Archive for 'CitiGroup'

Bank executives who were hoping for a quiet end to this fall’s controversy over irregularities in the foreclosure process are facing a new threat: state judges. 
 
The chief justice of New Jersey’s Supreme Court, Stuart Rabner, announced Monday that the state’s courts would stop foreclosures by big banks if they cannot show they’re following state law when foreclosing. 
 
Rabner made the announcement after assigning a judge to oversee foreclosure matters. That judge, Mary C. Jacobson, issued an order Monday requiring six banks – Ally Financial, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, OneWest Bank and Citigroup – to appear in court and explain why she shouldn’t suspend foreclosures. 
 
The New Jersey action stems from the controversy over questions surfaced over the legality of documents submitted to courts in foreclosure proceedings. 
 
"Today’s actions are intended to provide greater confidence that the tens of thousands of residential foreclosure proceedings underway in New Jersey are based on reliable information," Rabner said in a statement. "Nearly 95 percent of those cases are uncontested, despite evidence of flaws in the foreclosure process." 
 
The six banks must by Jan. 19 show the court why it should not suspend foreclosures. The order said the banks were chosen "based on a public record of questionable practice." 
 
Only one bank would comment on Monday. Mark Rodgers of Citigroup said the bank would review the judge’s order and ensure that it is in compliance. 
 
Banks are expected to argue that problems in the foreclosure process have been minor and the vast majority of those facing foreclosure lost their homes because they didn’t pay their mortgages for many months. 
 
They’re also likely to say that a protracted freeze in foreclosures could have a negative effect since it would keep those vacant homes out of the market. 
 
But homeowner advocates and others will likely argue that banks’ problems with following the letter of the law in foreclosure proceedings reflect a range of harmful practices that have hurt borrowers trying to avoid foreclosures. 
 
 
By Zachary A. Goldfarb 
For more: http://wapo.st/gxhd7G

 Racketeering Case Filed Against Ally And Citigroup

POSTED ON OCTOBER 5TH 2010
 
A popular bank and a mortgage servicer are being sued by homeowners in Kentucky for conspiring with a mortgage transfers company for falsely foreclosing on loans. It is a serious allegation and when proven true, then a lot of homeowners who are currently facing foreclosures just might get a chance to save their homes.
 
Homeowners in Kentucky have filed a lawsuit against Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc., alleging that the two have conspired with Reston, Virginia-based Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. in falsely foreclosing on loans.


Filed as a civil-racketeering class action on behalf of the Kentucky homeowners facing foreclosures, the lawsuit claims that banks – via MERS, which handles mortgage transfers among banks – are foreclosing on homes to which they don’t hold titles to properties. The complaint was filed in a federal court in Louisville, Kentucky on the 24th of September.
 
The complaint reads, “Defendants have filed foreclosures throughout the state of Kentucky and the United States of America knowing that they were not the ‘owners’ or beneficiaries of the loan they filed foreclosure upon.”
 
According to the lawsuit, the defendants either filed or caused to be filed mortgages through forged signatures. It also stated that foreclosure actions were filed months before any legal interests are acquired in the properties. Own notes executed with mortgages were also falsely claimed by the defendants, the lawsuit further says.
 
The case also claims that the defendants have violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Though originally passed to pursue organized crime, RICO was brought to the case since the attorneys say the cases were well-thought out.
 
The Kentucky homeowners’ case is just one of the multiple cases against several banks and MERS for wrongful foreclosures. Several cases, which were combined in a multi-district litigation in Phoenix, have been dismissed last September 30. The judge allowed the plaintiffs to re-file their complaints, though.
 
In an emailed statement, Ally spokeswoman Gina Proia called the allegations “inflammatory” and without merit. Citigroup Inc. declined to comment, while MERS had no immediate comment.
 
This article originally posited at  http://bit.ly/9IzJOe