Posts Tagged: ‘Bank of America’

Cities Can Sue over Predatory Mortgage Lending but the Standard is high

May 9, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that cities can sue banks over predatory mortgage lending to minorities that harms municipal finances, but cast doubt on whether these cases can succeed by throwing out a lower court decision (ruling 8-0) that had allowed litigation brought by the city of Miami to even move forward.

Miami accused Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup into pushing “non-white” borrowers into higher-cost and riskier loans they often could not afford, even if they had decent credit. As a result of these alleged discriminatory lending practices, property values declined due to the high rate of loan defaults, which led to foreclosures. The city of Miami said it lost property tax revenue and was forced to pay to repair and maintain the properties that went into foreclosure.

Justice Stephen Breyer said Miami had the legal standing to sue the banks, but needed to present more evidence that the injuries it claims to have suffered were tied to alleged violations of the federal Fair Housing Act. Miami accused the banks of a decade of lending discrimination in its residential housing market. Los Angeles, Oakland and several other U.S. cities have filed similar lawsuits.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Fines Bank of America $45 Million

April 13, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Judge Christopher Klein of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Sacramento issued a $45 million fine against Bank of America Corp., calling the treatment of a California couple who fought to save their home “brazen” and “heartless.” According to Judge Klein, the bank’s mortgage modification process and mistaken foreclosure on Erik and Renee Sundquist’s home left them in a “state of battle-fatigued demoralization.”

“It is apparent that the engine of Bank of America’s problem in this case is one of corporate culture… not rogue employees betraying an upstanding employer,” Judge Klein said. He added that he hopes the fine is large enough that it will not be “laughed off in the boardroom as petty cash or ‘chump change’.” Most of the money from the fine will go to law schools and consumer advocacy organizations.

The Sundquists’ financial troubles started in 2008 after their construction business closed down due to the economic downturn. The couple later bought a cheaper home outside of Sacramento and borrowed approximately $590,000 from a lender that was later taken over by Bank of America. After which, the bank promised them that they could request lower monthly payments. However, in 2009 when the couple stopped making payments, Bank of America officials said they would not consider a loan modification. Over the next few years, the couple requested loan modifications approximately 20 times. Each time their requests were “routinely either lost or declared insufficient, or incomplete or stale or in need of resubmission or denied without comprehensible explanation,” the ruling said.

In 2010 the couple filed for bankruptcy which halts foreclosure sales. However, the bank still improperly took over the home and gave them a three-day eviction notice. A few weeks after the couple moved out, Ms. Sundquist was hospitalized with stress-related heart attack symptoms.

Bank of America later reversed the sale but never formally notified the couple of the change. According to the ruling, they moved back in several months later.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Supreme Court Examines Whether Miami Can Sue Banks over the Foreclosure Crisis

December 9, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Should Bank of America and Wells Fargo be held responsible for potentially billions of dollars in tax revenue Miami and other cities lost after property values plunged in minority neighborhoods due to questionable lending practices and foreclosures?

That’s just one of the tough questions U.S. Supreme Court justices asked in oral arguments over Bank of America v. Miami, which tests the limits of who can sue under the expansive Fair Housing Act.

A series of probing questions from Justice Elena Kagan, the daughter of a housing attorney who served as Solicitor General in the Obama administration said the FHA is “a very peculiar and distinctive kind of anti-discrimination statute that focuses on community harms, not individual injuries,” she said.

The banks had it tough. A pair of Supreme Court precedents established that the FHA extends standing, or the right to sue, “to the full limits of Article III” of the Constitution, including cities and even non-profit organizations dedicated to fighting housing discrimination.

Last year in Texas Dept. of Housing v. Inclusive Communities, Justice Anthony Kennedy upheld the disparate-impact theory in FHA suits, allowing plaintiffs to prove discrimination with statistics instead of direct evidence of discriminatory intent.

Given these precedents, attorney Neal Katyal, arguing for the banks, conceded from the outset that cities can sue under the FHA.  He argued Miami was pushing its theory too far, appropriating the injuries allegedly suffered by minority borrowers as its own.  That violated the idea of proximate cause as well as the requirement that the lending discrimination falls within the “zone of interest” the city can enforce.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com

Bank of America Accused of Racial Discrimination as Neglect of Foreclosures Worsens

September 9, 2016 Posted by kingcade

The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and nine local fair housing organizations filed an amended discrimination complaint against Bank of America (BoA) this week.  The complaint alleges illegal discrimination by BoA in African American and Latino neighborhoods in six additional cities.  The cities include: Columbus, OH; Gary, IN; Minneapolis, MN; Newark, NJ; Tampa, FL; and neighborhoods in suburban Detroit.

“Bank of America’s deliberate neglect of its foreclosures in communities of color creates financial concerns as well as health and safety risks for people living near poorly-maintained foreclosed homes,” said Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO of NFHA. “Too many of these foreclosures have overgrown weeds, unsecured doors or windows, and debris left in the yard, creating perfect breeding grounds for rats, mice, snakes, and mosquitoes.  Bank of America is exacerbating the risk of spreading the Zika virus in south Florida by allowing standing water to accumulate in pool covers, tires, and debris around these foreclosures.”

This new evidence formed the basis of the amended complaint.  The complaint is now comprised of evidence from 1,267 BoA properties in 30 metropolitan areas and 201 cities throughout the United States.

Evidence obtained during the investigation reveals continued failure by Bank of America to perform simple and routine maintenance on its foreclosures in African American and Latino neighborhoods.  This includes the failure to lock or secure doors and windows, remove trash and debris left by former owners, mow and edge lawns, trim shrubs, and cut back invasive plants.

On the contrary, the investigation revealed BoA keeps its foreclosures in white neighborhoods in good condition.  Lawns are mowed and edged regularly, and BoA properly disposes of the belongings left behind by former owners. BoA is paid to perform these routine duties in all neighborhoods for all of its foreclosures.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Former Bank of America Mortgage Employee Facing Prison Time for Taking Bribes

July 24, 2014 Posted by kingcade

A former Bank of America mortgage employee has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for pocketing $1.2 million in payoffs to approve the sale of distressed properties for far less than their actual value.

Kevin Lauricella, 29, who has been cooperating with investigators, pled guilty to accepting bribes and falsifying bank records. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II in Los Angeles this week and was ordered to repay Bank of America $5.7 million in losses and to forfeit a Thousand Oaks home acquired through payouts from the criminal scheme.

Lauricella worked for a Bank of America division that handled delinquent home loans in 2010 and early 2011. During this time, lenders were overwhelmed by defaults on underwater mortgages, creating opportunities for insiders to exploit flaws in bank systems.

The crimes involved short sales. Lauricella collected bribes from so-called “flippers” who bought homes with the intent of quickly reselling them, Katzenstein admitted. He then issued approvals for short sales that were beyond his authority to approve, with sales prices far below the fair market value.

Lauricella made false entries in Bank of America’s computer system to make it appear that higher-ups had approved the short sales, Katzenstein said. When he pleaded guilty, Lauricella admitted approving fraudulent short sales for at least nine properties.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami foreclosure defense attorney Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://www.latimes.com/la-fi-mortgage-bribe-sentencing-20140721-story.html