Judge Strikes Down Constitutional Challenge to the Filibuster

By: Friday December 21, 2012 12:10 pm

If there’s going to be reform to the Senate’s rules, it’s going to have to come from the Senate itself. That’s the implication of a ruling in federal court today throwing out a Constitutional challenge to the filibuster. Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled that the plaintiffs in the case, who claimed that the Senate used an [...]

Glenn Hubbard’s Hilarious Deposition on Behalf of Countrywide

By: Friday December 21, 2012 7:45 am

General business has kept me from reading the deposition Matt Taibbi writes about here, but it sounds amazing. Anyone who’s seen the movie Inside Job will recall the stupendously angering scene in which (Mitt Romney advisor Glenn) Hubbard pissily snaps at his interviewer for asking about his outside relationships with financial services industry [...] “This [...]

The Mortgage Scam Against Widows, and Why No Mortgage Lender Should Ever Get Legal Immunity

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 9:15 am

Dealbook had an item yesterday about the qualified mortgage rule and the bid by mortgage lenders to acquire a “safe harbor,” essentially a shield against consumer lawsuits, in the process. I’ve already gone over this topic and continue to oppose giving banks a safe harbor of any kind on the merits. But just to shift [...]

Mortgage Backed Securities Lawsuits Still Proliferate

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 7:35 am

While we wait for more settlements in the Libor case, banks continue to face exposure for their fraudulent mortgage conduct dating back to the housing bubble. Two more major lawsuits emerged yesterday. DZ Bank, a cooperative from Germany, sued Bank of America over $546 million in mortgage backed securities. The same firm has sued Morgan [...]

Meet the Robo-Witnesses: Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Tom Cox on New Practices in Foreclosure Fraud

By: Thursday December 13, 2012 7:45 am

Last week, Thomas Cox, the Maine lawyer who performed the deposition that basically exposed robo-signing, won the $100,000 Purpose Prize for his work on behalf of homeowners at risk of foreclosure. I spoke with Cox this week to get a ground-level picture of what is happening in the courts in the post-settlement landscape. Have banks [...]

Court Hears Arguments on Constitutionality of the Filibuster

By: Tuesday December 11, 2012 11:37 am

While Senators work out a potential compromise on the filibuster, one which would in all likelihood keep the option of a supermajority requirement for legislation and confirmations intact while constraining it somewhat, a group of House Democrats have gone to federal court to challenge the filibuster as an unconstitutional procedure: A federal judge began hearing [...]

Formal Criminal Charge Filed in Florida Against Lorraine Brown, President of Notorious Foreclosure Document Processor DocX UPDATE: Plea Deal

By: Tuesday November 20, 2012 10:55 am

The US Attorney in the Middle District of Florida, Robert O’Neill, has submitted an information, basically a criminal charge without the use of a grand jury for the indictment, of Lorraine Brown, the founder of DocX, for the fraudulent production of mortgage assignments, notarizations, and other documents used to foreclose on borrowers (h/t 4closure fraud). [...]

The Anti-Due Process Bias of Housing Reporters and Analysts

By: Monday November 19, 2012 7:50 am

Existing-home sales rose 2.1% in October, with the number coming in slightly above expectations, although the previous month’s numbers were revised down. Inventory has decreased 21% year-over-year (in no small part due to structural factors like trapped borrowers not putting their houses on the market, as well as artificial constraints on supply from banks keeping [...]

Bill That Would Gut Financial Regulatory Efforts Delayed

By: Friday November 16, 2012 9:15 am

Lest I be described as a Gloomy Gus, let’s point out some good news for a change. Or at least some potentially good news. First, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission decided to appeal a ruling from a federal judge that cancelled the Dodd-Frank regulation on position limits. By a 3-2 vote, the commission agreed to [...]

BP Criminal Settlement Announced: $4.5 Billion Fine, 2 Charged With Manslaughter

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 11:32 am

So now we have an answer to the talk of a settlement in the BP oil disaster case. The company will pay a total of $4.5 billion in fines and payments, as well as admit to criminal charges. But the fines and payments do not include civil violations of either the Clean Water Act or [...]

BP, Justice Department Close to Settlement in Deepwater Horizon Case; BP to Plead Guilty of Criminal Misconduct

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 6:18 am

Well, I think we’ve figured out how an elite corporation can receive criminal charges in 21st-century America. All you have to do is spill 205.8 million gallons of oil into a US waterway. Then, you’re just going to have to cop a criminal misconduct plea, as long as the Justice Department gives you immunity from [...]

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