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DOJ Reaches $125 Million Settlement With Wells Fargo on Lending Discrimination Charges

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The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed the second largest fair lending settlement in the Department’s history to resolve allegations that Wells Fargo Bank engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in its mortgage lending from 2004 through 2009. The settlement provides $125 million in compensation for wholesale borrowers who were steered into sub-prime mortgages or who paid higher fees and rates than White borrowers due to their race or national origin.Click to continue

Department of Justice Charges GFI Mortgage Bankers With Lending Discrimination


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed a lawsuit alleging that GFI Mortgage Bankers Inc., a mortgage banker with operations in seven states, violated federal fair lending laws by charging African-American and Hispanic borrowers higher interest rates and fees on home mortgage loans because of their race or national origin, not based on their creditworthiness.Click to continue

BofA Reaches $335 Million Settlement With Government Over Countrywide Discrimination and Steering


The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its largest residential fair lending settlement in history to resolve allegations that Countrywide Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic borrowers in their mortgage lending from 2004 through 2008.Click to continue

Former Lend America President Primeau Banned From Doing FHA Business

Banned/Credit: Thinkstock

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has announced that it is immediately suspending Michael Primeau, former president of Lend America, from doing any business with HUD following his admission that he engaged in a wide-scale mortgage fraud scheme. Specifically, Primeau pled guilty to charges he directed employees of Lend America, a former Federal Housing Adminiostration (FHA)-approved lender, to divert mortgage funds intended to pay off borrowers’ first mortgages at refinance closings in order to pay company operating expenses.Click to continue

FHFA Sues UBS for Sales of MBS to GSEs

Courtroom/Credit: Comstock

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the conservator of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York against UBS Americas Inc., and related defendants, alleging violations of federal securities laws in the sale of residential private label mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to the GSEs. FHFA seeks to recover losses and damages sustained by the GSEs as a result of their investments in UBS Securities.Click to continue

Panel Concludes Housing Finance is Necessary to Boost Market

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Reforms to America’s housing finance market must ensure a reliable source of affordable mortgage lending for creditworthy consumers. That’s according to Realtors and other industry insiders who examined the federal government’s future role in the secondary mortgage market at the “Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: Obama Options and Beyond” session during the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2011 Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.Click to continue

Experian to Include Residential Rental Payment Data in Credit Reports


Experian has announced it is now incorporating positive rental data from its RentBureau Division into the traditional credit file, opening a new avenue for the estimated 50 million underbanked consumers—which can include everyone from college students and recent graduates to immigrants—to build credit with continuous on-time rental payments.Click to continue

HUD Issues Proposed Rule to Solidify the FHA Lender Indemnification Process

Home/Credit: Comstock Images

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has proposed new regulations to strengthen its authority to force certain lenders to indemnify or reimburse the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for insurance claims paid on mortgages that are found not to meet the agency’s guidelines. In addition, HUD’s proposed rule would require all new and existing lenders with the ability to insure mortgages on HUD’s behalf (Lender Insurance mortgagee) to meet stricter performance standards to gain and maintain their approval status.Click to continue

Study Finds Race a Factor in Foreclosure Process


Although the rise in sub-prime lending and the ensuing wave of foreclosures was partly a result of market forces that have been well-documented, the foreclosure crisis was also a highly racialized process, according to a study by two Woodrow Wilson School scholars published in the October 2010 issue of the American Sociological Review.Click to continue