Home / Tag Archives: Top Corporate Headlines 2011

Tag Archives: Top Corporate Headlines 2011

GMAC Counters Lawsuit with Decision to Pull Lending in Massachusetts

Ally Financial's GMAC Mortgage says it will stop doing business with third-party lenders in Massachusetts. The announcement was made just one day after the state's attorney general said she is suing GMAC and four other mortgage servicers over documentation and recording errors related to foreclosures. Effective Monday, December 5, GMAC will cease purchasing new mortgage loans in the state that are originated by correspondent lenders and wholesale brokers.

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Mortgage Insurer PMI Files Bankruptcy

The PMI Group, Inc. says it has filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. According to PMI, the move is a direct result of the seizure of its subsidiaries PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. and PMI Insurance Co. by the Arizona Department of Insurance on October 20, 2011. PMI sought to overturn the regulator's seizure of its mortgage insurance operations, but that motion was denied on Friday.

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New York’s Baum Law Firm to Close

New York's largest foreclosure law firm is shutting its doors. Steven J. Baum, PC has found itself embroiled in a PR firestorm, and now, after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac instructed servicers to pull their business from the firm, it's closing up shop. The firm's principal, Steven Baum, signaled his company was about to go dark late last week in a letter to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera. ""Mr. Nocera -- You have destroyed everything and everyone related to Steven J. Baum PC. It took 40 years to build this firm and three weeks to tear down,"" Baum wrote.

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Do Away With Attorney Networks

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to transition away from their current foreclosure attorney network programs, and move to a system where mortgage servicers will select law firms based on minimum qualifications and uniform criteria. Currently, each GSE designates eligible law firms for individual states, and servicers choose a firm from these lists to handle their foreclosure work. FHFA says the new approach is an extension of the Servicing Alignment Initiative and will lead to greater transparency.

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MERS Bows Out of Foreclosure and Bankruptcy Proceedings

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is withdrawing from the foreclosure business. MERS has issued a notice to its members stating that no foreclosure proceeding may be initiated and no legal proceedings in a bankruptcy may be filed in the name of MERS. Amid an onslaught of court filings and foreclosure-related investigations, MERS proposed a rule change in March banning its members from using MERS as the foreclosing agent. The policy change has officially been adopted.

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Ocwen Financial Offers New Loan Modification Program

Ocwen Financial Corporation has enacted a unique loan modification program designed to help underwater homeowners and investors without rewarding loan delinquency. The company's Shared Appreciation Modification (SAM) reduces a delinquent borrower's principal to 95 percent of the home's current market value but requires the homeowner to later share 25 percent of the home's appreciation with the investor when the home is eventually sold or refinanced.

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Washington Mutual Reaches $208.5 Million Settlement

Washington Mutual Inc.'s former executives, underwriters, and auditor reached a $208.5 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit by investors. The Seattle-based institution was the largest U.S. bank to fail, and this settlement is one of the largest resulting from the financial crisis. The class-action suit combined more than 20 cases in which investors claimed the bank misrepresented its financial condition when its loans began to fail after careless underwriting and inflated appraisals.

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Taylor Bean & Whitaker CEO Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

The man charged with orchestrating possibly one of the most notorious mortgage fraud schemes in U.S. history has been handed a 30-year prison sentence. Lee Farkas, CEO of Taylor Bean & Whitaker, was told Thursday by a U.S. district judge in Virginia that his crimes merit three decades behind bars. Judge Brinkema said she did not detect ""one bit of actual remorse"" in Farkas. From 2002 through 2009, Farkas and his co-conspirators manufactured fraudulent mortgages and securities in a scheme that led to the collapse of Colonial Bank.

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New Inspection-Warranty Product Protects Foreclosure Buyers

Buyers Protection Group, LLC, (BPG) recently launched a ""buyer's bundle"" that provides protection and savings for those who purchase bank-owned, foreclosure, or short-sell properties. The bundle combines the benefits of a professional home inspection with a 12-month home warranty. The company says while vacant or distressed homes can be a great value, they can pose unique challenges to homebuyers, highlighting the need for a professional inspection and extended home warranty.

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Bank of America Brings in Industry ‘Heavy-Hitters,’ a DS News Exclusive

Bank of America has assembled what you might call a ""Dream Team"" of default servicing executives to head up critical areas within its Legacy Asset Servicing unit. Collectively, this new team has more than 70 years experience working with distressed borrowers. The nation's largest mortgage servicer has brought in a former default and loan servicing exec of JPMorgan, someone who previously ran all of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage's default operations, and a top executive from Fannie Mae's national servicing operation.

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