'Zombie' homes get facelift after Center report

By Alison Fitzgerald

Foreclosure crisis left some homes empty and untended. Wells Fargo addressing problem in St. Petersburg.

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Francisco":

"… nto disrepair after the lender foreclosed on loans tied to the homes. The San Francisco-based bank has been working with city officials to fix up the ailing prope …"

'Banking Caucus' member aims for Senate

By Alison Fitzgerald

Republican candidate for Senate U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito defends little banks but big banks benefit too.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wells Fargo":

"… The employees and political action committees of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and Bank of New York Mellon are among the top 20 donors to Capito’s Sena …"

"… r lending and finance companies, is married to a banker who has worked for Wells Fargo and Citigroup. “One characteristic of her bills is that they do include …"

'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 "Wells Fargo":

"… the banks and ask them to “step up and take responsibility.” He said Wells Fargo is the lender with the most abandoned homes in his city, with about 600 pr …"

"… ny made $5.7 billion in profit in the second quarter of this year.   Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda said the company is the largest mortgage servicer in t …"

"… imore and Memphis, Tennessee, succeeded in obtaining settlements from Wells Fargo for alleged predatory lending that led to abandoned homes, but Birmingham, …"

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 "Florida":

"… ll an order in the St. Petersburg courthouse to sell his home on Sept. 29. …"

"… y be brusque, but her actions aren’t unusual among foreclosure judges in Florida, who in the last year have been working under explicit directions from the …"

"… ing the time it takes a bank to foreclose. What began as an effort by the Florida Legislature and judicial leaders to help the state’s economy by moving p …"

"… les that differ from those that guide civil law in other types of cases in Florida and across the country. The state set an express goal of disposing of 256 …"

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 "Mitch McConnell":

"… al candidates. Its top beneficiaries so far include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.; Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga. and Rep. Cor …"

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 "BP":

"… Obama, represents a range of corporate clients, including drugmaker Amgen, BP, Google, Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo. Several Democratic campaigns also disc …"

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 "Judge":

"… n the giant multinational company. Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge James Hill owned as much as $100,000 in Johnson & Johnson stock when h …"

"… e is also in place in the code of conduct established by the court system. Judges have been warned before about participating in such cases. Following …"

"… sue of accountability — or lack thereof — in the federal court system. Judges face no formal punishment for breaking these rules. Appellate Judges can …"

"… dismissing Bah’s claims. At the time, 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Keenan owned stock in the bank.  “I couldn’t believe it, …"

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 "American Bankers Association":

"… hair of another drafted a letter to regulators and sent it directly to the American Bankers Association so the industry group could pressure other lawmakers to sign on. Several m …"

"… Buchanan, decamped to Ogilvy Government Relations where he lobbies for the American Bankers Association, insurers and a private equity firm. Former committee chief of staff Larry …"

"… re Community banks got their fix, as often happens, but lobbyists for the American Bankers Association, which represents the broader banking industry, are still seeking to blunt …"

"… ssages regulators were receiving from JPMorgan, Bank of America,  the American Bankers Association and dozens of others asking them to eliminate the so-called premium captur …"

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 "Montana":

"… f Columbia officials are reviewing disclosure requirements there. And Montana’s top court proposed judicial disclosures for the first time.  &nbs …"

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 "America":

"… unlight will change the behavior of some of the biggest names in corporate America — sunlight here meaning greater transparency and accountability. It’s …"

"… overing this changed behavior — and its potential consequences for every American — without much competition from U.S.-based media. It seems that reporte …"

"… e country’s most influential political organizations — the 40-year-old American Legislative Exchange Council — was able to operate largely under t …"

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 "Missouri":

"… t doesn’t distinguish between a keychain and a Cadillac. Maryland, Missouri and Minnesota require requesters to pick up reports in pers …"

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 "Michael Bloomberg":

"… them.” Mayors Against Illegal Guns, led in part by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, spent $500,000 from July 1 through September, down slightly from its all- …"

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 "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau":

"… payoff at the end. Non-bank lenders now face on-site examinations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and can be punished for making deceptive loans, or loans that borrowers cl …"

"… gage lenders, by contrast, are overseen at the federal level mainly by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which can only consider potential violations of consumer protection laws. …"

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 "hedge fund manager":

"… ncial Times in July 2007. Prince was succeeded by Vikram Pandit, a former hedge fund manager whose firm was acquired by Citi just months earlier for $800 million. Whil …"

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 "Freddie Mac":

"… nce Agency, which oversees government-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  They are among dozens of people and companies named in the lawsuit. …"

"… ion worth of residential mortgage-backed securities sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to documents included in the FHFA lawsuit. “Defendants false …"

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 "Wells Fargo":

"… the crisis of all the Fed district banks, after Chicago and Atlanta. And Wells Fargo, the biggest bank under the supervision of the San Francisco Fed, borrowed …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… ederal Election Commission to form the PA Victory Fund, which he tells the Center for Public Integrity will seek to support “pragmatic, practical” candidates from either par …"

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 "Wells Fargo":

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

"… of America and was home to Wachovia, until it failed and was purchased by Wells Fargo. If he’s confirmed to replace Ed DeMarco at the top of the Federal Hous …"

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 "Scott Gessler":

"… aw firm called Hackstaff Law — where current Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler was once a partner.Gessler’s old firm also was involved in the establish …"

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 "National Education Association":

"… mercial WorkersAmerican Federation of State, County and Municipal EmployeesNational Education AssociationUnited Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe F …"

"… sis of federal records.That year, the SEIU, Laborers' International Union, National Education Association, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the American Federati …"

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 "Lehman Brothers":

"… once again posting healthy profits — with at least one major exception. Lehman Brothers, whose bankruptcy filing in 2008 spun the global financial markets into a …"

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 "Baltimore":

"… akland and San Francisco, New York City, Cleveland, Riverside, Calif., and Baltimore. "The department's action makes clear that we will hold fina …"

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 "Wells Fargo":

"… information about the status of their loans.  …"

"… al bankruptcy judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Manger described Wells Fargo's behavior as "highly reprehensible" in its five-year fight with the homeo …"

"… atch News. In an emailed statement published in the Huffiington Post, Wells Fargo spokesman Tom Goyda said "we believe that there are numerous factual and l …"

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 "Wells Fargo":

"… gencies included Bank of America and Citibank, as well as JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial Inc. Although the formal papers have yet to be filed i …"

Raging against the foreclosure machine

By Ben Hallman

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Comptroller of the Currency":

"… undry list of other bad practices as part of a deal with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The OCC recently said that that “work is under way” on the actions n …"

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 "administrative law judge":

"… to accounting frauds at Enron Corp. and other big companies.Hagman told an administrative law judge that there were “senior-level people in this organization who are still …"

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 "Wells Fargo":

"… according to an iWatch News analysis of a new study of tax dodgers. Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group, PNC Financial Services Group, Capital One …"

"… purchases from the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. Wells Fargo received the greatest benefit among all 280 companies studied. If the bank …"

"… rly $18 billion, the study said. The banking giant paid no taxes in 2009. Wells Fargo was also among the most profitable corporations on the list, having collec …"

"… list, having collected $21.8 billion in profits over the three-year span. Wells Fargo received a $25 billion government investment in October, 2008 from the TAR …"

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 "Massachusetts":

"… heavy lifting for financial reform under former chairman Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat and eponymous co-author of the law passed in 2010.  Bachus …"

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 "Wells Fargo":

"… with the firms — Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. — over allegations of widespread abuse …"

"… es.Four of the five companies under scrutiny—Bank of America, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup — are major donors for state and federal political campaig …"

"… re vital to financial corporations when the Democrats controlled the House.Wells Fargo gave over $1 million to candidates, party committees and other PACs since …"

"… on to candidates, party committees and other PACs since the start of 2009. Wells Fargo has given at least $45,000 each to the NRCC and NRSC and at least $30,000 …"