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Many sections of HOBR are being replaced by new rules that automatically go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. In many instances, the new provisions are less onerous than their predecessors. 

But, in some very key areas, the new provisions can cause servicers more problems. The key is to understand what provisions are being changed and how they impact your compliance procedures.

For starters, “HOBR II” attempts to remove the distinction between servicers conducting more or less than 175 annual foreclosures. In most respects, all servicers are treated the same going forwa...

A California judge has fined Bank of America $46 million for its “heartless” and “cruel” treatment of a couple as they struggled to prevent losing their home to foreclosure.

In his decision this month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Klein said the Charlotte-based bank pushed Erik and Renee Sundquist to “battle-fatigued demoralization” during the couple’s fight to hang onto their Sacramento-area home.

The size of the fine, Klein said, reflects the bank’s “high degree of reprehensibility” and is meant to be an amount that “won’t be laughed off in the board roo...

HSBC Holdings Plc will pay $32.5 million to settle claims that it failed to follow a U.S. regulator’s orders to improve mortgage foreclosure practices that led to borrowers being harmed after the 2008 credit crisis.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency levied the fine after concluding that HSBC is now in compliance with the agency’s orders going back to 2011. The London-based bank was one of many big U.S. mortgage servicers that reached agreement with regulators to review problems that led to borrowers facing improper foreclosures.

“We’re pleased with the OC...

California has enacted Senate Bill 1150. SB 1150 amends California’s Civil Code to provide foreclosure protection to persons claiming to be the successor in interest to a deceased borrower. Upon notice that a borrower has died, before recording a notice of default, the servicer must provide certain information about the loan and allow time for the successor in interest to submit reasonable documentation establishing status and ownership in the real property.

“Those who suffer the loss of a loved one should not also face the possibility of losing their home,” said At...

A federal jury yesterday convicted four real estate investors for their roles in a conspiracy to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions held in Alameda County, California, the Department of Justice announced.

After a two-week trial, the jury convicted Alvin Florida Jr., Robert Alhashash Rasheed, John Lee Berry III and Refugio Diaz of one count each of conspiring to rig bids at foreclosure auctions between May 2008 and December 2010. The four defendants were charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California...

The scandal that hit Wells Fargo has revealed a number of things still wrong with our financial system and reminds Main Street participants that Wall Street continues to not play by the rules. Wells Fargo Chairman and CEO John Stumpf testified before the U.S. Senate Banking Committee this month, skirting around the fraud committed by his employees for opening fictitious bank accounts to boost sales quotas.

Mr. Stumpf repeatedly offered his apologies for the behavior of some 5,300 employees opening over two million bogus consumer accounts, but refused to accept...

In a white paper released, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency outlined five principles to guide the creation of future foreclosure prevention programs. With many of the crisis-era homeowner assistance programs winding down at the end of 2016, the agencies said that accessibility, affordability, sustainability transparency and accountability should guide the development of new loss mitigation programs and encouraged investors and servicers to collaborate on developing and implementin...

Ocwen Financial Corp. OCN agreed to settle a couple of lawsuits that alleged it of providing misleading data related to the loans it was servicing. The company revealed this agreement in a filing with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The lawsuits were filed by Michael Fisher and the U.S. Justice Department (DoJ) in 2012. Ocwen will be paying $15 million to both Fischer and the DoJ, though the settlement is yet to receive legal approval. Notably, the company neither accepted nor denied any wrong doing.

Improper Disclosures Related to HAMP

The lawsuits, f...

Deutsche Bank pledges to update anti-money laundering (AML) processes after failings uncovered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in a move that's pushing other banks to reassess their own operations.
 

Deutsche Bank fell afoul of the FCA's review of its AML and sanctions systems in March. The FCA found the bank had a number of issues, including out-of-date software while lacking rigorous reviews of its clients before beginning to transact business.
 

Speaking to the FT earlier this month, Werner Steinmüller, Deutsche's head of global transaction banking, says...

This term has come to refer to financing that is available based on the deal itself. The borrower’s credit is not a factor. It is simply a question of numbers, including a loan-to-value ratio that effectively makes the transaction a sure bet for the lender whether or not the investor/borrower is successful in his objectives. Hard-money lending is an important part of the universe of potential financing sources, but it should be utilized only when appropriate safeguards are built into the loan documentation. Otherwise, it can swiftly turn into a "heads I win, tails...

Commitment part of 5-year 'corporate social responsibility' plan

Aiming to use its place as one of the nation’s largest banks to address “global social, economic, and environmental challenges,” Wells Fargo announced an ambitious five-year plan that includes massive investments in diversity and social inclusion efforts, environmental causes, and billions of dollars for mortgages in “underserved” communities.

The investments are part of the bank’s “corporate social responsibility strategy,” which establishes goals for the company to achieve by the year 2020, including...

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