Megabanks have prison financial services market locked up

By Daniel Wagner

Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase & Co. avoid competitive bidding process in contracts serving federal prisoners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Prison":

"… hone services. The bank’s monopoly extends across the federal Bureau of Prisons system — 121 institutions housing 214,365 inmates. Since 2000, Bank of …"

"… ilies send them. The banks’ exclusive deals came not from the Bureau of Prisons, but from the U.S. Treasury. The agency awarded the contracts using a 15 …"

"… n account inactive for three months. JPMorgan, Treasury and the Bureau of Prisons declined to provide a current fee schedule for the cards. Bank of America …"

"… nt fee schedule for the cards. Bank of America, JPMorgan and the Bureau of Prisons all declined numerous requests to discuss the banks’ deals inside U.S. …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pennsylvania":

"… tates allow them to deduct a fee and which offer the service for free. In Pennsylvania, the first state where JPay accepted money orders by mail, executives were …"

'Zombie' homes haunt Florida neighborhoods

By Alison Fitzgerald and Jared Bennett

Neighborhoods devastated by thousands of abandoned homes as banks fail to follow through on foreclosures.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… use. As far as Young knew, she didn’t own anything. Four years earlier, Bank of America informed her it was foreclosing on her tiny yellow ranch-style house in Ja …"

"… and let someone put me out. I’ve never been evicted.” The problem is, Bank of America never followed through. Now, four years later, Young struggles to pay her …"

"… ial in April 2013 but sent notice to an attorney who no longer represented Bank of America. Because no one showed up in court, the judge dismissed the case. A year l …"

"… ral investigation. He said the company took proper care of the house. “Bank of America is committed to mitigating the potential for neighborhood blight created b …"

Homeowners steamrolled as Florida courts clear foreclosure backlog

By Alison Fitzgerald

Why are Florida's courts rushing to clear more than 700 foreclosure cases per day?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… es from the Federal Housing Finance Administration and from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac provided some motivation to speed the process. FHFA oversees Fannie and F …"

"… mous losses in recent years,” Atwater said in the letter. In June 2013, Freddie Mac issued new guidelines that encouraged loan servicers to “use t …"

"… ses would reduce the $30-per-day fee it charges for delayed foreclosures. Freddie Mac spokesman Brad German said the guidelines are designed to prevent abandone …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. Chamber of Commerce":

"… nother organization insurers frequently call upon to front for them is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As the National Journal reported in 2012, AHIP funneled more th …"

Meet the Banking Caucus, Wall Street's secret weapon in Washington

By Daniel Wagner and Alison Fitzgerald

Industry campaign cash flows to pro-bank activists in Congress, yielding big returns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Securities and Exchange Commission":

"… l Deposit Insurance Corp. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and The Securities and Exchange Commission post their letters online. The Treasury Department did not fulfill a FOIA …"

Debt collectors go after service members despite protections

By Daniel Wagner

Soldiers and sailors are being threatened by debt collectors to pay up on ttheir debts illegally, report says.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… ies have pursued several big-name violators of these laws in recent years. Bank of America is paying out $37 million to people who were foreclosed on illegally under …"

Retailers band together to fight health reform law

By Erin Quinn

Companies, trade groups band together to lobby on issues of common interest.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aetna":

"… among those named in E-Flex’s reports to Congress, as are health insurer Aetna, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association. …"

Former subprime executive making risky loans again

By Daniel Wagner

Andy Pollock, who led First Franklin's bad loan factory, is pushing interest-only loans at new firm.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… le consumers nearly sank Merrill Lynch, which was forced to sell itself to Bank of America. WDB Funding is the third mortgage company Pollock has helped lead since r …"

Ex-SEC chief now helps companies navigate post-meltdown reforms

By Lauren Kyger, Alison Fitzgerald and John Dunbar

Former regulators profit from their experience with jobs, book deals and speaking fees.

Excerpts from this story referencing "president":

"… he is expected to be gone soon. SEC chief, friend of business Cox is now president of Bingham Consulting, LLC, a firm that, among other things, defends busin …"

"… , failed. Sheila Bair, then Chairwoman of the FDIC and Janet Yellen, then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said the OTS actively tried …"

Subprime lending execs back in business five years after crash

By Daniel Wagner

Executives from all of the top 25 subprime lending firms are working in the mortgage business five years later.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… ing to a civil complaint filed last year by the Justice Department against Bank of America, which purchased Countrywide in 2008. Kurland and other Countrywide alumn …"

"… an, she says, from roughly $400 per month to more than $800. By that time, Bank of America had bought Countrywide. Fore asked Bank of America to change the loan term …"

"… han $800. By that time, Bank of America had bought Countrywide. Fore asked Bank of America to change the loan terms until her husband’s workers’ compensation set …"

"… reclosure sale reversed so that she and George can remain in the house. A Bank of America spokeswoman said the bank does not comment on open litigation. The company …"

Ex-Wall Street chieftains living large in post-meltdown world

By Alison Fitzgerald

CEOs of banks that fueled the subprime crisis that led to the economic meltdown largely avoid consequences.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Goldman Sachs":

"… rvivors — Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs — have only consolidated their power as they alternate between being see …"

"… e in 2004 after they sold their previous Greenwich home to Robert Steel, a Goldman Sachs executive who became undersecretary of the Treasury in 2006 under Henry Pa …"

"… mie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein, the leaders of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., today stand atop the global financial system, their banks bigg …"

"… is reputation plummeted to its lowest point in 2010 after revelations that Goldman Sachs packaged and sold mortgage securities that appeared designed to fail, and …"

Bear Stearns mortgage executives have plum jobs on Wall Street

By Lauren Kyger and Alison Fitzgerald

Executives from the mortgage finance division that helped sink Bear Stearns have similar jobs at major Wall Street banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… r jobs at the most powerful banks on Wall Street: JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank. The fact they were able to emerge unscathed from a fin …"

"… n in the affidavit. These flaws are entirely unacceptable to me." ResCap, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup settled for $25 billion&n …"

"… e in the tony New York City suburb of Port Washington and work together at Bank of America in the divisions that issue mortgage-backed securities and collateralized …"

"… Os in 2006 alone. He’s now head of mortgages and securitized products at Bank of America. Silverstein, once a senior managing director at Bear and co-head of mort …"

Benefit payment change hurts poor

By Daniel Wagner

Move away from paper checks means big money for bank, confusion for some Social Security beneficiaries.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank":

"… — are being pressured into using prepaid debit cards offered by Comerica Bank, an effort that is shifting costs to elderly people, veterans and other vu …"

"… d by states and other governments to deliver payments to consumers include Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp and Citigroup. Comerica offer …"

"… responsibilities, setting up a parallel call center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, about a mile from Comerica’s headquarters. Treasury didn’t …"

Super PAC to tout North Carolina House speaker

By Michael Beckel

Group launched to tout North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis ahead of potential Senate run.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… the years include the North Carolina Association of Realtors, Duke Energy, Bank of America and AT&T, according to the nonpartisan National Institute on Money in …"

Senators investigating Apple own company stock

By Dave Levinthal and Reity O'Brien

Heitkamp, Carper report stock together worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… f other massive companies such as General Electric, ExxonMobil, Pfizer and Bank of America, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.     …"

Mel Watt enjoys close ties to financial industries

By Alison Fitzgerald

Bank leaders, PACs made prospective housing agency leader a top recipient of campaign cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Barack Obama":

"… al services industry: The North Carolina Democrat whom President Barack Obama has appointed to oversee mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Ma …"

Bank of America, unions among newly named inauguration sponsors

By Dave Levinthal

Sponsors of Obama's second inaugural have spent nearly $283 million on lobbying since 2009.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wisconsin":

"… The Forest County Potawatomi Community, a Native American tribe based in Wisconsin that operates casinos, also donated to the inaugural committee and has spe …"

ALEC's decades of 'right-to-work' effort pay off in Michigan

By Paul Abowd

Think tank’s 32-year 'right-to-work' campaign succeeds in union stronghold

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mackinac Center":

"… Economic Development Task Force is a Michigan-based think tank called the Mackinac Center. Mackinac’s Director Michael LaFaive wrote in December that the center h …"

Bailed-out banks, Freddie Mac, AIG gave $6 million to 2008 conventions

By John Dunbar and Michael Beckel

Corporate donors to 2008 party conventions included financial institutions bailed out by government.

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… He calls it “nothing but throwing money at the feet of congressional and White House leaders, presumably with the assumption of getting something in return.” …"

Report: Some lose homes over as little as $400

By The Associated Press

Some homeowners lose houses for a little as $400 in overdue taxes, consumer group says

Excerpts from this story referencing "JPMorgan Chase":

"… aid, the government auctions the lien to investors. Past investors include JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and people who respond to Internet get-rich schemes, the …"

Report: Countrywide won influence with discounts

By The Associated Press

Subprime lender Countrywide bought influence of Washington elite with mortgage discounts

Excerpts from this story referencing "The Wall Street Journal":

"… of then-candidate Barack Obama's vice presidential search committee after The Wall Street Journal reported he had received $7 million in Countrywide discounted loans.The re …"

Countrywide whistleblower chosen for Ridenhour award

By Michael Hudson

Countrywide whistleblower chosen for Ridenhour award for truth-telling in the public interest.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… gainst workers who raise questions about fraud or other problems. …"

"… former top mortgage fraud investigator at Countrywide Financial Corp. and Bank of America, was one of the five people honored with Ridenhour Prizes this week. …"

"… nt documents.  The U.S. Department of Labor ruled last year that Bank of America had improperly fired Foster for leading internal investigations that “re …"

"… pay her some $930,000.Foster, who worked first at Countrywide and then at Bank of America after it acquired Countrywide in 2008, claimed that Countrywide executives …"

Beer and wine wholesalers behind legislators pushing controversial voter ID laws

By Paul Abowd

Wholesalers among those behind legislators pushing controversial new election rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokesman":

"… ce, and we have never been involved in those areas,” said Jerry Brown, a spokesman for wine wholesalers.Both organizations say their groups have been members …"

New whistleblower cases allege continued bank fraud

By Amy Biegelsen and Emma Schwartz

Mortgage modifications and appraisal processes in question

Excerpts from this story referencing "Countrywide":

"… leblower case filed in 2009 but not unsealed until last month detailed how Countrywide Financial Corp., now owned by Bank of America, developed a scheme to …"

"… nsuccessfully to get the company stop.Instead, these relationships allowed Countrywide to “use its market power to pressure appraisers to inflate values to wha …"

"… use its market power to pressure appraisers to inflate values to whatever Countrywide needed and punish appraisers who refused to ‘play ball,’” the compla …"

"… punish appraisers who refused to ‘play ball,’” the complaint stated.Countrywide also set up a review system of the appraisals that the complaint alleges w …"

Virginians protest General Electric over foreclosures

By Amy Biegelsen and Emma Schwartz

Group says company should reinvest where its loans went bad

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… y begun negotiations for reinvestments with other major lenders, including Bank of America. The event came on the same day President Obama announced a new initi …"

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

Automated foreclosure process creates errors, stifles modifications and enrages helpless homeowners

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mortgage":

"… led to sign up for a modification plan with their loan servicer, GMAC Home Mortgage, Cassandra Gray said. The modification lowered their payment from $1,128 …"

"… to pools of 5,000 or more. They are then sliced up and sold as securities. Mortgage servicers bid on the rights to manage these loan pools before they are sol …"

"… aged lenders to stop caring whether the loans they were making were sound. Mortgage giants like Countrywide approved as many loans as possible knowing that Wa …"

"… ton III, a U.S. bankruptcy judge in Aberdeen, Miss., ordered American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. to pay borrower Glen Cothern’s legal expenses due to its …"

Bank of America to pay record settlement over Countrywide abuses

By John Dunbar

Bank of America to pay record settlement over Countrywide abuses

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… s occurred between 2004 and 2007, the peak of the subprime borrowing craze. …"

"… anic victims are identified in the complaint and will receive compensation.Bank of America in a statement said that it does not discriminate. The abuses occurre …"

Management gurus claim they were blindsided by toxic culture at Countrywide

By Michael Hudson

Survey showed Countrywide suffered from bad ethics, bad management, ex-employee says

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank of America":

"… dge later ordered the case into private arbitration.Last week, Niemela and Bank of America, which bought Countrywide in 2008, reached a confidential settlement of he …"

"… took place before the settlement was reached.As the case was being argued, Bank of America denied that Countrywide officials mistreated Niemela.The bank’s lawyers …"

"… el employees were harassed for reporting fraudulent lending practices.Bank of America has appealed the jury’s decision. A spokeswoman said the verdi …"

"… to defend herself, Niemela alleged.Soon after, in May 2007, she was fired.Bank of America’s lawyers maintained that Niemela had given “several different version …"

Judge in Citigroup case has bucked trend of rubber stamping SEC settlements

SEC has long history of settling cases without requiring companies to admit guilt

Excerpts from this story referencing "JPMorgan Chase":

"… ederal judge Richard Berman recently OK’d a $154 million settlement with JPMorgan Chase. And despite Judge Rakoff’s treatment of their cases, the SEC is unlikel …"