Government Accountability Needed to Restore Mortgage Confidence


Politicians and regulators need to get with the times — for the sake of the housing market and its participants.

That message served as the guidepost for David Stevens’ remarks at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Secondary Market Conference in New York this week. Stevens, president and CEO of the MBA and the former commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration, did not pull punches in calling out the United States government for its role in the current predicaments faced by lenders and would-be homebuyers alike.

Stevens made a general argument about accountability, contrasting the work done by the mortgage industry in the wake of the recession and meltdown with the inaction on the part of government officials.

“Regulators and enforcement agencies must own their role in the pace and path of recovery,” he said in prepared remarks released Monday. “Today’s environment is not encouraging credit expansion. It’s […]

Five global banks to pay $5.7 billion in fines over rate rigging


Authorities fined five of the world’s largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup inc, roughly $5.7 billion, and four of them agreed to plead guilty to U.S. criminal charges over manipulation of foreign exchange rates, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday.
The fifth bank, UBS AG, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates, the Justice Department said.
U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup will pay $550 million and $925 million in criminal fines, respectively, as part of their guilty pleas.
British banks Barclays will pay $650 million in criminal penalties and Royal Bank of Scotland $395 million. Each will plead guilty to one felony count of conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for U.S. dollars and euros in the foreign exchange spot market.
The $5.7 billion includes $1.6 billion in fines separately imposed by the U […]

CFPB Sues Individuals in Large Mortgage Kickback Scheme


A mortgage title company and a handful of individuals are being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Maryland Attorney General related to an alleged mortgage kickback scheme with banks such as Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase.

The CFPB said Wednesday that it filed complaints jointly with the Maryland AG against six individuals who were tied to Genuine Title, a now-defunct title company in Maryland, as well as several other limited liability companies that allegedly transferred mortgage kickback payments. The defendants are being accused of trading cash and marketing services in exchange for mortgage referrals.

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase have already been cited for the activities since loan officers were involved in the alleged scheme with Genuine Title. Authorities are requesting the court to ban five of the six named persons from the mortgage industry and pay a total of $662,500 in redress and penalties. Actions […]

NewDay Agrees to $5M Consent Order Over Licensing Exam ‘Cheating’


NewDay Financial found itself embroiled in another regulatory order, this time stemming from allegations of rampant cheating on mortgage licensing examinations by company employees, including its chief operating officer.

The Multi-State Mortgage Committee issued the settlement agreement and consent order between 43 state mortgage regulators and NewDay Monday, following investigations by officials in New Hampshire and Maryland. NewDay will have to pay nearly $5.3 million fine as part of the order.

The test-cheating investigations were sparked by complaints filed by a former employee, and regulators found that NewDay violated the Nationwide Multi-State Licensing System and Registry Rules of Conduct for Test Takers or Education Students in multiple ways.

The findings showed that NewDay employees would take and store test information to teach co-workers what was being examined.

NewDay is owned by Chrysalis Holdings. In March 2013, the private equity firm acquired Abacus Mortgage Training and […]