land office.
MERS would then track the mortgage loan electronically through its database and, because of the
agreement with its members, would remain the mortgagee of record at the local land office. Thus
the only time an assignment would be recorded would be if the mortgage loan were transferred
out of the MERS system or the actual owner of the mortgage were planning to foreclose in its
own name. This would not only save time and money but add liquidity to the secondary market
as well, thereby making mortgage assets more attractive to investors. Simply put, the goal was to
enable MERS’s designation as mortgagee in the public records to survive and persist in spite of
multiple transfers of the underlying economic obligation on the secondary market.

It was a brilliant idea—or so it seemed.

[ipaper docId=72486193 access_key=key-6gw5dyo43w041j0zt3h height=600 width=600 /]

 

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Rep. Joe Walsh yells at his constituents “Don’t Blame The Banks”

Rep. Joe Walsh yells at his constituents “Don’t Blame The Banks”


by on Nov 9, 2011

Tea Party Republican Rep. Joe Walsh held a townhall at Uno Bar and Grill in Gurnee, Illinois, over the weekend. When the topic of banks and the collapse of the economy arose, the congressman flipped out.

“QUIET FOR A MINUTE! OR I’M GOING TO ASK YOU TO LEAVE. YOU NEED TO LISTEN!”

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MOODY’S ANALYST Says Ratings Agency Rotten To Core W/ Conflicts, Corruption, And Greed

MOODY’S ANALYST Says Ratings Agency Rotten To Core W/ Conflicts, Corruption, And Greed


Rabbit hole is getting deeper and deeper each day.

1999, Oh yes, MOODY’S “issued” an “independent” Structured Report entitled “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS): Its Impact on The Credit Quality of First-Mortgage Jumbo Transactions.

This just fits right along with all the pieces to this article.

Business Insider-

A former senior analyst at Moody’s has gone public with his story of how one of the country’s most important rating agencies is corrupted to the core.

The analyst, William J. Harrington, was employed by Moody’s for 11 years, from 1999 until his resignation in 2010.

From 2006 to 2010, Harrington was a Senior Vice President in the derivative products group, which was responsible for producing many of the disastrous ratings Moody’s issued during the housing bubble.

Harrington has made his story public in the form of a 78-page “comment” to the SEC’s proposed rules about rating agency reform, which he submitted to the agency on August 8th. The comment is a scathing indictment of Moody’s processes, conflicts of interests, and management, and it will likely make Harrington a star witness at any future litigation or hearings on this topic.

[ipaper docId=62691753 access_key=key-1w2ajoi700m733mgub1k height=600 width=600 /]

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H.R. 2056 – To instruct the Inspector General of the FDIC to study the impact of insured depository institution failures, and for other purposes.

H.R. 2056 – To instruct the Inspector General of the FDIC to study the impact of insured depository institution failures, and for other purposes.


Suspend the Rules and Pass the Bill, HR. 2056, with An Amendment
(The amendment strikes all after the enacting clause and inserts a new text)

112TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION H. R. 2056

To instruct the Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to study the impact of insured depository institution failures, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

MAY 31, 2011

Mr. WESTMORELAND (for himself, Mr. DAVID SCOTT of Georgia, Mr. BROUN of Georgia, Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California, Mr. POSEY, Mr. MARCHANT, and Mr. MACK) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services

A BILL

To instruct the Inspector General of the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation to study the impact of insured
depository institution failures, and for other purposes.

[ipaper docId=61474745 access_key=key-i90rmr58tbiw36pfh2f height=600 width=600 /]

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John Walsh, a Regulator Critical of Over-Regulation

John Walsh, a Regulator Critical of Over-Regulation


New York Times-

There aren’t many regulators saying things that big banks want to hear these days, but they’ll like this: Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh on Tuesday warned international regulators that they may be trying to rein in the financial industry too much.

“We are in danger of trying to squeeze too much risk and complexity out of banking as we institute reforms to addresses problems and abuses stemming from the last crisis,” he said at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation in London, according to his prepared remarks.

Continue reading [NEW YORK TIMES]

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MERS foreclosure amendment dies in Oregon House committee

MERS foreclosure amendment dies in Oregon House committee


Oregon Live-

A late attempt by the finance industry to change Oregon mortgage recording laws is dead.

Oregon House Judiciary co-chair Wayne Krieger opened a hearing this afternoon and said the amendment sought by loan servicers, title companies and credit unions would not pass out of the committee today. Minutes later, the committee voted to approve Senate Bill 519, the bill that the financial industry lobby attempted to amend.


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Oregon SB 519 MERS foreclosure fix postponed but effort appears in jeopardy, legislator says

Oregon SB 519 MERS foreclosure fix postponed but effort appears in jeopardy, legislator says


At least they agree a cloud hoovers over foreclosures…

Oregon Live-

A bid by major financial institutions to retroactively waive Oregon recording requirements blocking foreclosure sales appears in jeopardy but will get at least one more day, a legislative leader says.


[ipaper docId=56770733 access_key=key-yffs6yq1bun6j1jpddk height=600 width=600 /]

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SB 519 | Oregon Financial Industry Lobby, Proposed “MERS” Amendment, Past and Future Foreclosure Sales with Improperly Recorded Deeds

SB 519 | Oregon Financial Industry Lobby, Proposed “MERS” Amendment, Past and Future Foreclosure Sales with Improperly Recorded Deeds


Poll: Should Oregon lawmakers give foreclosures, MERS a do-over?

OregonLive-

A federal judge this week issued a stern rebuke to big banks and the Mortgage Electronic Registration System in its handling of foreclosures and what he called a violation of a long-standing Oregon recording law.

Now, the financial industry lobby wants the Oregon Legislature to amend an affordable housing bill to retroactively waive those reporting requirements.

[ipaper docId=56562854 access_key=key-1i78dfa8ydriwym94290 height=600 width=600 /]

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Robo-Signing Continues On Key Land Records In North Carolina

Robo-Signing Continues On Key Land Records In North Carolina


HuffPO-

When banks were caught improperly signing off on foreclosure documents last fall, consumer advocates and property rights experts hoped the public outcry would force the companies to change their foreclosure processing systems to ensure that meaningful document reviews were conducted and wrongful foreclosures were prevented.

But in at least one county in North Carolina, banks have responded by exploiting a filing loophole that has allowed them to continue signing off on key documents en masse, according to a local official.

Come back and check these two links below…

MERS Signing Agreements /Corporate Resolutions Signed Using Stamps

~

ARE MERS’ SIGNATURES ON DOCUMENTS REAL or SCANNED DUPLICATES?

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Foreclosure-Probe Chief Asked Bank Lawyers for Money

Foreclosure-Probe Chief Asked Bank Lawyers for Money


Probe? What probe?

TIME-

Now, in response to queries from TIME, Miller says he initiated fundraising calls to several national firms that represent big banks after he had announced his intention to investigate the foreclosure mess. “In September and October, I tried to reach out to people that I’d worked with and I thought had respect for me and potential support for me and tried to raise money from them,” Miller says. “And a number of them were from national firms.”


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Bank of America Accused of “Divide and Conquer” Strategy of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Probe

Bank of America Accused of “Divide and Conquer” Strategy of Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Probe


Bloomberg-

Bank of America Corp. (BAC) was accused by a top official at the Iowa attorney general’s office of engaging in a divide-and-conquer strategy by undermining support for the settlement of a nationwide probe into foreclosure practices, a person familiar with the matter said.

The bank tried to get attorneys general to break away from those supporting the proposed accord, Iowa Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan said during a recent conference call, according to the person. A second person familiar with the settlement talks said the bank sought to sow dissent among the states, eight of which have publicly criticized the proposal’s terms. Both people asked not to be identified because the talks are private. Madigan declined to comment.

“We have held face to face negotiating sessions and our negotiations continue,” Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat who leads the 50-state effort, said in a statement. “We believe all the banks are negotiating in good faith.”


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Bank of America Lawyer, Consultant Gave Foreclosure Probe Chief $15,000

Bank of America Lawyer, Consultant Gave Foreclosure Probe Chief $15,000


Welcome to the new norm, we are all in this for a price it appears. Going from handcuffs to no cuffs in matter of dollars.

via TIME

Two Miller contributors have become directly involved in defending the banks in the probe. One, Meyer Koplow of Wachtell Lipton in New York, gave Miller $5,000 and is representing Bank of America in direct negotiations with Miller, the attorney general tells TIME. Another, Elizabeth McCaul of Promontory Financial Group, gave Miller $10,000 and is consulting Bank of America in the negotiations, Miller says. Bank of America was one of the first and most prominent institutions accused in the foreclosure investigation. It gave more than $80,000 to the Democratic Attorney Generals Association, which spent more than $200,000 on Miller’s campaign, Miller says.


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TAIBBI | Best Way to Raise Campaign Money? Investigate Banks

TAIBBI | Best Way to Raise Campaign Money? Investigate Banks


ROLLING STONE POLITICS

A hilarious report has come out courtesy of the National Institute of Money in State Politics, showing that Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller – who is coordinating the investigation into the banks’ improper mortgage dealings – increased his campaign contributions from the finance sector this year by a factor of 88! He has raised $261,445 from finance, insurance and real estate contributors since he announced that he was going to be coordinating the investigation into improper foreclosure practices. That is 88 times as much as they gave him not over last year, but over the previous decade.


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Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller Campaign Contributions Rise When Foreclosure Investigation Begins

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller Campaign Contributions Rise When Foreclosure Investigation Begins


FollowTheMoney.org

by Kevin McNellis, April 20, 2011

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller’s campaign war chest got a dramatic boost after he announced his leadership of the 50-state attorneys general investigation into foreclosure irregularities. Out-of-state law firms and donors from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector gave $261,445-which is 88 times more than they had given him over the previous decade.

.

This publication was made possible by grants from:

Ford Foundation
Foundation to Promote Open Society
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Sunlight Foundation

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

Last fall, The New York Times reported that the nation’s largest banks were improperly—and potentially illegally—rushing foreclosure proceedings with faulty or incomplete paperwork, which caused the banks to temporarily declare a moratorium on pending foreclosures and prompted the state attorneys general to launch an investigation into their foreclosure practices.1 2 The first tangible evidence of that effort—led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller since last October—was leaked to the press in March.3 4

With negotiations nearing their conclusion, the final terms of the agreement will have significant implications for not only the nation’s largest banks and millions of homeowners, but the entire housing market and U.S. economy.

Given these stakes, it is not surprising that Attorney General Tom Miller—who has coordinated the national investigation and is currently at the center of the final negotiations—received large campaign donations from a variety of contributors with a vested interest in the final terms of the settlement.

Nearly half of the money Miller raised in 2010—$338,223 of $785,103—was donated after the October 13 announcement that he would be coordinating the 50-state attorneys general investigation.5

Contributions To Tom Miller

A detailed look at the campaign contributions made to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller reveals several interesting giving patterns.

First, however, these contributions have to be put into the larger context of Tom Miller’s involvement in last fall’s foreclosure moratorium, which began when Ally Financial (formerly GMAC), JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America halted their foreclosure proceedings in dozens of states between September 20 and October 1, 2010.6 7

On September 24, Miller announced that his office was opening a civil investigation of Ally Financial’s foreclosure processes in Iowa.8 Two weeks later, on October 7, Miller’s office issued a press release stating that Miller had spoken to representatives of JPMorgan Chase, Ally Financial, and Bank of America regarding their foreclosure proceedings; as well as “assigned staff to convene a separate group of bipartisan state attorneys general and state banking regulators to coordinate states’ reviews and responses to the troubling disclosures by mortgage companies.”9

Almost a week later, on October 13, Miller’s office made the official announcement that his office was coordinating a 50-state effort to examine foreclosure practices by major financial lenders.10

Miller’s major contributions from out-of-state lawyers and firms closely tracks these developments. Between September 30 and Election Day, Miller received $170,300 from lawyers outside of Iowa, which is two-thirds of all the money he raised from them during the entire two-year election cycle. (For a more detailed, day-by-day timeline of Miller’s contributions from lawyers and lobbyists, see his contributions timeline).

Although it is typical for candidates to raise large sums of money in the month immediately preceding the election, Miller’s out-of-state donations in 2010 were a significant departure from his two previous campaigns, in terms of the amount of money he raised, where it came from, and when.

  1. Miller raised $785,000 in 2010, more than double the $327,196 he raised for his 2006 and 2002 campaigns combined.
  1. Miller’s 2010 campaign was unprecedented in the amount of contributions received from outside of Iowa: $497,000, or 63 percent of his 2010 total, came from out-of-state donors. This is a significant break from his previous two reelection campaigns, when less than one-tenth of his campaign funds came from outside of Iowa.

TABLE 1: Miller’s Out-of-State Contributions
Election Out-of-state Contributions Percent of Total
2010 $497,357 63%
2006 $10,508 10%
2002 $19,498 9%

Even more interesting is that it was the lawyers and donors from the finance, insurance, and real estate (FIRE) sector from outside of Iowa who were largely responsible for this reversal. Out-of-state lawyers and lobbyists gave Miller $261,445 in 2010, which is 88 times more than they gave over the previous decade. Out-of-state donors from the FIRE sector gave Miller $56,150 in 2010, compared to $3,500 in 2006 and $1,000 in 2002.

The out-of-state lawyers who suddenly took a strong interest in Miller’s reelection last fall are among the most prominent litigators and partners from some of the largest and most famous corporate and class action firms in the country, which is not surprising given the numerous high-stakes court cases filed in the wake of the financial collapse of 2008 that could be impacted by the pending settlement.11

TABLE 2: Major Out-of-State Contributions from Lawyers
Firm Total from Firm Total from Firm’s Employees Grand Total
Boies, Schiller & Flexner 0 $63,450 $63,450
Kirby McInerney $25,000 0 $25,000
Simpson Thacher & Bartlet 0 $12,500 $12,500
Williams & Connolly 0 $10,500 $10,500
Kaplan, Fox & Kilsheimer $11,000 0 $11,000
Hanly, Conroy, Bierstein, Sheridan, Fisher & Hayes $10,000 0 $10,000
Total …………………$46,000 ………………………………………..$86,450 ………..$132,450
“Total from Firm” are donations made directly by the law firm. “Total from Firm’s Employees” are the sum of personal contributions made by employees of each firm.

Below are detailed explanations of the out-of-state lawyers and firms that gave Tom Miller significant contributions.

David Boies, Donald Flexner, and Robert Silver—all partners in the New York firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner—gave Miller $60,000, or 7.6 percent of his total, making the firm the largest contributor to Miller’s campaign.12 The firm is one of the most prominent in the country, best known for representing the U.S. government in U.S. vs. Microsoft, and Vice-President Al Gore during the 2000 presidential election recount.13

The firm also has a long record of defending corporate clients and dealing with complex financial litigation. Goldman Sachs hired the firm in June of 2010 to defend itself from a hedge fund seeking $1 billion over subprime mortgage-linked securities sold to them by Goldman, as well as several other suits brought against Goldman involving other investments backed by subprime mortgage-linked securities.14 15

Kirby McInerney—which is litigating Wachovia, Moody’s Corporation, National City, and Citigroup on behalf of state pension funds and shareholders who claim these firms misled them about their subprime mortgage investments—gave Miller $25,000.16 17 18 19

Kevin Arquit, a partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, gave Miller $12,500. Arquit, according to his official Simpson Thacher & Bartlett biography, is “regularly recognized as one of the world’s top antitrust attorneys.”20 Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has recently been linked to several major players in the housing market. Most notably, the firm has worked with the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as well as listing JP Morgan Chase, Wachovia, and Lehman Brothers as clients.21 22

Eight partners from Williams & Connolly, another Washington, D.C. firm, combined to give Miller $10,500. The firm has experience defending high-profile clients—including representing President Clinton during his impeachment trial.23 The firm has been retained by Fannie Mae’s former CEO, Franklin Raines; its former CFO, J. Timothy Howard; and an ex-controller, Leanne Spencer, who all resigned in 2004 over allegations about Fannie Mae’s accounting practices.24 25 One of these partners, Gregory Craig, also deserves mention, as he was one of the first lawyers retained by Goldman Sachs in response to the SEC lawsuit.26

Kaplan, Fox & Kilsheimer gave Miller $11,000. The firm is suing Countrywide Financial and Fannie Mae over their use of subprime mortgage lending.27

Hanly Conroy Bierstein Sheridan Fisher & Hayes, another prominent New York-based class action firm, gave $10,000.

Milberg LLP, a prominent class action firm that is suing Citigroup over its mortgage modification practices, gave Miller $7,500.28

Meyer Koplow, a partner at the New York firm Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, gave Miller $5,000. Koplow is most famous for negotiating Philip Morris’ $206 billion class action settlement with state attorneys general in 1998.29

Frederick Kuykendall III, of both the Murphy Firm and Kuykendall & Associates, is currently involved in the class action suit against British Petroleum over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.30 Kuykendall gave Miller $5,000.

Robert Sherman coordinates with state attorneys general for Greenberg Traurig, a global, 1,800-lawyer corporate litigation firm.31 32 Sherman gave $1,500 to Miller, and Greenberg Traurig’s PAC contributed an additional $2,000.

Bernard Nash of the firm Dickstein Shapiro gave $2,500. Nash is a prominent corporate litigator, and advertises his own experience dealing with state attorneys general. According to the firm’s own website— “under Mr. Nash’s leadership, the State Attorneys General Practice has become the country’s largest and premier practice devoted to resolving State Attorney General disputes.”33

Stephen Houck is a prominent antitrust lawyer at Menaker & Herrmann, as well as the executive director of The Center for State Enforcement of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws, which supports antitrust and consumer protection enforcement across the country. Houck gave Miller’s campaign $1,000.

Notable FIRE Contributors

Miller received contributions from two notable FIRE contributors.

Elizabeth McCaul gave Miller $10,000. McCaul is the Partner-in-Charge of Promontory Financial—a large New York City-based consulting firm—and the former Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York Banking Department, the regulatory agency that oversees the banking industry in New York state, including Wall Street firms.34

Linda Killinger, the wife of Washington Mutual’s former CEO Kerry Killinger, gave Miller $10,000. Washington Mutual did not survive the credit crisis of 2008, largely because of its subprime lending, and Mr. Killinger is being sued by the FDIC over the firm’s collapse.35

Democratic Attorneys General Association

Miller also received $50,000 from the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA), a political organization that supports Democratic candidates across the country who run for attorney general. OpenSecrets.org lists DAGA’s top 2010 contributors, summarized below.

Notable contributions made to DAGA by lawyers and law firms include:

  1. $125,000 from the consumer protection firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, which is suing Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, and many other financial institutions over their mortgage practices36
  2. $115,000 from Labaton Sucharow, a firm that is bringing multiple suits related to subprime mortgages37
  3. $77,500 from Kaplan, Fox & Kilsheimer, another national consumer firm with pending subprime mortgage litigation38

Also among DAGA’s top contributors were the same financial firms being sued by the above firms:

  1. Bank of America contributed $80,029
  2. JPMorgan Chase contributed $75,000
  3. Citigroup Global Markets, a subsidiary arm of Citigroup, contributed $65,000

Conclusion

An agreement between 14 major mortgage lenders and the Justice Department was reached on April 13, and the state attorneys general hope to reach a separate agreement in the next several months.39 It will be worth comparing the final terms of the agreement with the contributions listed above.

These contributions are both remarkable and altogether expected—remarkable for their size, their extreme deviation from Miller’s historical fundraising patterns, and the combined legal talent and experience accrued between the contributors themselves. Expected because the negotiation process has moved between the federal and state level.

It should not be surprising that those most concerned with the outcome gave money to the man serving as the central broker between millions of underwater homeowners and national and multinational financial institutions, with billions of dollars hanging in the balance.

  • 1. Streitfeld, David. “From a Maine House, a National Foreclosure Freeze,” The New York Times, October 14, 2010, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/15/business/15maine.html, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 2. Fontevecchia, Agustino, “Legal Heat On Robo-Signing Stokes Foreclosure Fiasco,” Forbes, October 13, 2010, available athttp://www.forbes.com/2010/10/13/foreclosure-investigation-freeze-housing-markets-mortgage.html, accessed April 13, 2010.
  • 3. “Attorney General Tom Miller Leads 50 State Mortgage Foreclosure Group,” October 13, 2010, Iowa Department of Justice, Office of Attorney General Tom Miller, available from http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/latest_news/releases/oct_2010/robo_signing.html, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 4. The actual document can be accessed here: Salmon, Felix, “The attorney generals’ proposed bank settlement,” Reuters, March 7, 2011, available from http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2011/03/07/the-attorney-generals-proposed-bank-settlement/, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 5. Attorney General Tom Miller Leads 50 State Mortgage Foreclosure Group,” October 13, 2010, Iowa Department of Justice, Office of Attorney General Tom Miller, available from http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/latest_news/releases/oct_2010/robo_signing.html, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 6. Zibel, Alan and Choi, Candice, “Questions and Answers About the Foreclosure Freeze,” Associated Press, October 19, 2010, available from http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/oct/19/questions-and-answers-about-the-foreclosure-freeze/, accessed April 15, 2010.
  • 7. Fontevecchia, Agustino, “Legal Heat on Robo-Signing Stokes Foreclosure Fiasco,” Forbes, http://www.forbes.com/2010/10/13/foreclosure-investigation-freeze-housing-markets-mortgage.
  • 8. “Miller Launches Ally/GMAC Foreclosure Probe,” Iowa Department of Justice, September 24, 2010, Office of Attorney General Tom Miller, available from http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/latest_news/releases/sept_2010/Ally.html, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 9. “Miller Requests Mortgage Companies to Halt Iowa Foreclosures,” October 7, 2010, Iowa Department of Justice, Office of Attorney General Tom Miller, available from http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/latest_news/releases/oct_2010/halt_foreclosures.html, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 10. Attorney General Tom Miller Leads 50 State Mortgage Foreclosure Group,” October 13, 2010, Iowa Department of Justice, Office of Attorney General Tom Miller, available from http://www.state.ia.us/government/ag/latest_news/releases/oct_2010/robo_signing.html, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 11. For a full list of cases as of March 29, 2011, see: LaCroix, Kevin, “The List: Subprime Lawsuit Dismissals and Denials,” The D & O Diary, available from http://www.dandodiary.com/2008/06/articles/subprime-litigation/the-list-subprime-lawsuit-dismissals-and-denials/index.html, accessed March 29, 2011.
  • 12. Six other Boies, Schiller, and Flexner lawyers gave Miller an additional $3,450 in 2010.
  • 13. Kaplan, David A., “David Boies: Corporate America’s No. 1 Hired Gun,” CNN Money, October 20, 2010, available from http://money.cnn.com/2010/10/19/news/companies/david_boies_profile_full.fortune/index.htm, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 14. Most notably, Jonathan Schiller, the firm’s co-founder, represented Barclay’s Capital in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the event that precipitated the financial collapse. Goldstein, Matthew and Eder, Steve, “Goldman’s CDO Woes Mean Dollar Signs for Lawyers,” Reuters, June 11, 2010, available fromhttp://in.reuters.com/article/2010/06/11/goldman-lawyers-idINN1113631020100611?feedType=RSS&feedName=everything&virtualBrandChannel=11709, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 15. Mortgage-linked securities are financial instruments created from mortgages. The collapse in housing prices beginning in 2007 was itself a major economic problem, made much worse by the fact that many subprime mortgages were also the basis for various mortgage-linked securities sold to investors all over the world. Since their value depends on the value of the underlying mortgages, many of these mortgage-linked securities built from subprime mortgages became known as “toxic assets” in the fall of 2008. For more information, see: “The Wall Street Money Machine,” ProPublica, available from http://www.propublica.org/series/the-wall-street-money-machine, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 16. “Wachovia,” Kirby McInernery LLP, available from http://www.kmslaw.com/news.asp?type=cases&id=107, accessed April 19, 2011.
  • 17. “Moody’s Corporation,” Kirby McInernery LLP, available from http://www.kmslaw.com/news.asp?type=cases&id=106, accessed April 19, 2011.
  • 18. “National City,” Kirby McInernery LLP, available from http://www.kmslaw.com/news.asp?type=cases&id=91, accessed April 19, 2011.
  • 19. “Citigroup Inc.,” Kirby McInernery LLP, available from http://www.kmslaw.com/news.asp?type=cases&id=108, accessed April 19, 2011.
  • 20. “Lawyer Profile,” Simpson Thacher, available from http://www.stblaw.com/bios/KArquit.htm, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 21. “Financial Times Recognizes Simpson Thacher for Innovation in its Inaugural US Report,” Simpson Thacher, December 2, 2010, available from http://www.stblaw.com/siteContent.cfm?contentID=3&itemID=75&focusID=2515, accessed April 14, 2011.
  • 22. “Banking and Credit,” Simpson Thacher, available from http://www.stblaw.com/practice_banking.htm, accessed April 14, 2011.
  • 23. “Firm Overview,” Williams & Connolly, available from http://www.wc.com/about.html, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 24. Baxter, Brian, “Congressional Spotlight Falls on Fannie and Freddie Legal Fees,” The American Lawyer Daily, February 1, 2011, available from http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2011/02/fees.html, accessed April 15, 2011.
  • 25. It was recently revealed that these former executives were using taxpayer money to cover the tens of millions of dollars in legal fees. Morgenson, Gretchen, “Mortgage Giants Leave Legal Bills to the Taxpayers,” The New York Times, January 24, 2011, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/24/business/24fees.html?_r=1, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 26. “Goldman’s CDO Woes Mean Dollar Signs for Lawyers,” Reuters, June 11, 2010, available from http://in.reuters.com/article/2010/06/11/goldman-lawyers-idINN1113631020100611?pageNumber=2, accessed April 14, 2011.
  • 27. “Current Cases,” Kaplan Fox, available from http://www.kaplanfox.com/cases/currentcases.html, accessed April 15, 2011.
  • 28. “CitiMortgage Loan Modification Class Action,” Milberg LLP, available from http://cases.milberg.com/citimortgage/, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 29. “Why is This Guy Smiling?,”American Lawyer, January/Feburary 2011, available from http://www.kirkland.com/sitecontent.cfm?contentID=230&itemId=7702, accessed April 15, 2011.
  • 30. Sentementes, Gus G., “Lawyer with Baltimore Firm Taps Gulf Coast Roots in BP Oil Leak,” Baltimore Sun, July 2, 2010, available from http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2010-07-02/business/bs-bz-interview-frederick-kuykendall-20100625_1_oil-leak-bp-oil-rig, accessed April 15, 2011.
  • 31. “Robert A. Sherman,” Greenberg Traurig, available from http://www.gtlaw.com/People/RobertASherman, accessed on April 14, 2011.
  • 32. “Greenberg Traurig, LLP,” Chambers and Partners, available from http://www.chambersandpartners.com/USA/Firms/3579-36457, accessed April 14, 2011.
  • 33. “Bernard Nash,” Dickstein Shapiro, available from http://www.dicksteinshapiro.com/people/detail.aspx?attorney=75ca9c84-a083-4f5d-aae0-94a18b810bd7, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 34. “An Institutional History of Banks Operating in New York State,” State of New York Banking Department, available from http://www.banking.state.ny.us/auhistory.htm, accessed April 15, 2011.
  • 35. Pearson, Sophia, “Ex-Washington Mutual Officials Killinger, Rotella Sued by FDIC Over Losses,” Bloomberg, March 17, 2011, available from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-17/fdic-sues-former-washington-mutual-ceo-kerry-killinger-for-negligence.html, accessed April 15, 2011.
  • 36. “Current Cases,” Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, available from http://www.blbglaw.com/cases/index, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 37. “Credit Crisis Related Cases,” Labaton Sucharow, available from http://www.labaton.com/en/cases/Credit-Crisis-Related-Cases.cfm, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 38. “Featured Cases,” Kaplan Fox, available from http://www.kaplanfox.com/cases/featuredcases.html, accessed April 13, 2011.
  • 39. Woellert, Lorraine, “Banks to Pay Victims of Botched Foreclosures in Settlement with Regulators,” Bloomberg, April 13, 2011, available from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-13/banks-to-pay-victims-of-botched-foreclosures-in-settlement-with-regulators.html, accessed April 19, 2011.

This report was posted on April 20, 2011 by Kevin McNellis.
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by the National Institute on Money in State Politics.

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Ex-Goldman Banker Behind WSJ ‘Smear Campaign’ Against Elizabeth Warren

Ex-Goldman Banker Behind WSJ ‘Smear Campaign’ Against Elizabeth Warren


[Make sure you catch the audio below]

.

WASHINGTON — A Wall Street Journal editorial writer who has been closely involved with the paper’s recent attacks on Elizabeth Warren is a former Goldman Sachs banker. The same editorial writer, Mary Kissel, is readying another piece critical of Warren and the new consumer agency, according to a source familiar with the coming article.

Like most major newspapers, the Journal does not disclose the authors of its editorials. Kissel recently appeared on the John Batchelor radio show as a representative of the Journal‘s editorial board do discuss Warren, and repeated the main arguments used in the editorials.

Listen to the Audio:

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[VIDEO] Nasty Mortgage Fraud Self Help remedy: Courtroom video in New Hampshire.

[VIDEO] Nasty Mortgage Fraud Self Help remedy: Courtroom video in New Hampshire.


KingCast65 | December 07, 2010 |

http://christopher-king.blogspot.com/…
This is a crucial video with actual courtroom footage showing how mortgages and notes are lost as U.S. Citizens face foreclosure, as noted by journalists like Matt Taibbi. Fight back with KingCast courtroom video. I’ve been shooting courtroom video since I tried Civil Rights cases in the mid 1990’s.

KingCast — Reel News for Real People.

Ingress v. Wells Fargo
Hillsborough South
226-2010-CV571

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