'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":

"… 5-year-old mother of three fell behind on her payments. When Young got the bank’s letter, she didn’t fight. “They said foreclosure, so we just up a …"

"… willing to invest in fixing them up because, with the mortgage unpaid, the bank can always come back and foreclose again. By cherry-picking which foreclo …"

"… By cherry-picking which foreclosures they complete and which they ignore, banks are saddling individual borrowers with a permanent, inescapable debt whil …"

"… t afford the mortgage. Young doesn’t want the house back. She wants the bank to take it, and write off her debt, exactly what she thought they’d done …"

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 "federal judge":

"… ourt the morning they were supposed to go to trial. Now they’re hoping a federal judge will listen to their story. “It was horrible for us to have to do that, …"

Lobbying activity declines among top special interests

By Dave Levinthal

Three-fifths of nation's top 100 lobbying entities spent less on influence in the second quarter compared to a year ago.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Politics":

"… sis of new congressional disclosure reports and Center for Responsive Politics data. Spending by several others remained stagnant. Unlike last year …"

Fourth case reopened after Center uncovers judicial conflict of interest

By Chris Young

U.S. appeals court reopened foreclosure case after Center uncovered that a judge owned stock in Wells Fargo, court reaches same decision.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… A federal appeals court has scrapped a 2010 foreclosure ruling in favor of Wells Fargo Bank after a Center for Public Integrity investigation revealed that one o …"

"… rcuit Court of Appeals once again dismissed the couple’s claims accusing Wells Fargo of predatory lending. “I do not agree with it,” Mountaga Bah said of …"

"… owledged in March that Judge Barbara Keenan owned $1,900 worth of stock in Wells Fargo at the time she participated in the 2010 ruling favoring the bank. In a M …"

"… l pending. Many of the others remain in limbo. Jim Hines, a spokesman for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, declined to discuss the Bah foreclosure case in detail. “ …"

Lobbyists boost Senate Democrats

By Michael Beckel

Democrats have outraised their GOP counterparts in terms of money coming from lobbyists doubling as fundraisers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wal-Mart":

"… sents a range of corporate clients, including drugmaker Amgen, BP, Google, Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo. Several Democratic campaigns also disclosed bundling by …"

Federal judges plead guilty

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Judges acknowledge conflicts of interest Center found in 26 cases.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ConocoPhillips":

"… rcuit Judge Bobby Baldock reported earning up to $50,000 in royalties from ConocoPhillips in 2011 and ruled on a case involving the company that was sued …"

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 "Scott Garrett":

"… banks everything they asked for, or whether to give them even more. Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., asked to postpone a final vote so he could contact “stakeholder …"

N.M. bill aims to put judge disclosures back online

By Kytja Weir

Bill calls for posting judge's financial disclosures online in wake of Center for Public Integrity investigation on transparency.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… interest after the Center found a judge who owned as much as $1 million of Wells Fargo stock when she participated in a case favoring the financial giant. Wyomin …"

Shining a light on ALEC's power to shape policy

By Wendell Potter

Conservative group's power has been under-covered.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… s corporate membership has included big names ranging from ExxonMobil and Wells Fargo to Johnson & Johnson and Kraft. And it has worked closely with groups …"

State supreme court judges reveal scant financial information

By Reity O'Brien, Kytja Weir and Chris Young

Despite universally poor disclosure rules, Center finds numerous conflicts among state high court judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… clined to hear an appeal filed by a couple who had accused financial giant Wells Fargo & Co. of predatory lending. One justice, who owned stock in the bank, …"

"… the case. But Justice Kathryn Werdegar, who owned as much as $1 million of Wells Fargo stock, participated — and shouldn’t have. The Center for Public Integ …"

"… favor of two companies in which he owned stock — Abbott Laboratories and Wells Fargo & Co. In an interview, Edmunds told the Center that it was not a conf …"

"… rong when it failed to discover Justice Werdegar’s financial interest in Wells Fargo. “The justice regrets the error,” said court spokesman Cathal Conneel …"

Lobbying dips overall, but the beat goes on for guns, drugs and agriculture

By Dave Levinthal

But third-quarter expenditures are down for many special interests.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications":

"… , aerospace company Boeing, defense firm Lockheed Martin and telecom giant Verizon Communications. FedEx Corp., Koch Industries, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Ford Motor Co …"

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 "finance":

"… into the system" Cecala says, as lenders permit smaller down payments and finance more investment properties. Riding out the storm After First Franklin clo …"

"… Mortgage and chaired by a former CEO of the government-sponsored mortgage finance giant Fannie Mae. Prospect’s mortgage offerings include interest-only lo …"

"… ket turned. Lehman Brothers, for example, bought BNC Mortgage in 2004 and financed subprime loans offered by other companies. Jim Harrington was a senior vi …"

"… e says, and left the industry during the 2008 crisis. He currently teaches finance at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. “ …"

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 "Secretary":

"… ger. The company merged in 2009 with the Albright Group, founded by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to form Albright Stonebridge Group. Prince de …"

"… uomo.  He said he kept the losses hidden under pressure from Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson who worried that, if the deal fell through, it would hurt th …"

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 "finance":

"… ide to take risks in these institutions,” said Anat Admati, professor of finance and economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business and co-author of The …"

"… w York. Four years, $29 million Thomas Marano, who led Bear’s mortgage finance division, is perhaps the most telling example. In the past four years he …"

"… only Bear Stearns mortgage executive to land in a similar role in mortgage finance. Jeffrey Verschleiser, who reported directly to Marano as head of asset-b …"

"… lverstein, once a senior managing director at Bear and co-head of mortgage finance,  stayed at JPMorgan for a time after the acquisition and later moved …"

Yellen as Fed chair would be tougher on banks

By Alison Fitzgerald

Janet Yellen, President Obama’s intended nominee for Federal reserve chief, may prove to be tougher on banks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Louisiana":

"… from 2004 to 2010,” said Linus Wilson, a professor at the University of Louisiana, who studies and writes about bank bailouts. “Her current, long record a …"

Super PAC leader undeterred by criminal conviction

By Adam Wollner

Pennsylvanian convicted of crime, banned from Virginia Tech campus wants to make political waves.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Republican presidential candidate":

"… n Huntsman,” Fauber said, referring to the former Utah governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate. Fauber said he has never donated to a political campaign before, but vol …"

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 "FHFA":

"… egan defaulting on their loans. DeMarco, who has been interim chairman of FHFA since 2009, has been criticized by the Obama administration, members of Co …"

After big U.S. Supreme Court win, Montana nonprofit suffers string of losses

By Paul Abowd

Democrat Steve Bullock's gubernatorial win a low point for litigious conservative group.

Excerpts from this story referencing "superintendent":

"… tant, if smaller, contests in the state. One was the race for state school superintendent, in which incumbent Democrat Denise Juneau has a narrow edge over Republic …"

"… as implications for future land and resource development in the state. The superintendent of schools occupies one of five positions on the state’s land board alon …"

Corporate cash helps fuel Democratic convention despite pledges

By Michael Beckel

Democrats kick off their convention in Charlotte Tuesday with plenty of corporate support despite grass roots pledge.

Excerpts from this story referencing "McGuireWoods":

"… edHealth Group, Piedmont Natural Gas, US Airways and law and lobbying firm McGuireWoods.The corporate sponsorship appears to fly in the face of the Democrats’ p …"

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 "Bank of America":

"… oldman Sachs and Citigroup; $150,000 from Morgan Stanley and $100,000 from Bank of America.Most of the banks and other institutions that made contributions to the co …"

Wells Fargo to pay $175M in lending settlement

By The Associated Press

Justice Dept: Wells Fargo to pay $175M to settle allegations of bias against blacks, Hispanics

Excerpts from this story referencing "Washington":

"… artment identified large number of discrimination victims. Those areas are Washington, D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Oakland and San Francisco, New York City, Cl …"

Wells Fargo hit with $3.1 million fine in mortgage servicing mess

By John Dunbar

A federal judge has ordered Wells Fargo to pay a homeowner $3.1 million for mishandling a loan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "federal judge":

"… de borrowers with more information about the status of their loans.  …"

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 "mortgage modification process":

"… story looked at how homeowners are still struggling to deal with a faulty mortgage modification process.The $25 billion mortgage fraud settlement by 49 state attorneys general an …"

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… regulators also say they have done their part: last year, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and other big servicers agreed to give more than 4 million …"

"… mall home they bought six years previous. On Sept. 12, agents working for Wells Fargo Home Loans generated two “broker price opinions”—estimates, basicall …"

"… estimates, basically, of the value of the Stewart home. As loan servicer, Wells Fargo was in charge of collecting payments and managing a default or foreclosure …"

"… the judge said. The charges were assessed under circumstances contrary to Wells Fargo policy and were “unreasonable under the circumstances,” she ruled, aft …"

Whistleblowers ignored, punished by lenders, dozens of former employees say

By Michael Hudson

Former mortgage company employees say fraud was widespread in industry

Excerpts from this story referencing "mortgage lender":

"… stleblowers played an important role in allowing corruption to flourish as mortgage lenders and their patrons on Wall Street pumped up loan volume and profits. Codes …"

"… rica Corp., which bought Countrywide in 2008, had fired Eileen Foster, the mortgage lender’s fraud investigations chief, as punishment for finding widespread fraud …"

Bailed-out banks paid no income tax in some years, according to study

By John Dunbar and John Dunbar

New study shows bailed-out banks among those companies that paid no income tax at least one year

Excerpts from this story referencing "Tax":

"… he study was released Thursday by nonpartisan advocacy groups Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. All five finan …"

"… nonpartisan advocacy groups Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. All five financial institutions named were prof …"

"… spond to a request for comment. Robert McIntyre, director of Citizens for Tax Justice and the report’s lead author said Tax breaks enjoyed by the  …"

Investor protections imperiled by Wall Street, GOP assault on financial reform

By John F. Wasik

Wall Street and GOP assault consumer protections in Dodd-Frank reforms

Excerpts from this story referencing "Freddie Mac":

"… l markets and government-sponsored housing enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The subcommittee’s chairman, Republican Scott Garrett of New Jersey, o …"

As housing crisis festers, mortgage servicers spend $8 million on political contributions

By Michael Hudson and Aaron Mehta

Mortgage servicers pony up $8 million in political donations as housing crisis festers

Excerpts from this story referencing "campaign finance data":

"… other political action committees, according to an iWatch News analysis of campaign finance data. (Ally Financial hasn’t given money during that period to campaigns …"

“Go tell a Republican,” Rep. Frank says to complaints that Congress has failed to curb foreclosures

By Julie Vorman

Foreclosure complaints? "Go tell a Republican" says Rep. Frank

Excerpts from this story referencing "Sheila Bair":

"… gulators enough funding and power to fully adopt the Dodd-Frank reform law.Sheila Bair, a Republican ending her five-year term as FDIC chief, urged the Senate Ba …"

Inside the shell: Drugs, arms and tax scams

By Gerard Ryle

The man behind shell companies linked to arms deals, drug lords and tax fraud.

Excerpts from this story referencing "director":

"… r has led an astonishing double life. Publicly, he has served as a company director and chairman of sharemarket-listed companies both in Australia and in New …"

"… the proceeds of a massive credit card fraud.In a separate action, a former director of the bank, Robert Bohn, was later convicted of racketeering in the US fo …"

"… lopment firm Sabina Corporation Limited. He served two separate terms as a director, the second in 2006.The origins of Taylor's knighthood and his diplomatic …"

"… rmed around the world, mostly centered on tax havens. Their vast empire of directorships spread across Panama, New Zealand, Vanuatu, Britain, Hong Kong, China …"