Income gap widens as jobs increase

POSTED ON August 13th  - POSTED IN news

Positions lost in the recession are being replaced by ones in lower-wage industries.

By: Chris Kirkham

The U.S. economy this year recovered all of the jobs lost during the recession, but the new jobs pay an average of 23% less than the ones lost in the downturn, according to a new analysis.

Job losses in the higher paying manufacturing and construction sectors largely have been replaced by jobs in lower-wage industries, including hospitality and healthcare, according to a report released Monday by the Unites States Conference of Mayors..

SunTrust Banks Inc. said it is cooperating with a federal probe of lawyers’ foreclosure-related expenses that was prompted by a whistleblower lawsuit

POSTED ON August 11th  - POSTED IN news

SunTrust Banks Inc. said it is cooperating with a federal probe of lawyers’ foreclosure-related expenses that was prompted by a whistleblower lawsuit.

In a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Atlanta-based bank disclosed that it hadn’t been able to resolve the matter as part of a nearly $1 billion settlement in June with the U.S. Justice Department over the bank’s alleged improper mortgage lending and foreclosure practices during the financial crisis.

Last month, SunTrust also agreed to pay up to $320 million to settle a criminal investigation by federal authorities that it misled homeowners seeking loan modifications in the wake of the financial crisis.

In the latest probe disclosed this week, SunTrust said the U.S. Attorney General’s Office in New York is conducting a “broader based industry investigation” of law firms’ expenses related to foreclosures of mortgages backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.

The probe is tied to a private whistleblower lawsuit that was “filed under seal and remains in the early stages,” according to SunTrust.

The bank said its second-quarter financial statements reflect its current estimate of the “probable losses associated with the matter.”.

BOA directors support largest settlement in US history

POSTED ON August 7th  - POSTED IN news

by Ryan Smith | Aug 07, 2014

Bank of America’s board of directors support a proposed settlement of more than $16 billion to end government probes into its sale of toxic mortgage-backed securities. The settlement will be the largest federal settlement with a single corporation in U.S. history.

The bank’s directors have okayed the broad strokes of the settlement, according to a CNBC report. Fine details are expected to be decided upon in the next few days. The final deal will most likely include $9 billion in cash penalties and between $7 billion and $8 billion in consumer relief, CNBC reported.

The settlement comes after months of contentious talks between Bank of America and the government. The bank initially suggested a settlement of around $13 billion, while the Justice Department insisted on $17 billion and refused to budge. Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder snubbed BOA head Brian Moynihan when the latter asked to meet. Holder said the talks hadn’t progressed far enough to make meeting worthwhile.

The bank, which had the biggest legal exposure to fraud claims over mortgage-backed securities in the wake of the financial crisis, has already agreed to pay $60 billion to settle numerous other claims of fraudulent sales of mortgage-backed securities, CNBC reported.

If the settlement is finalized, it will break the previous record of $13 billion, set when JPMorgan settled with the government last year over its sale of shoddy mortgage bonds..

FHA Business Inches Up But Poised to Slip May endorsements rise 3% from April

POSTED ON July 29th  - POSTED IN news

July 28, 2014
By Mortgage Daily staff

Monthly government-insured mortgage originations moved up but could retreat based on new applications. Delinquency on government home loans worsened.

May 2014 saw 68,040 residential loans endorsed by the Federal Housing Administration for $11.687 billion, monthly operational data from the agency indicated.

Business was minimally better than a month earlier, when endorsements totaled 66,108 loans for $11.400 billion.

But FHA business was just a shadow of the 129,788 mortgages endorsed for $21.937 billion in the same month during 2013.—–More than 50% down

From Jan. 1 through May 31, endorsements amounted to 314,537 loans for $55.331 billion, while activity since FHA started its fiscal-year 2014 on Oct. 1, 2013, totaled 537,556 loans for $94.536 billion.

May 2014 activity included 62,959 single-family loans for $10.542 billion, 4,493 home-equity conversion mortgages for $1.134 billion and 588 Title I loans for $0.011 billion.

Upcoming business appears poised for a drop based on new single-family and HECM applications, which fell to 105.300 from 109,499 in April.

As of May 31, FHA had insurance in force on 8,477,648 loans for $1.2405 trillion.

Outstandings were 8,479,954 loans for $1.2418 trillion at the end of April and 8,454,988 loans for $1.2408 trillion at the same point during 2013.

The most recent balance reflected 7.8 million single-family loans for $1.091 trillion, 0.6 million HECMs for $0.1489 trillion and fewer than 0.1 million Title I loans for $0.001 trillion.

Thirty-day delinquency, including loans in foreclosure and bankruptcy, was 12.92 percent, worsening from 12.79 percent as of April 30..

SunTrust Hit With $160 Million Penalty Consent assessment order issued

POSTED ON July 29th  - POSTED IN news

July 26, 2014
By Mortgage Daily staff

SunTrust Banks Inc., its banking subsidiary and its mortgage unit have agreed to a $160 million penalty in conjunction with a previously issued consent order tied to its servicing practices.

The Atlanta-based company was among several large mortgage servicers that were hit with consent orders in April 2011 from banking regulators.

The consent orders were the result of shoddy handling of foreclosures and loan modifications and required the servicers to correct deficiencies outlined in the Interagency Review of Foreclosure Policies and Practices.

On Friday, the Federal Reserve Board issued a consent assessment order against SunTrust, SunTrust Bank and SunTrust Mortgage Inc.

Included in the order is a civil money penalty in the amount of $160,000,000.

“Except as provided for in this consent assessment order, the Board of Governors hereby releases and discharges SunTrust, the bank, SunTrust Mortgage, and their affiliates, successors, and assigns from all potential liability that has been or might have been asserted by the Board of Governors based on the conduct that is the subject of this consent assessment order, to the extent known to the Board of Governors as of the effective date of this consent assessment order,” the order stated. “The foregoing release and discharge shall not preclude or affect any right of the Board of Governors to determine and ensure compliance with the consent order or this consent assessment order, or any proceedings brought by the Board of Governors to enforce the terms of the consent order or this consent assessment order.”

As part of the order, SunTrust waives its rights to a hearing for the purpose of taking evidence on any matters set forth in the order, a judicial review of the order and any challenge to the validity or enforceability of the order.

SunTrust agreed to a $968 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice on June 17 to resolve False Claims Act liability for alleged abuses in its servicing, foreclosure processing and Federal Housing Administration lending.

Another $320 million settlement reached this month with the Justice Department resolved a criminal investigation into claims over its administration of the Home Affordable Modification Program..

JPMorgan Begins to Offer Homeowner Relief

POSTED ON July 23rd  - POSTED IN news

Author: Derek Templeton July 22, 2014

JPMorgan Begins to Offer Homeowner Relief

In accordance with the terms of its settlement with the government, JPMorgan has begun the process of providing debt forgiveness and other mortgage relief to struggling homeowners.

Joseph A. Smith Jr., who received a joint appointment from the bank and the government to monitor compliance with the terms of the agreement released his initial report Tuesday outlining the first steps taken in what will be a long process of the bank disbursing $4 billion in loan aid.

Under the terms of the agreement struck in 2013, the bank obtains credit for relief that it provides in four major categories: modification, rate reduction/refinancing, low income and disaster area lending, and anti-blight lending.

Some categories are worth more to the settlement than others so the credit given is not dollar for dollar. The report asserted that the bank has amassed $6.3 million in credit so far.

To get the credit, JPMorgan submitted 100 loans for review. Much more is still to come. Smith characterized the first steps as a “dry run”.

The bank has until 2017 to fulfill the requirements under the settlement and Mr. Smith maintains that there is not yet enough information to determine whether the bank is on schedule to complete them on time. A more thorough report is due out later this year.

The settlement was negotiated through the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a joint state and federal unit formed in 2012 by President Obama to investigate wrongdoing within the mortgage-backed securities market that helped to trigger, contribute to, or exacerbate the U.S. financial crisis.

The settlement requires the bank to submit quarterly reports that include a limited random sample of loans as test cases for Mr. Smith to make the determination of whether they are living up to their obligations..

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