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 "law":

"… y to say no to being transparent,” said Barofsky, now a partner with the law firm Jenner & Block LLP. Treasury’s power to award the deals, known …"

"… , the department’s broad use of this power has drawn criticism from lawmakers, auditors with the Government Accountability Office, federal appeals …"

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 "Florida":

"… ment of Corrections informed her that JPay Inc., a private company in Florida, would begin handling all deposits into inmates’ accounts. Sending a mo …"

"… t year, when her son was sentenced to 20 days in jail in St. Lucie County, Florida, for reckless driving, Linda wanted to buy him a second pair of underwear …"

"… r, she was instructed to make the money order out to JPay and send it to a Florida post office box. The company would credit it to Eddie’s account. Under …"

"… e fees related to his business. He said he did not know, for example, that Florida now charges its own fee for money order deposits after JPay processes the …"

'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 "Mortgage":

"… year. When they moved out, she was unable to find another tenant. CitiMortgage filed a foreclosure action in July 2009. In February, 2010, Mainor s …"

"… y, 2010, Mainor sent a three-page handwritten “hardship letter” to CitiMortgage asking for a deed in lieu of foreclosure as she was unable to fix up the p …"

"… safe and comfortable environment for my grandchildren,” she wrote to CitiMortgage. “Being able to qualify for a deed in lieu will alleviate some of the di …"

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 "chief financial officer":

"… oposal was withdrawn after enormous opposition, including from Florida’s chief financial officer, Jeff Atwater, who said in a comment letter to FHFA the plan wou …"

Washington's cynical misinformation game

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: the role of distortion in health care politics.

Excerpts from this story referencing "National Republican Congressional Committee":

"… recent evidence: a National Journal article about a new tactic used by the National Republican Congressional Committee to attack Democratic candidates. Earlier this year, the NRCC created sever …"

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 "Spencer Bachus":

"… g leapfrogged senior members to become committee chair last year when Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., stepped down because of term limits set by House Republicans. Op …"

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 "Jack Abramoff":

"… est group. Before Congress passed reforms in 2007 in the wake of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, these informal lobbying groups, formerly known as “ste …"

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 "Neil Barofsky":

"… rt by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Neil Barofsky. AIG’s counterparties — those that were owed — including Goldman Sa …"

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 "Washington Mutual":

"… liff Rossi, who was a high-level risk management executive at Countrywide, Washington Mutual and Freddie Mac before the crisis. Rossi got his start during the savings …"

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 "Washington Mutual":

"… the sales of Merrill Lynch to Bank of America, Wachovia to Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual to JPMorgan, thousands of hours and millions of pages have been filled try …"

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 "Goldman Sachs":

"… ing hold similar 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 uns …"

"… of asset-backed securities,   was hired as managing director at Goldman Sachs in 2008 and then promoted to global head of mortgage trading in March 2012 …"

"… oted to global head of mortgage trading in March 2012. Andrew Williams, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, declined requests for comment. Verschleiser’s lawyer declined …"

"… t executives. The SEC has settled cases with a handful of banks, including Goldman Sachs, for sums that come to only a fraction of the companies’ quarterly profi …"

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 of America":

"… 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 offered to issue …"

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 "Politics":

"… T&T, according to the nonpartisan National Institute on Money in State Politics. Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan is seeking re-election in 2014, and several …"

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 "Pfizer":

"… ares of 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 "Bank of America":

"… the last election cycle, the political action committees of Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Wells Fargo each gave Watt’s campaign $10,000. Bank of America …"

"… Bank of America and Wells Fargo each gave Watt’s campaign $10,000. Bank of America and Goldman each gave an additional $5,000 to Watt’s leadership PAC. Wa …"

"… es Committee and he represents the Charlotte, N.C., area, which is home to Bank of America and was home to Wachovia, until it failed and was purchased by Wells Fargo …"

"… former CEO Franklin Raines chipping in $1,500 to help Watt keep his seat. Bank of America, Watt’s hometown bank that got a government bailout after buying money-l …"

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 "Lobbying":

"… ffice, a Center for Public Integrity review of federal disclosures shows. Lobbying forces donating to Obama’s inaugural have spent nearly $283 million …"

"… l donor, financial investment firm Ariel Investments, has spent $200,000. Lobbying expenditures by newly disclosed union entities donating to the inaugural c …"

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 "Oregon":

"… ess to health insurance and weakened pension benefits, wrote University of Oregon professor Gordon Lafer in a report on the potential impact of the law in M …"

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 "American International Group":

"… big donors from the 2008 event that won’t be giving this time around — American International Group and Freddie Mac.The two institutions together gave $1 million to the Repub …"

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 "Christopher Dodd":

"… trywide, the report said, were:—Former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.—Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D.—Mary Jan …"

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 "Brennan Center for Democracy":

"… o possess government-issued identification.A 2006 survey conducted for the Brennan Center for Democracy found that 25 percent of African Americans and 16 percent of Latinos do no …"

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 "Bank of America":

"… t with five major lenders.  A suit unsealed March 7 alleges that Bank of America fraudulently misled borrowers and regulators in order to keep customers ou …"

"… ted.As a condition of accepting $45 billion from the federal bank bailout, Bank of America promised to help move troubled borrowers into the taxpayer subsidized Home …"

"… gory Mackler, formerly an employee of Urban Lending Solutions, the company Bank of America contracted to manage HAMP complaints.Mackler claims the company developed …"

"… were eligible for federally subsidized loan modifications.The suit claims Bank of America:Told borrowers and regulators that a complaint was “under review” whil …"

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 "Citigroup":

"… four big bank-owned servicers along with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup, says that it concluded that modification is a better alternative by about …"

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 "Mortgage":

"… ending practices at Countrywide in a series of stories called “The Great Mortgage Coverup.” Perez said more than 200,000 African-American and Hispani …"

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 "Merrill Lynch":

"… approved a $150 million agency settlement with Bank of America over its Merrill Lynch acquisition, after having rejected an earlier, smaller deal. But make no m …"

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