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Regulators Increase Scrutiny of Wall Street Lending

Federal bank regulatory agencies are significantly increasing their scrutiny of Wall Street bank lending, moving from annual reviews to a system of monthly audits in a major effort to curtail aggressive underwriting...more

10/15/2014 - Audits Banks Mortgages Repurchases Underwriting Wall Street

In The Cross-Hairs? Protecting Your Company Against Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investigations and Investors' Mortgage... [Video]

Watch an in-depth webinar presented by Litigation Partner Philip R. Stein, about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's attempts to expand its jurisdiction and authority over consumer finance companies and financial...more

10/10/2014 - CFPB Consumer Financial Products Credit Reporting Agencies Enforcement Financial Institutions Jurisdiction Lending Mortgages Nonbank Firms

Editorial: Banks Can Fight Buyback Claims with a Little Help from BofA

Bank of America took a big hit when it reached a record-breaking $16.65 billion mortgage settlement with the United States Department of Justice in August. The company is likely to attempt to recoup as much of the penalty as...more

9/30/2014 - Bank of America Banks Buyback Litigation Buyback Programs DOJ JPMorgan Chase Underwriting

Servicer’s Error Leads to $16 Million Award

Kate Berry reported in American Banker and SourceMedia’s National Mortgage News on how a $616 servicing error snowballed into a $16 million jury verdict. It was reported that a jury last month awarded $514,000 in compensatory...more

8/19/2014 - Banks Loan Servicing Mortgages Punitive Damages

Zillow Acquires Trulia

This Monday, online real estate listing company Zillow announced that it will acquire its biggest competitor, Trulia, in a stock-for-stock purchase transaction. The acquisition has already raised the stock values of both...more

8/4/2014 - Acquisitions Real Estate Market Stock-for-Stock Merger

Citigroup Settles with DOJ for $7 Billion

Citigroup announced last week that it will pay $7 billion to end an investigation by the U.S Department of Justice into misconduct related to its mortgage securitization practices. The blockbuster settlement came days before...more

7/23/2014 - Attorney Generals Citigroup DOJ FDIC Mortgage-Backed Securities Mortgages Settlement

Main Street Cashes $3.1 Billion in Checks from Wall Street

With the mortgage crisis almost a decade in the rear-view mirror, some harmed homeowners are just now starting to see reparations for the transgressions of the country’s largest financial institutions. ...more

7/17/2014 - Bank of America Banks Citigroup Foreclosure Goldman Sachs JPMorgan Chase Morgan Stanley Mortgages OCC Robo-Signing Settlement Wall Street Wells Fargo

Big Banks Argue that Shorter Limitations Period Should Apply to MBS Claims

Recently, the defendants in FDIC as Receiver for Colonial Bank v. Chase Mortgage Finance Group, et al (Civ No. 1:12-cv-06166) filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings, asking the court to dismiss as time-barred the...more

7/15/2014 - Banks Extender Statutes FDIC Limitation Periods Securities Fraud

Donald Trump Sanctioned for Failure to Disclose Insurance Policy In Ft. Lauderdale Condo-Hotel Case

Last week, Judge Kathleen Williams of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions against Donald Trump for his initial failure to disclose a relevant insurance policy...more

6/27/2014 - Condominiums Discovery Donald Trump Hotels Property Insurance Sanctions

Leading Markets Index Shows 56 Metros at or Above Normal Levels in June

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released its Leading Market Index (LMI) on June 5th. The report revealed that out of 350 metros evaluated across the country, 56 housing markets have returned to or...more

6/12/2014 - Housing Market National Association of Home Builders

Robo-Signing Still Making Headlines As Wells Fargo Settles Another Lawsuit

“Robo-signing,” the term coined to refer to bank officials who quickly approved mortgage foreclosure documents without actual knowledge of the validity of the grounds for foreclosure, has been spurring lawsuits and making...more

6/3/2014 - Banks Foreclosure Mortgages Popular Robo-Signing Settlement Signatures Wells Fargo

Aurora Resolves Mortgage Modification Class-Action Lawsuit for $5.3 Million

A former goliath of the non-prime lending market, Aurora Loan Services, LLC (“ALS”), recently resolved a class-action lawsuit alleging that it fraudulently induced distressed California borrowers to enter into purported...more

5/29/2014 - Aurora Banks Class Action Fraud Fraudulent Inducement Loan Modifications Mortgages

Young Adults Underrepresented Among Homebuyers

As the housing market springs back to life, one demographic remains underrepresented among homebuyers. U.S. census data shows that the rate of homeownership for adults under the age of 35 has declined by almost 8% in the last...more

5/22/2014 - Census FHFA First Time Homebuyers

Justice Department Keeps its Distance From Szymoniak Mortgage Fraud Lawsuit

As detailed in an August 2013 Salon article by David Dayen and a September 2013 Bloomberg Businessweek article by Karen Weise, West Palm Beach, Florida homeowner and attorney Lynn Szymoniak helped blow the whistle on...more

4/30/2014 - DOJ Fraud Mortgages

“Tiny Houses:” A Panacea For Social And Environmental Ills?

Could the answers to crushing mortgage debt, homelessness and ecological degradation be one and the same? Across the globe, a ‘tiny’ movement is taking root....more

4/28/2014 - Energy Efficiency Housing Market

SEC “Fearful” of Wall Street Banks

Following the financial crisis, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has received sharp criticism from the public for its seemingly weak enforcement of Wall Street’s too big to fail banks. Surprisingly, this sentiment...more

4/25/2014 - Banks Enforcement SEC Too Big to Fail

Ninth Circuit Rules National Banks are Residents Only of Their Home State

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (encompassing nine Western states and two Pacific islands) has held that for purposes of diversity jurisdiction a national bank is a citizen only of the state in which...more

4/2/2014 - Banks Residency Requirements

New Bill Poised to Revamp Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

Following months of negotiations that involved collaboration between Republicans and Democrats, Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) announced Tuesday that the Senate Banking Committee had reached an agreement on...more

3/17/2014 - Fannie Mae Freddie Mac

First Horizon Reaches Mortgage Loan Settlement With Freddie Mac

There is now yet another settlement in the mortgage loan industry to report. First Horizon National Corp. announced last week that it has entered into a definitive resolution agreement with Freddie Mac regarding loan...more

3/4/2014 - First Horizon National Corporation Freddie Mac Mortgages Settlement

Bank of America Foreign Exchange and Mortgage Practices Under Investigation

On Tuesday, Bank of America disclosed in its annual report with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that “government regulators” in North America, Europe and Asia are investigating its foreign exchange and...more

3/4/2014 - Bank of America Banking Sector Countrywide DOJ Foreign Exchanges RMBS SEC

Editorial: Silica Exposure Lawsuits: The Next Toxic Tort?

With the Occupational Safety and Health Administration signaling its increased attention to workers’ exposure to crystalline silica, and the plaintiff bar evidently in search of new subjects for “toxic tort” claims, there is...more

2/24/2014 - Hazardous Substances OSHA Silica Toxic Exposure

NAHB Urges OSHA To Rescind Proposed Silica Rule

We recently posted an article about whether silica exposure claims might emerge as the next toxic tort. A particular focus of that article was the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) clearly increasing...more

2/14/2014 - Hazardous Substances OSHA Silica Workplace Hazards

SEC To Demand More Public Accountability This Year From Wrongdoers In Financial Markets

SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced last week that the SEC is changing its protocol relating to admissions of guilt in settlements with wrongdoers in the securities markets. Historically, SEC practice was to settle cases...more

2/5/2014 - Admissions Compliance Enforcement Actions Mary Jo White SEC

Federal Court Follows Recent Statute of Limitations Decision for Mortgage Buyback Claims

We recently posted about a critical ruling out of New York’s intermediate state appellate court, the case of ACE Securities Corp. v. DB Structured Products, Inc., 977 N.Y.S.2d 229, 231 (N.Y.A.D. 1st Dept. Dec. 19, 2013). In...more

2/3/2014 - Buyback Programs Mortgage Loan Originators Mortgage Loan Servicing Standards Mortgage-Backed Securities Mortgages Statute of Limitations

Mortgage Crisis Penalty for the Real Wolves of Wall Street Could Top $50 Billion

The real wolves of Wall Street–sixteen of America’s largest banks–could end up shelling out more than $50 billion to secure settlements from the federal government in connection with their alleged roles in the mortgage...more

1/17/2014 - Banks Economic Downturn Financial Crimes Mortgages Settlement Wall Street

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