New post on Livinglies’s Weblog
New post on Livinglies’s Weblog
Unbelievably: Another Bombshell revelation. Another case has emerged to our attention involving a Bank of America Whistleblower. Gregory Mackler filed a Qui Tam case on behalf of all those who were foreclosed upon while eligible for modifications which were required if a homeowner qualified, but denied so that the bank could maximize profit. This time a former employee blew the whistle on purposeful, malicious denials of modifications while the bank was reporting to the federal government complete direct lies about participation levels in HAMP. This whistle blower pocketed 14million. READ THIS FROM REUTERS…. Seems like the whistleblowers should be coming out of the woodwork.
By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) – Bank of America NA prevented homeowners from receiving mortgage-loan modifications under a federal program in order to avoid millions of dollars in losses while benefitting from financial incentives for participating in the program, according to a complaint unsealed in federal court Wednesday.
The suit is the second whistle blower complaint unsealed so far with apparent ties to the $1 billion False Claims Act settlement announced by Bank of America and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York on February 9.
The Bank of America settlement is also part of the sweeping $25 billion agreement reached between state and federal authorities.
Final settlement documents have yet to be filed in the BoA settlement, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office said was the largest ever False Claims Act payout related to mortgage fraud.
The settlement resolved claims that Bank of America’s Countywide Financial subsidiaries defrauded the Federal Housing Administration by inflating appraisals used for government-insured home loans, as well as claims involving the Home Affordable Modification Program, a federal program to help American homeowners facing foreclosure.
The complaint unsealed Wednesday was filed by whistleblower Gregory Mackler, a Colorado resident who said he worked alongside Bank of America executives while an employee at Urban Lending Solutions, a company to which Bank of America contracted some of its HAMP work.
While working at Urban Lending, Mackler said he saw BofA and its loan servicing subsidiary, BAC Homes Loans Servicing LP, implement “business practices designed to intentionally prevent scores of eligible homeowners from becoming eligible or staying eligible for permanent HAMP modification.”
The bank and its agents routinely pretended to have lost homeowners’ documents, failed to credit payments during trial modifications and intentionally misled homeowners about their eligibility for the program, the complaint alleged.
BoA let through just enough HAMP modifications to avert suspicion and allay congressional critics, while not enough to incur any substantial losses to its own bottom line, according to the complaint.
“In other words, BoA has had it both ways. BoA has continued to maximize the value of its mortgage portfolio with anti-HAMP modification practices and managed to make money by committing fraud on homeowner,” the lawsuit said.
A lawyer for Mackler could neither confirm nor deny that the complaint was tied to the settlement. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office and a representative for Bank of America declined to comment.
In February, a whistleblower complaint was unsealed from Kyle Lagow, a former employee in a Countrywide appraisal unit which detailed allegations of Countrywide’s “corrupt underwriting and appraisal process.” Bank of America purchased Countywide in June 2008.
Under the False Claims Act, successful whistleblower complaints can earn that whistleblower up to 25 percent of the settlement amount.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) must face fraud claims brought by CIFG Assurance North America (CADEGA.UL) over insurance it provided for $275 million in mortgage-backed securities, a New York state appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
CIFG claimed in a 2011 lawsuit that the investment bank fraudulently induced it to provide insurance for a portfolio of more than 6,000 subprime residential mortgages by concealing the shoddy quality of the loans.
A trial judge in Manhattan threw out that claim last year, ruling that CIFG would have uncovered the alleged misrepresentations had it performed proper due diligence.
The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, First Department, reversed on Tuesday, finding that CIFG had done enough by having an outside consultant analyze the loans.
“There is a question of fact as to whether plaintiff reasonably relied on defendants’ representations,” a five-judge panel wrote in a unanimous decision.
Eric Schneiderman: Banks Have ‘Confidence’ That Law Enforcement Is Not Taking Violations ‘Seriously’
Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr. praised two recent court decisions against mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in Ingham County that will overturn the eviction of local residents from their homes, while offering similar hope for citizens across Michigan.
“Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been shamelessly manipulating our state’s property laws for years at the expense of innocent citizens,” Hertel Jr. said. “They continue to try and exempt themselves from important local and state taxes by claiming a government exemption, but have continued to foreclose on individuals and families using procedures that are only available to private corporations. I’m thrilled that we now the opportunity to protect our residents from future deceitful foreclosure practices.”
Hertel Jr. has been pleading for the courts to clarify Fannie Mae’s status, as it has positioned itself as a government agency to avoid taxes, but also as a private organization in order to avoid foreclosure regulation. The cases were won against mortgage giant Fannie Mae – one in Ingham County Circuit Court, the other in its District Court.
One of the cases is now being sent to the Michigan Court of Appeals and has the potential to change the way that thousands of foreclosures are handled throughout Michigan. The court case specifically addressesforeclosures that are executed by Fannie Mae, the federally-controlled mortgage corporation that has foreclosed on thousands of Michigan residents since the housing crisis began in 2007.
Both of the overturned evictions were residents who called in to Hertel’s Foreclosure Fraud Hotline, a service he arranged with help from the Ingham County Commissioners. The purpose of the hotline is to obtain legal assistance for citizens who are facing illegal foreclosures, but cannot afford representation. The hotline is active – Ingham County residents may call 517-676-7210 to leave their information.
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