Tagged: lawsuit

Bank loses foreclosure case — still tries to collect from homeowners!


Joseph and Mary Romero in front of their home in ChimayoMarla Brose/Albuquerque Journal

Santa Fe, New Mexico — Even though a Chimayó couple won a major New Mexico Supreme Court decision last year vacating foreclosure on their modest home, they later received letters saying they owed payments to the bank that foreclosed on the house.

That led to a judge here issuing an order…holding the Bank of New York and its loan servicing agent in contempt of court.

State District Court Judge Sarah Singleton wrote that the bank and Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC had violated her orders about communications with Joseph and Mary Romero, who fought for years to save their modest home before the Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that they’d been burdened with an “unrepayable loan” during the housing boom whose end sent the country into economic recession.

“These communications continue to assert that the Romeros owe various sums to BONY (Bank of New York),” she wrote. “This is not the case. BONY has been determined to have no standing to bring the foreclosure suit and its claim has been dismissed. BONY’s and Ocwen’s continued communications for them to pay amounts they do not owe BONY have caused the Romeros anxiety and may well be a violation of the law in addition to being in violation of the Court’s (Singleton’s) Orders.”…

Singleton ordered the bank to pay the Romeros $2,823 to cover attorney fees for raising the issue and said further violations “may result in more severe sanctions.”…

The Romeros responded to a cold call solicitation in 2006 and refinanced their house with an inflated mortgage without the lender requiring proof of income or assets. They were soon behind on their payments – Joseph’s annual income was about $5,600 – and, in 2008, the Bank of New York filed for foreclosure.

The Romero’s lawyers maintained lenders had taken advantage of the Romeros limited education, using predatory practices to structure a loan to strip them of equity and with no regard for their ability to pay off the loan. The Supreme Court, in its decision last year, said, “A lender’s willful blindness to its responsibility to consider the true circumstances of its borrowers is unacceptable.”

This sort of crap sales technique was commonplace, essential to the causes of the Great Recession.

I recall waiting in a real estate sales office in 2006. I was there to consult on security matters for the firm. Waiting my turn, I witnessed the manager signing up a young couple who spoke little English. Only the husband was employed and he wasn’t making a whole boatload of money. Nevertheless they were signed up for a mortgage for 95% of the inflated price of their new home.

Before we sat down to business – after they left – I asked him casually how he was able to manage a sale like that. His reply was the law allowed it. He could fudge the income because proof wasn’t required. They were going to run the mortgage through a sleazy storefront finance company down in Albuquerque which, in turn would sell the paper to Countrywide Mortgage. No problem.

We all know what followed. The bubble constructed upon lies and deceit burst in December 2007. Countrywide was sold off to Bank of America. No one did any time.

Sleazy hospital of the week


They haven’t a leg to stand on in their defense. Har!

A south Florida man is suing a hospital for emotional distress, saying his leg was amputated and thrown in the garbage with his name tag still on it.

John Timiriasieff, 56, had his right leg amputated below the knee in October at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables.

“Rather than properly disposing of the plaintiff’s limb as expected and as required by Florida law, Doctors Hospital threw the Plaintiff’s amputated limb into the garbage, with tags indicating it belonged to the Plaintiff,” according to the lawsuit filed…in Miami-Dade County Circuit Court.

A month later, Timiriasieff said his family was contacted by homicide detectives investigating if he had been the victim of foul play…

Doctors Hospital Inc, part of the Baptist Health South Florida Inc, said it could not discuss the incident in detail because of patient privacy considerations…

Normally, amputated limbs are incinerated by hospitals, said Clay Roberts, a lawyer for Timiriasieff…

The leg was discovered at a waste management facility and reported to police.

The medical-industrial complex has attitudes as disgusting and anti-human as the military-industrial complex.

Historic settlement for uranium mining contamination in the Navajo Nation

Navajo uranium miners

The federal government announced…the largest environmental settlement in United States history is final. Anadarko Petroleum and its subsidiaries will now shell out $5.15 billion for abandoning uranium mines on the Navajo Nation and other contamination they left around the country.

Over the years Anadarko has acquired several companies including Kerr-McGee, which mined more than seven million tons of uranium ore on the Navajo Nation during the Cold War.

Environmental Protection Agency spokesman Jared Blumenfeld said the companies tried to pass along billions of dollars in cleanup obligations to a subsidiary called Tronox and then attempted to bankrupt that company. Blumenfeld said people have fought a long time to get “the polluter to pay…”

More than a billion dollars will pay to clean up about 50 abandoned uranium mines on and around the Navajo Nation.

“It will mean we can immediately begin work on these sites,” Blumenfeld said. “It also means a real boost for their economy. We want to make sure these jobs stay on the Navajo Nation.”

Another $1.1 billion will go to clean up chemical manufacturing contamination near Lake Mead. Each day as much as a hundred pounds of perchlorate, a component of rocket fuel, is still leaking into the reservoir that millions of people rely on for drinking water.

I hope some of the settlement is set aside for long-term care for Navajo uranium miners. Many basic safety regulations outside of Native American mines somehow never made to any Tribal lands.

Some of the resulting ailments – like Navajo Neuropathy – affected the succeeding generation. Leaving them without direct linkage to crap working conditions. You didn’t have to work the uranium mines to be affected.

Baltimore Police CCTV catches cop beating a civilian

A Baltimore police officer faces misdemeanor assault and perjury charges after an incident with a suspect was caught on video.

Officer Vincent Cosum Jr. was captured on a city surveillance camera on June 15, repeatedly punching Kollin Truss in the face with other officers present. He faces perjury because in his police report he said Truss assaulted him first, a claim not supported by the video evidence.

Truss is now represented by attorneys, who say charging Cosum alone is not adequate.

“The other officers participated,” Truss attorney Tony Garcia told CBS Baltimore. “They held his arms back. Our client was knocked unconscious on his feet.”

Truss’s attorneys have filed a $70 million lawsuit against the city.

The beating prompted a call from city officials and the public to look into complaints against the city’s police department. The mayor has asked the Department of Justice to investigate.

I hope he gets every penny. Corrupt cops only exist with the collaboration of corrupt government. And vice versa. The DOJ is reaching the point where they may as well ask for a separate seat in the Presidential cabinet to deal with the range of corruption from tickets issued as police fundraisers, police brutalization of minorities and young people in general, theft and collaboration with gangs and gangsters.

I’m more and more impressed with CCTV when it’s used to catch cops as well as civilian miscreants.

Ironic lawsuit of the week

Lawyers for two Guantanamo Bay detainees have filed motions asking a U.S. court to block officials from preventing the inmates from taking part in communal prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The lawyers argue that – in light of the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision – the detainees’ rights are protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act…

During Ramadan, a month of prayer and reflection that began last weekend, Muslims are required to fast every day from sunrise to sunset. But what is at issue in this case is the ability to perform extra prayers, called tarawih, “in which they recite one-thirtieth of the Quran in consecutive segments throughout the month…”

The detainees’ lawyers said courts have previously concluded that Guantanamo detainees do not have “religious free exercise rights” because they are not “persons within the scope of the RFRA.”

But the detainees’ lawyers say the Hobby Lobby decision changes that

“Hobby Lobby makes clear that all persons – human and corporate, citizen and foreigner, resident and alien – enjoy the special religious free exercise protections of the RFRA,” the lawyers argued in court papers…

As much as I disrespect the conservative members of the Supreme Court for their allegiance to ideology over the Constitution of the United States – you have to enlarge and expand the definition of stupid for their inability to foresee the results of their reactionary pimping for churches.

It ain’t news. They no doubt knew the tidal wave of Republican governors would roll out everything but the kitchen sink to revive racist practices designed to stop Black folks from voting after they gutted the Civil Rights Act. I have to assume they counted on fundamentalist nutballs erupting into a feeding frenzy with the Hobby Lobby decision. It fits nice and tidy into the War on Women. Like most reactionaries, though, they can’t see any further than the flies sitting on end of their nose.

Thanks, Mike

Wall Street trader whines over $8.25 million bonus — sues for more!


Dweeb Salem

A former Goldman Sachs trader, still furious at getting only an $8.25 million bonus in 2010, has taken the giant investment bank to court to get paid millions more.

Deeb Salem says he helped Goldman earn more than $7 billion and that a little more money in his pocket would only be fair considering all his contributions. He wants about $5 million in additional pay…

In his petition filed last week in New York’s State Supreme Court, Salem said things at Goldman started to unravel when he got a written warning about his 2007 job self-evaluation, Bloomberg reports. In that self-evaluation, Salem reportedly discussed a short squeeze involving derivatives linked to subprime home loans in 2007.

His own words were later used by U.S. Senators investigating whether Goldman bet against the mortgage market in 2006 and 2007 in such a way that helped it reap massive rewards as the housing sector tanked…

Salem watched his annual bonus go from $15 million in 2009 to $8.25 million the next year and $3 million in 2011. He left the firm in 2012 but soon filed a complaint about his 2010 pay with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Wall Street’s self-funded regulator. He tried to get more than $16 million from Goldman in arbitration, including nearly $7 million in deferred stock he felt he was owed. [He lost]

Now, Salem wants New York’s state court to overturn that regulatory decision. Goldman has argued that it has the final say on all bonus amounts and that Salem was aware of the policy.

The dude received more than $35 million in pay over six years. Goldman’s lawyer, Andrew Frackman, said…”He made a ton of money…He’s not entitled to more simply because he would like to have been paid more…”

Thanks, Mike

You can’t make this crap up!

An Illinois mother has filed a lawsuit in order to prevent a school from expelling her 15-year-old son for trading his attention deficit disorder medication to another student in exchange for bags of Cheez-Its and cash.

The suit contends that the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy illegally expelled the boy because the conduct he displayed during the transaction was “likely a manifestation of his disability.”

The school nurse was well aware of the boy’s condition because that individual was responsible for dispensing the boy’s medication.

Although the boy “admitted that he received several bags of chips/Cheez-its and/or $3.00 payments” for the ADD medication, he said the reason he made the sale was to “to help his fellow student do better in school.”

The lawsuit is seeking a restraining order and injunction preventing the school from expelling the boy due to his disability.

Saying why you did something, truthful or otherwise, is not how you judge the behavior of someone. Doesn’t matter whether they are drunk or stoned or sober, doesn’t matter if they are unbalanced, disturbed or strange. How you behave determines society’s response. As far as orderly society is concerned.

If you challenge the rules, understand the consequences. Saying you are exempt from responsibility – doesn’t exempt you from a damned thing.

What’s left is deciding upon a just response.

South Dakota Court allows ‘pink slime’ lawsuit to proceed

The South Dakota Supreme Court is allowing a $1.2 billion defamation lawsuit to proceed against television network ABC over its coverage of a meat product that critics derided as “pink slime.”

The decision on Thursday allows the plaintiffs to potentially depose news anchor Diane Sawyer, two of the networks correspondents and other defendants.

Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products Inc. sued the network in 2012 for its coverage of the meat product the industry calls “lean, finely textured beef.” BPI alleges that the coverage led to plant closures and layoffs because it misled consumers into believing the product was unsafe.

Attorneys for ABC in court filings say the network in each of its broadcasts stated the FDA deemed the product safe to eat.

It just looks disgusting until you kill the beast and thoroughly cook it.

Then, consider the quality of politicians who think this crap is a taste treat.

Thanks, Mike

NYPD sued over coppers stealing White Castle hamburgers from Brooklyn men – and then arresting them!

Two Brooklyn men are suing the NYPD cops who took their freedom and allegedly tried to take their White Castle hamburgers.

It was Halloween 2012 in Coney Island, the neighborhood reeling from Hurricane Sandy, when Danny Maisonet and Kenneth Glover had a craving for sliders.

They were getting out of a taxicab, carrying a bag of the burgers, when they walked into cops rounding up a group of men suspected of looting a supermarket on Neptune Ave., lawyer Robert Marinelli said in the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The cops — it’s unclear if they were kidding or starved out of their minds — demanded the bag of food. The plaintiffs refused to turn over the burgers…

Glover and Maisonet claim they were struck with flashlights and handcuffed. They were charged with obstructing government administration and disorderly conduct — not looting.

Officer Angelo Pizzarro swore in the complaint that Glover and Maisonet were standing in his way and forced him to walk around them while struggling with the alleged looters.

The charges against the duo were ultimately dismissed.

I’d wait a year or two before admitting to eating White Castle hamburgers. Though, I imagine a certain amount of time was wasted waiting to see if these phony charges were going to proceed to trial.

Truly, some coppers think they are above the law – and the rest of humanity.

FDIC sues banks over Libor manipulation and fraud

Bank of America, Citigroup and Credit Suisse Group AG were among 16 of the world’s biggest banks sued by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for allegedly manipulating the London interbank offered rate from 2007 to 2011.

The FDIC, acting as receiver for 38 failed banks…claimed that institutions sitting on the U.S. dollar Libor panel “fraudulently and collusively suppressed” the rate. Also named in the suit, filed yesterday in Manhattan federal court, is the British Bankers Association, an industry group that oversaw Libor.

Regulators around the world have been probing whether firms colluded to manipulate interest-rate benchmarks including Libor, which affects more than $300 trillion of securities worldwide. Financial institutions have paid about $6 billion so far to resolve criminal and civil claims in the U.S. and Europe that they manipulated benchmark interest rates.

The cost for global investment banks could climb to $46 billion, analysts at KBW, a unit of Stifel Financial Corp., said in a report last year…

The failed banks “reasonably expected that accurate representations of competitive market forces, and not fraudulent conduct or collusion,” would determine the benchmark, the FDIC said in its complaint…

Investigators claim the banks altered submissions used to set the benchmark to profit from bets on interest-rate derivatives or to make the lenders’ finances appear healthier…

The FDIC alleges the banks committed fraud and violated U.S. antitrust laws in fixing the U.S. dollar Libor benchmark. It’s seeking unspecified damages on behalf of the failed banks, including punitive damages and triple damages for price-fixing.

The FDIC still echos the standards of Sheila Bair. It’s been a little while since she left; but, she set critical standards. Required reading for anyone interested in earning a living in finance and still maintaining the odd principle or two her book: Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself.

Within the FDIC and the American banking community she always stands for small banks, community banks vs Wall Street’s version of Gargantua. She sat down and negotiated with the biggest bank presidents as equals and she tried like hell to be more equal than they – even with Congress ready and willing to give away the farm, the treasury and every taxpayer’s contribution to some of the worst examples of American capitalism.

She left the FDIC to work for a spell for the Pew Charitable Trusts; but, banking is what she knows best and she chose to leave the United States to work for a Spanish bank with a cleaner reputation than most of our own. She still asks out loud why no big American bank has ever offered a directorship to a bank reformer like Simon Johnson – or, I’d say, Sheila Bair.

And when she gives a talk to the staff of a bank she used to oversee as regulator – her fee goes to charity. A practice I don’t expect to witness every day from any of our former Congress-critters.