Week In Review: DeMarco Doesn’t Get It; Scheiderman Sues Banks over MERS; Swiss Bank Charged with Tax Evasion

Fri Feb 3, 2012 by on Florida Law News

Thanks to RJ Matson and the St. Louis Post Dispatch for this wonderful cartoon! It sums up our feelings quite nicely.

Freddie Mac’s Regulator ‘Completely Puzzled’ by Allegations of Conflict

If Edward DeMarco is puzzled by the outrage over the revelation that Freddie Mac was investing in securities that paid off if homeowners couldn’t refinance, then call us puzzled by his puzzlement. Either he’s a bold-faced liar or he is just plain dense. Does he really not get it?

DeMarco, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, had the gall to tell National Public Radio this morning that one of his major responsibilities was to make sure that Freddie Mac didn’t lose money. NPR, by the way, was one of the agencies that broke the story in the first place.

Eddie, you’re a now a government-run company. You were semi-private at one point, but now you are an arm of the government. You should be looking out for the homeowner, and that’s it. You can claim that these investments, which for all intensive purposes were betting against homeowners, were just routine financial transactions.

We ain’t buying it.

Freddie Mac was created solely to help ease up the mortgage market and make it easier for people to get into homes. Anything counter to that, which clearly these investments were, goes against your mission statement. We’re not interested in profit, we want to see more people in homes.

Eddie, as Donald Trump would say, You’re Fired!

Schneiderman Suing Banks For ‘Deceptive And Fraudulent Foreclosure Practices’

We gotta give Eric Schneiderman another ‘atta boy’ because he has not let up against the banks!! This time its because of their creation and use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, better know as MERS.

Today we learned he is suing, in his role as New York Attorney General, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, along with MERSCORP and a host of other companies because of their use of the foreclosure registry. Schneiderman alleges the banks submitted documents to MERS that had false and misleading information to make it appear they had the authority to foreclose when in fact they didn’t.

He contends homeowners were at a distinct disadvantage because MERS made it impossible for them to track property transfers through public records.

It all comes back to the key point that we have railed against, that the banks often could not prove that they owned the homes they were trying to foreclose on, and used fraudulent documentation to cover their tracks. Schneiderman may not be the first to call out MERS, but he has zeroed in on the problem with it and the banks poor record keeping.

Keep it up Eric!

Swiss Bank Wegelin Charged in U.S. With Aiding Tax Evasion

We’re not exactly sure how you can put a bank in an American jail, especially when it’s not even in the US, but we’re glad the government is trying!

Wegelin & Company, a 270-year-old Swiss bank, has been indicted on federal charges of tax evasion here in the United States. Prosecutors allege they helped over 100 American clients hide more that 1.2 BILLION dollars in assets from the IRS. Three of its top officials are also facing charges.

Wegelin has already said on their website that most of their customers and employees are being transferred to another bank in the wake of these charges.

It’s great to see the government get tough with Wegelin, but when are they are they going to bring US banks up on similar charges for what they’ve done to the homeowners and for not playing by the same rules as the rest of us?

Have a great Super Bowl weekend and we’ll see you Monday — From The Trenches!

Tags: Bank of America, Donald Trump, Edward DeMarco, eric schneiderman, Federal Housing Finance Agency, FHFA, Freddie Mac, homeowners, JP Morgan Chase, MERS, Mortgage Electronic Registration System, national public radio, NPR, Oppenheim Law, refinance, Roy Oppenheim, Super Bowl, Swiss Bank, Wegelin, Wegelin and Co, Wells Fargo