Eric T. Schneiderman | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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CREDO: Tell President Obama: 55 investigators aren’t enough to investigate Wall Street criminals.

CREDO: Tell President Obama: 55 investigators aren’t enough to investigate Wall Street criminals.


Via CREDO

Back in January, President Obama announced during the State of the Union speech the creation of a new financial crimes task force to investigate the crimes and misdeeds that led to the economic collapse and “hold accountable those who broke the law.”

Yet, despite the enormity of the issue, its direct impact on millions of Americans and the widespread nature of crimes and wrongdoing, the new financial crime unit has been allocated a paltry 55 staff members to undertake this enormous task.1

And now we’re hearing from insiders in Washington DC, that the full complement of 55 promised investigators — which is already not nearly enough — haven’t even been deployed to the task force.

Election year promises aren’t nearly enough. President Obama needs to prove his commitment to the financial crimes task force is real and provide the task force with the resources it needs to investigate Wall Street criminals.

Tell President Obama: 55 investigators are not enough. We need 20 times more staffing to launch a real investigation into Wall Street’s crimes.

After the much smaller savings and loan scandal of the ’80s approximately 1,000 FBI agents and dozens of federal prosecutors were assigned to prosecute related cases2. And 100 FBI agents were tasked with investigating the Enron scandal3, which involved just one company and caused none of the economy-wide damage we’ve seen since the collapse of the housing bubble.

The 55 investigators promised to the financial crimes task force is not nearly enough. And to find out that President Obama hasn’t delivered on those investigators, let alone resourced the effort at the levels appropriate to the biggest financial fraud in U.S. history, is shocking.

President Obama’s record on Wall Street accountability is abysmal. But because of enormous grassroots pressure from activists like you and polling that suggests he needs to take on Wall Street as a part of his election campaign, we have a real opportunity to move President Obama to meaningful action on Wall Street accountability. Time, however, is running out.

President Obama’s first task force at the Department of Justice did little if anything to prosecute Wall Street for crimes that led to the financial crisis. But because of your activism, he announced a new task force and named progressive champion and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman one of its five co-chairs.

Now we need to pressure the White House to give that task force the resources it needs to pursue justice. Without sufficient staff to conduct thorough investigations, it’s hard to see how this task force could bring indictments quickly or even beforesStatutes of limitations run out.

Tell President Obama: 55 investigators are not enough. We need 20 times more staffing to launch a real investigation into Wall Street’s crimes.

The economic crisis we’re in demands a response commensurate with the damage done by Wall Street crooks. But the 55 promised investigators don’t even come close to being adequate. If the White House hasn’t even followed through on its promise of a paltry 55 investigators, it’s clear that massive pushback is needed to get the level of staffing we truly need to bring Wall Street criminals to justice.

Aside from the appointment of Attorney General Schneiderman, none of the other co-chairs of the new task force has done literally anything that achieves our goal of holding banks accountable or prosecuting bankers for criminal activity.

In fact, three of his co-chairs served on the earlier failed Department of Justice task force that the new investigation was created to supersede.

In an election year when we know the Obama reelection campaign wants to frame his race as opposing the candidate of the one percent, President Obama will be particularly sensitive to public perception of whether his efforts to hold Wall Street accountable are meaningful and represent the full force of his office.

Tell President Obama: 55 investigators are not enough. We need 20 times more staffing to launch a real investigation into Wall Street’s crimes.

We want, and our country needs, indictments. The collapse of the housing bubble led directly to the economic crisis we’re in. But not one of the Wall Street crooks who drove our economy off a cliff has gone to jail. And without aggressive investigations and prosecution for misconduct, none of them will.

President Obama needs to give the Department of Justice task force the resources required to launch a serious investigation that will bring about real accountability before the statutes of limitations run out for Wall Street’s crimes.

It’s been months already. We can’t waste any more time. We must act now before we lose our opportunity to do anything significant at all.

1. “Details Emerge of New Financial Fraud Unit ,” Huffington Post, 01-26-12.
2. FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole’s statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 02-11-09
3. “In Past Financial Crises, Fewer Pursued In Courts,” NPR, 08-14-11.

http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/fraud_task_force/?rc=tw1

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Steven J. Baum settles with NY AG Schneiderman; will pay $4M

Steven J. Baum settles with NY AG Schneiderman; will pay $4M


What about the rest? This is an insult!

Update: Pillar Processing is also part of this settlement.

Buffalo Business First-

The case of embattled foreclosure attorney Steven Baum has taken another turn as the Amherst attorney reached a settlement with the New York State Attorney General over charges his firm mishandled foreclosure filings statewide over many years.

Under terms of the agreement, Baum has agreed not to handle mortgages for two years and will pay a penalty of $4 million.

The deal with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office comes five month after the firm settled with the United States Attorney for the Southern District and paid $2 million while agreeing to drastically overhaul its business practices.

[BUFFALO BUSINESS FIRST]

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Court sides with Nevada in BoA foreclosure case

Court sides with Nevada in BoA foreclosure case


REUTERS-

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.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision by a lower court, which had concluded that the lawsuit belonged in federal court.

Nevada’s complaint, filed in Clark County, Nevada, in January 2011, alleges that Bank of America misled consumers about the terms of its home mortgage modification and foreclosure processes.

Nevada also accused the bank of violating terms of a consent judgment it and several of its subsidiaries had entered into with the state in February 2009.

After Bank of America removed the lawsuit to federal court, Nevada’s request to send it back to state court was denied.

Chief Judge Robert Clive Jones of the District of Nevada ruled that the lawsuit belonged in his court because the lawsuit was a class action, which gives federal courts jurisdiction.

[REUTERS]

[ipaper docId=84003144 access_key=key-2n413anbehd46i3rju3e height=600 width=600 /]

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Amherst law firm agrees to pay fine, Settlement involves foreclosure practices

Amherst law firm agrees to pay fine, Settlement involves foreclosure practices


“I am glad the U. S. Attorney completed this phase of the Baum saga and that he is changing his practice,” said New York City attorney Susan Chana Lask

[…]

“I hope homeowners use the settlement to show the courts the foreclosure mill problem was real and damaged a lot of people’s lives. It’s not over.”

I’m almost certain she is referencing that although the US Attorney settled, AG Schneiderman has yet to complete his investigation.

 

Buffalo News-

Steven J. Baum PC, the Amherst law firm that has been under heavy fire for its foreclosure practices, agreed Thursday to pay a $2 million fine and “extensively” overhaul its practices in a settlement with the U. S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan that has statewide implications.

The agreement with Baum resolves a federal investigation into whether the state’s largest foreclosure law firm, on behalf of lenders, filed misleading affidavits, mortgage assignments and other documents in state and federal courts.

[BUFFALO NEWS]

image: thetorchtheatre

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In RE: FORECLOSURE FRAUD SETTLEMENT “MERS, Pillar Processing & Steven J. Baum, P.C.”

In RE: FORECLOSURE FRAUD SETTLEMENT “MERS, Pillar Processing & Steven J. Baum, P.C.”


Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems
Pillar Processing, LLC
Steven J. Baum, P.C.

Action Date: October 7, 2011
Location: New York, NY

On October 6, 2011, a settlement agreement was signed regarding the practices of one of the largest foreclosure mills in the country, Steven J. Baum, P.C., a law firm operating from Amherst, New York. The settlement was obtained by Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY. The investigation was conducted by the Civil Frauds Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York which investigated under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA).

Under the settlement, the Baum Firm is required to pay $2 million and make significant reforms, but is still allowed to say (paragraph 4): “This Agreement does not constitute a finding by any Court or Agency that Baum has engaged in any unlawful practice or wrongdoing of any kind.”

Most significantly, Baum employees – including the very prolific robo-signing associate, Elpiniki Bechakas, may no longer sign mortgage assignments as officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”). (Bechakas is not specifically named in the Agreement, but has been singled out by NY judges, including the Honorable (and very savvy) Arthur Schack of Brooklyn, as a Baum attorney with very questionable practices.)

The relief provided in the Settlement Agreement is very much prospective relief, and in that regard, is very comprehensive.

For those pending cases, however, the relief in paragraph 15(a) may seem grossly inadequate:

“Baum shall provide the following notification:

a. In any pending foreclosure action where an application for a judgment of foreclosure has not been submitted to a court, if Baum has filed an assignment of mortgage as a corporate officer of MERS, Baum shall disclose that fact to the court in the application for the judgment of foreclosure, or earlier. Such disclosure shall not be required if the Baum firm does not file a proposed judgment of foreclosure (e.g. because another law firm has been substituted as counsel for the matter prior to the filing of a proposed judgment of foreclosure, because the action is dismissed, etc.)”

All that the banks need to do under this settlement in pending cases is to sub in another law firm that may use the Baum assignments to foreclose, without even making any further disclosure to the courts such as “the signers are really employees of the Baum Law Firm who previously represented the banks in this matter.”

While it is true that most defense attorneys will no doubt raise this point, it is also true that most homeowners in foreclosure proceed pro se and are likely to be completely unaware of this Settlement Agreement, and the actual employer of Elpiniki Bechakas and other Baum signers.

Then there is the matter of the tens of thousands of homeowners who have lost their homes in cases where Baum employees signed mortgage assignments as officers of MERS. Most often, they assigned mortgages to mortgage-backed trusts so that the trusts could foreclose, even though such transfers did not take place on the dates and in the manner set forth on the Baum assignments. These Baum Assignments appear throughout the New York courts, but often in the Courts of other states as well.

Two million seems to be the magic number. This is also the amount paid by the Law Offices of Marshall Watson in Florida whose associates engaged in similar practices of signing as MERS officers, assigning mortgages after foreclosure actions were initiated, etc.

Further relief may be forthcoming, from both criminal prosecutions, the NY Bar, and most certainly from private class action and RICO lawsuits brought by private litigants.

Investors in mortgage-backed securities must ask for reports from the Trustees of how much they have paid for these Baum Assignments in the last five years, how much they have lost and how much more they will lose when foreclosures are successfully defended because the loan documents relied on by the trustees were “Baum-made.”

This is a first-of-its-kind settlement with one significant party in the foreclosure fraud morass.

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Feds went easy on NY’s largest foreclosure mill, $2M wrist slap for Baum: critics

Feds went easy on NY’s largest foreclosure mill, $2M wrist slap for Baum: critics


Now you know why people Occupy Wall Street, They are pissed and sick and tired of all the fraud. Bloomberg warned that US unemployment will lead to RIOTS, I think he needs to broaden this statement.

NY POST-

The largest foreclosure mill in New York, under investigation for years by federal authorities for allegedly filing misleading paperwork, affidavits and mortgage documents, yesterday agreed to pay a $2 million fine to settle a probe by Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara.

Steven J. Baum PC, which has filed tens of thousands of foreclosure actions across the state over the past several years, promised to change the way it did business and admitted to “occasionally” making “inadvertent errors.”

The Buffalo-based firm, which was used by every major bank in the country, did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement deal.

.
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MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE LAW FIRM TO OVERHAUL ITS PRACTICES AND PAY $2 MILLION FINE

MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE LAW FIRM TO OVERHAUL ITS PRACTICES AND PAY $2 MILLION FINE


UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
Southern District of New York

U.S. ATTORNEY PREET BHARARA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 6, 2011
http://www.justice.gov/usao/nys

CONTACT: Ellen Davis, Carly Sullivan, Jerika Richardson
(212) 637-2600

 

.

MANHATTAN U.S. ATTORNEY ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT
WITH MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE LAW FIRM TO OVERHAUL
ITS PRACTICES AND PAY $2 MILLION FINE

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that the United States has entered into an agreement with the law firm of STEVEN J. BAUM, P.C. (“BAUM”), one of the largest volume mortgage foreclosure firms in New York State, that requires the firm to pay $2 million to the United States and to extensively change its practices with respect to mortgage foreclosure actions (the “Agreement”). The Agreement resolves an investigation into BAUM’s mortgage foreclosure-related practices, specifically whether the firm, on behalf of its lender clients, filed misleading pleadings, affidavits, and mortgage assignments in state and federal courts in New York.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA said: “In mortgage foreclosure proceedings, there are no excuses for sloppy practices that could lead to someone mistakenly losing their home. Homeowners facing foreclosure cannot afford to have faulty paperwork or inadequate evidence submitted, and today’s agreement will help minimize that risk.”

The Agreement specifically prohibits BAUM from engaging in certain practices related to the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”), a subscription-based electronic registry system for lenders and other entities that tracks ownership interests in mortgages. MERS members contractually agree to appoint MERS as their agent on all mortgages they register. Until recently, employees of BAUM, with the consent of MERS, had been assigning mortgages on behalf of MERS, even though they had no connection to MERS whatsoever, which resulted in errors in its legal filings in state and federal court. Pursuant to the Agreement, BAUM is prohibited from executing any assignment of a mortgage as an “officer” or “director” of MERS.

The Agreement also requires a general overhaul of BAUM’s practice with respect to its filings in mortgage foreclosure actions. Under the terms of the Agreement, BAUM has agreed to:

  • Take steps to inform courts of the nature of the assignments in pending foreclosure proceedings it is handling;
  • Obtain appropriate affidavits from its clients attesting to the fact that they possess original notes or have conducted a diligent search and the original note could not be found;
  • Have experienced attorneys supervise the preparation of pleadings, and review and approve pleadings before they can be filed;
  • Implement a 12-24 month training program for its attorneys that includes an overview of the foreclosure process in New York State and a review of the litigation procedures expected at BAUM;
  • Provide immediate notice to the Government when objections are raised regarding the accuracy of certain court filings related to mortgage foreclosure proceedings; and
  • Maintain documentation of its compliance with the settlement.

In addition, the Agreement requires BAUM to pay the United States $2 million in exchange for a release from any potential claims pursuant to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (“FIRREA”). FIRREA authorizes the United States to seek civil penalties for violations of, and conspiracies to violate, certain predicate criminal statutes involving financial fraud, including mail and wire fraud. The release from liability does not preclude any other parties, including individual homeowners, from pursuing any rights they may have.

The Agreement does not constitute a finding by any court or agency that Baum has engaged in any unlawful practice or wrongdoing. In the Agreement, Baum acknowledges, however, that it occasionally made inadvertent errors in its legal filings in state and federal court, which it attributes to human error in light of the high volume of mortgage defaults and foreclosures throughout the State of New York in the wake of the national subprime mortgage crisis.

Mr. BHARARA thanked the U.S. Trustee’s Office for their invaluable assistance in this case. The case is being handled by the Office’s Civil Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys PIERRE ARMAND and LARA ESHKENAZI are in charge of the case.

The Civil Frauds Unit works in coordination with President BARACK OBAMA’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, on which Mr. BHARARA serves as a Co-Chair of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group. President OBAMA established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

11-302 ###

[Read the agreement below]

 

[ipaper docId=67831624 access_key=key-sjeggego2opcclgi8ik height=600 width=600 /]

 

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Steven J. Baum Law Firm to Pay $2 Million Over Foreclosure Practices

Steven J. Baum Law Firm to Pay $2 Million Over Foreclosure Practices


It’s become a new world in America. No matter how hard one tries, all those families who were thrown out of their homes…how many individuals can settle and get away with this?

Money is the root of all evil.

Bloomberg-

Steven J. Baum’s foreclosure law firm, one of the largest in New York state, will pay the U.S. $2 million and change its practices to resolve a probe into its mortgage-related legal filings.

The agreement resolves an investigation into whether the Baum firm filed misleading pleadings, affidavits and mortgage assignments in courts, according to a statement today by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan.

[BLOOMBERG]

 

[ipaper docId=67831624 access_key=key-sjeggego2opcclgi8ik height=600 width=600 /]

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Nevada AG puts Bank of America on notice over Foreclosure Fraud

Nevada AG puts Bank of America on notice over Foreclosure Fraud


Vegas Inc

Call it Nevada’s version of David versus Goliath.

As foreclosures continue and homeowners cry foul against lenders in their bids to stay in their homes, Nevada’s Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is taking on Bank of America in federal court. And the issue is going to heat up as Cortez Masto’s office investigates BofA and other parties in the foreclosure process. She says criminal charges are likely coming to the industry soon, which could provide more ammunition for her foreclosure fraud case.

[VEGAS INC]

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Memo: BofA to Sell Correspondent Mortgage Business

Memo: BofA to Sell Correspondent Mortgage Business


WSJ-

From: Home Loan News Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 4:19am Subject: Important Message From Barbara DeSoer

To All IMS Associates

I wanted to provide this team with information about a strategic announcement our Home Loans business will make today that is consistent with our ongoing efforts to align the business to the bank’s customer-driven strategy.

Earlier this year, when we split out the Legacy Asset Servicing business, we did so in order for our team to focus on the future of the home loans business. We have made significant progress over the past several months and are taking steps to further position our business to serve the needs of the bank’s 58 million households and attract new mortgage customers with the potential to support growth across the franchise.

[WALL STREET JOURNAL]

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BREAKING: Bank of America to Exit Mortgage Business

BREAKING: Bank of America to Exit Mortgage Business


It’s going to tank!

WSJ-

Bank of America Corp. intends to sell its correspondent mortgage business, as the troubled lender looks to narrow its focus and bolster its financial strength, said people familiar with the situation.

Employees could be notified as soon as Wednesday that the lender has decided to exit the correspondent channel because it no longer fits with the long-term strategy for its mortgage unit. The company decided to get out roughly four to six weeks ago, following a review led by mortgage chief Barbara Desoer. The business employs more than 1,000 people.

[WALL STREET JOURNAL]

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The Countrywide settlement that NV AG Masto says BofA is flagrantly violating was also signed by… Tom Miller.

The Countrywide settlement that NV AG Masto says BofA is flagrantly violating was also signed by… Tom Miller.


H/T David Dayen

SURE DID!

.

For immediate release — Monday, October 6, 2008.
Contact Bob Brammer – 515-281-6699.

Miller: AGs Reach Agreement with Countrywide Financial that Will Help Almost 400,000 Borrowers Facing Foreclosure

The Iowa Attorney General says the settlement will offer mortgage loan modifications to more than 1,100 Iowans that will help many avoid foreclosure and loss of their homes.

Des Moines. Attorney General Tom Miller said Monday that mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. has agreed to provide loan modifications to up to 397,000 borrowers nationwide under a settlement with Iowa and other states. Permanent relief to borrowers could equal about $8 billion nationwide, the company estimated.

The agreement was reached late Friday by several states with Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide Financial on July 1, 2008. Miller was a lead negotiator of the agreement.

“Over 1,100 Iowans will be offered mortgage loan modifications that will help many people avoid foreclosure and losing their homes,” Miller said. He said the potential economic relief to borrowers in Iowa from the modifications is estimated to be about $11 million. About one-fourth to one-half of all Countrywide subprime loans in Iowa are delinquent, depending on the type of loan.

“This large, systematic, streamlined modification program is a break-through,” Miller said. “We urge other servicers to adopt this approach to aiding borrowers facing foreclosure. This is the approach we need across this industry to stop the flood of foreclosures, which is at the heart of the problem of falling home prices and the liquidity crisis,” he said.

Under the agreement, eligible subprime borrowers will be able to modify the terms of their loans to make monthly payments more affordable. Modified loan terms will vary according to the circumstances of the borrower, but they may include an automatic freeze or reduction in interest rates, conversion to fixed-term loans, or reduction of principal owed.

First-year payments of principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) will be targeted under the modifications to equate to 34 percent of the borrower’s income (or 25 percent of income for borrowers for whom taxes and insurance are not escrowed.)

Countrywide said the loan modification program will be ready for implementation by December 1, 2008, and that the company would engage in proactive outreach to eligible customers by then. Countrywide also noted that foreclosure sales will not be initiated or advanced for borrowers likely to qualify until Countrywide has made an affirmative decision on a borrower’s eligibility.

The toll-free number for Countrywide subprime customers who want more information is 800-669-6607. There also will be information soon at Countrywide’s web site, www.countrywide.com.

The settlement resolves allegations that Countrywide used unfair and deceptive tactics in its loan-origination and servicing activities – and that borrowers often were put in structurally unfair and unaffordable loans. Countrywide is the largest provider of subprime mortgages in the U.S.

Bank of America / Countrywide also will pay $150 million to states nationwide in a Foreclosure Relief Program for eligible Countrywide customers. The states may use up to half of those funds for programs aimed at preventing foreclosures. Bank of America / Countrywide also will pay up to $70 million nationwide in payments for relocation assistance to borrowers unable to retain their homes, and will waive up to $60-$80 million in prepayment penalties and default fees.

A report issued last week by the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group led by Miller concluded that industry measures to keep homeowners out of foreclosure had slipped since the Working Group’s previous report in April, and that nearly eight out of ten seriously delinquent homeowners are not on track for any loss mitigation outcome. The group of state Attorneys General and banking departments concluded: “The mortgage industry’s failure to develop systematic approaches to prevent foreclosures has only spurred declines in property values and further increased expected losses on mortgage loan portfolios.” [Go to Foreclosure Prevention Working Group Report, 9-29-08.]

Miller said the Countrywide agreement’s program of loan modifications to prevent foreclosures is a win for all parties. “Foreclosure is the enemy. Most important, loan modifications can help homeowners avoid foreclosures and keep their homes. Avoiding foreclosures also helps the companies, helps communities and neighborhoods, and helps our overall economy by stabilizing the housing market,” he said.

“This is what we have been looking for. This agreement provides for the kind of systematic and streamlined loan modification program that is critical right now,” Miller said. “I strongly urge other servicers to undertake similar aggressive programs to prevent foreclosures.”

- 30 -

More details and background:

Miller urged Countrywide customers in Iowa to call the Countrywide toll-free number, 800-669-6607, for more information, including what records they will need to assemble to determine if they qualify for the loan modification program. Miller also urged any OTHER Iowans facing difficulty making their mortgage payments to call the Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline at 877-622-4866.

Countrywide said the loan modification program was designed to achieve affordable and sustainable mortgage payments for borrowers who financed their homes with subprime loans or pay option adjustable rate mortgages serviced by Countrywide that were originated prior to Dec. 31, 2007, and who are seriously delinquent or are likely to become seriously delinquent as a result of loan features, such as interest rate resets or payment recasts.

Under the settlement, which does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing, Bank of America / Countrywide also agreed to: stop offering pay option ARMs and significantly curtail offering “low-documentation” and “no-documentation” loans; initiate an early identification and contact program for people who have trouble making their payments; and continue working with non-profits, federal agencies, and state Attorneys General on ways to use REO (real estate owned) and other properties for community development.

The Bank of America / Countrywide settlement resolved investigations into Countrywide’s lending practices by Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Texas and Washington. The settlement also resolved lawsuits against Countrywide initiated by Illinois, California and Florida. Other states also are participating in the settlement.

Miller said he and his colleagues from Arizona, Ohio, Texas and Washington were especially insistent and focused on the loan modification program during extensive negotiations with Bank of America, and making the modification programs available quickly and nationwide.

- END -

NEVADA vs. BANK OF AMERICA CORP. | Second Amended Complaint “The Breach, Trusts Never Became Holders of These Mortgages””

[ipaper docId=63614235 access_key=key-1w4o8733ipo19ki3pfxf height=600 width=600 /]

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Bank of America Accused of Breaching Accord – Gretchen Morgenson

Bank of America Accused of Breaching Accord – Gretchen Morgenson


NEVADA vs. BANK OF AMERICA CORP. | Second Amended Complaint “The Breach, Trusts Never Became Holders of These Mortgages””

NY TIMES-

The attorney general of Nevada is accusing Bank of America of repeatedly violating a broad loan modification agreement it struck with state officials in October 2008 and is seeking to rip up the deal so that the state can sue the bank over allegations of deceptive lending, marketing and loan servicing practices.

In a complaint filed Tuesday in United States District Court in Reno, Catherine Cortez Masto, the Nevada attorney general, asked a judge for permission to end Nevada’s participation in the settlement agreement. This would allow her to sue the bank over what the complaint says were dubious practices uncovered by her office in an investigation that began in 2009.

[NEW YORK TIMES]

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NEVADA vs. BANK OF AMERICA CORP. | Second Amended Complaint “The Breach, Trusts Never Became Holders of These Mortgages””

NEVADA vs. BANK OF AMERICA CORP. | Second Amended Complaint “The Breach, Trusts Never Became Holders of These Mortgages””


UNITED STATED DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA

STATE OF NEVADA ,

vs.

BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION,
BANK OF AMERICA, N.A.,
BAC HOME LOANS SERVICING, LP,
RECONTRUST COMPANY, N.A.,
COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL CORPORATION,
COUNTRYWIDE HOMELOANS, INC., AND
FULL SPECTRUM LENDING, INC.

Excerpt:

6. In addition, Bank of America misrepresented, both in communication with Nevada consumers and in documents they recorded and filed, that they had authority to foreclose upon consumers’ homes as servicer for the trusts that held these mortgages. Defendants knew (and were on notice) that they had never properly transferred [OMITTED] these mortgages to those trusts, failing to deliver properly endorsed or assigned mortgage notes as required by the relevant legal contracts and state law.

Because the trusts never became holders of these mortgages, Defendants lacked authority to collect or foreclose on their behalf and never should have represented they could.

[ipaper docId=63614235 access_key=key-1w4o8733ipo19ki3pfxf height=600 width=600 /]

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Nevada Joins States Balking at Bank Releases in Foreclosure Practices Deal

Nevada Joins States Balking at Bank Releases in Foreclosure Practices Deal


Bloomberg-

A possible settlement of a 50-state probe of foreclosure practices was questioned by Nevada’s attorney general, who joined three other states in voicing concern about a deal that protects banks from continuing mortgage investigations.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, whose office has sued Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and is conducting civil and criminal foreclosure probes, said she will be “very cautious” about agreeing to a settlement that hinders them.

“If it’s impacting my ongoing litigation and any other future litigation or current investigation, I’m going to be cautious about whether to sign on or not,” Masto said today in a phone interview.

[BLOOMBERG]

State of Nevada v Bank of America, 11-00135, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada (Reno).

[ipaper docId=62379387 access_key=key-18agez8p917w7tre8e2j height=600 width=600 /]

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Goldman Sachs Said to Get Subpoena From New York Prosecutor

Goldman Sachs Said to Get Subpoena From New York Prosecutor


BLOOMBERG:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), the fifth- biggest U.S. bank by assets, received a subpoena from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office seeking information on the firm’s activities leading into the credit crisis, according to two people familiar with the matter.


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Goldman should be worried about subpoenas

Goldman should be worried about subpoenas


“I think we found a white elephant, flying pig and unicorn”

REUTERS-

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) executives have good reason to be worried about the risk of receiving subpoenas from the Justice Department, and investors should be concerned too.

The U.S. government has a real chance of finding inconsistencies between Goldman executives’ testimony to Congress and their internal documents, which means subpoenas could turn into something more serious, lawyers said.

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THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT OF 2002 by Robert A. McTamaney

THE SARBANES-OXLEY ACT OF 2002 by Robert A. McTamaney


WILL IT PREVENT FUTURE “ENRONS?”


Click image below to continue to WLF.org’s PDF

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NEW YORK’S MARTIN ACT: EXPANDING ENFORCEMENT IN AN ERA OF FEDERAL SECURITIES REGULATION by Robert A. McTamaney

NEW YORK’S MARTIN ACT: EXPANDING ENFORCEMENT IN AN ERA OF FEDERAL SECURITIES REGULATION by Robert A. McTamaney


Who’s afraid of the Martin Act? Today, the answer is most of Wall Street, and a healthy segment of
corporate America.

Click on image below to continue to WLP.org’s PDF

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TAIBBI-ROSNER-SPITZER | re: GOLDMAN Email “UTOPIA” a White Elephant, Flying Pig and Unicorn

TAIBBI-ROSNER-SPITZER | re: GOLDMAN Email “UTOPIA” a White Elephant, Flying Pig and Unicorn


Matt Taibbi, Eliot Spitzer and Joshua Rosner on CNN discuss new fraud probe of three major banks. Big banks could go out of business.

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Ares, Tailwind Said to Be Subpoenaed in N.Y. Foreclosure Probe

Ares, Tailwind Said to Be Subpoenaed in N.Y. Foreclosure Probe


BLOOMBERG-

Tailwind, a private equity firm, and investment firm Ares both have financial ties to Pillar Processing LLC, which processes foreclosures for the law firm of Steven J. Baum. Baum handles almost half the foreclosures in New York, according to one of the people. Baum and Pillar were subpoenaed about a month ago, according to the second person. Both declined to be identified because the matter isn’t public.


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Baum’s practices come under intense scrutiny

Baum’s practices come under intense scrutiny


BuffaloNews

An investigation by the state attorney general into Steven J. Baum PC is shining a new spotlight on the practices of the prominent Amherst foreclosure law firm, at a time when judges and lawyers downstate are accusing it of filing shoddy court documents.

Once little known outside Western New York, Baum has gained notoriety statewide and nationally, as the firm’s work in the foreclosure crisis placed it in the midst of the controversy over improper legal paperwork and so-called “robo-signing.”

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