Preet Bharara Picks on Small Fry Again

By: Sunday February 3, 2013 10:40 am

Preet Bharara can’t figure out how to sue a Wall Street CEO, let alone investigate and indict one.

 

Banks Win Mortgage Settlement From Regulators

By: Tuesday January 8, 2013 2:20 pm

In what can only be described as a slap to the face of victims of the housing crisis and an insult to even the vaguest notion of the rule of law, the banks responsible for the mortgage meltdown and subsequent financial crisis and recession have once again escaped justice. After criminal cases were dropped despite massive evidence the civil cases are now settled with regulators and its a slam dunk for the banks. Total victory

CFTC Staffers Cashing In On “Public Service”

By: Thursday December 27, 2012 11:25 am

Step right up and Spin the Revolving Door – and what is your prize? Why, a nice job on Wall Street working for the people you used to regulate – you wrote in the loopholes, now you get the cash for exploiting them!

Glenn Hubbard’s Hilarious Deposition on Behalf of Countrywide

By: Friday December 21, 2012 8:16 am

More than half of the loans Glenn Hubbard “studied” came from lenders being sued by other entities for fraud in their underwriting process.

It’s pretty incredible that Hubbard, an academic, thought he could throw this fastball by lawyers involved in MBS litigation for years and years. And it’s almost a shock that Countrywide got so little for their money.

Yes, Banks Are Paying “Penalties” in Foreclosure Fraud Settlement With Other People’s Money

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 9:22 am

This one offers a bit of vindication. I cannot tell you how much grief I got from “official sources” over the clear reality that banks would be able to pay off their penalties in the foreclosure fraud settlement with investor money. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan flat-out said it, and then had to backtrack and obfuscate. But it was clearly set up by the terms of the settlement. Banks would get credit under the settlement for modifying loans in private label mortgage backed securities, which means the investors take the hit.

This became more clear in Bank of America’s side deal, where they would reduce their penalty through modifying loans they don’t own.

More on the Lawsuit Against BofA Over Countrywide’s “Hustle” Program

By: Thursday October 25, 2012 9:30 am

I’ve taken a closer look at the US Attorney from the Southern District of New York’s $1 billion lawsuit against Bank of America – particularly their subsidiary Countrywide – for “the hustle,” the program of selling mortgages with practically no underwriting and passing them on to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And there’s something interesting right on the first page. The lawsuit isn’t called “The US v. Countrywide Financial Corp.,” but “The US, ex rel. Edward O’Donnell v. Countrywide Financial Corp.”

Who’s Edward O’Donnell?

Bank of America’s Cascade of Settlement Payoffs Continue

By: Saturday September 29, 2012 11:30 am

Yesterday, Bank of America fired off one of their biggest settlements yet, spending $2.4 billion to quiet claims with investors over their purchase of Merrill Lynch.

This was outright securities fraud, and I’m more than surprised that the investors plaintiffs, led by public pension funds in Ohio and Texas, accepted this.

Report: Lawmakers, Top Officials Knowingly Received VIP Loans From Countrywide

By: Thursday July 5, 2012 2:19 pm

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa’s perch, has released a new report on the practice of now-defunct mortgage lender Countrywide handing out special mortgages at low rates to members of Congress and other key officials through their “VIP” program. And it does not appear to pick sides or divvy up the information to protect one party or the other.

Bank of America Begins “Pay Settlement With Other People’s Money” Scheme

By: Tuesday May 8, 2012 8:15 am

Bank of America says it began mailing notices to their borrowers about principal reduction opportunities under the foreclosure fraud settlement. Recall that BofA inked a side deal on the settlement that would allow them to extinguish an additional $850 million of the cash penalties by reducing loan balances more deeply than called for in the settlement. At the time it was announced, the thinking was that BofA could avoid that $850 million by reducing balances on loans it didn’t actually own, and now that seems likely to happen.

BofA Gets Side Deal in Settlement, Reducing Penalty By Modifying Loans They Don’t Own

By: Friday March 9, 2012 7:32 am

I mentioned yesterday, when reporting on the whistleblower allegations of Bank of America defrauding HAMP, that the bank made some sort of side deal in the foreclosure fraud settlement that would deliver deeper relief to a certain subset of borrowers. What was not reported was that this will get BofA off the hook for $850 million of their obligation.

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