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Major Mortgage News During September
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Illegal Mortgage Leads
For two years, an executive of a Countrywide Financial Corp. unit was successfully operating a mortgage leads business using data he stole from the company. He downloaded the records of 20,000 borrowers each week -- until he was caught.

Rene Leonard Rebollo Jr. was a senior financial analyst at Full Spectrum Lending in Pasadena, Calif., according to a criminal complaint against him. He earned $63,000 annually plus an annual bonus of around $2,000.

He was also the "main cat" in a scheme where borrower information was stolen from the company and sold to mortgage brokers and lead brokers, court records indicate.

Investor Lawsuits Surge Against Lenders
An analysis of mortgage-related litigation and legal actions in the second quarter indicates active lawsuits filed by shareholders against mortgage firms jumped more than 50 percent from the prior quarter.

During the second quarter, the number of investor lawsuits tracked by that were filed against mortgage companies totaled 14, according to the Second Quarter Mortgage Litigation Report. Four investor class-actions were tracked for IndyMac Bancorp Inc., while three investor lawsuits were covered against Downey Financial Corp. Franklin Bank Corp. faced at least two shareholder lawsuits.

The report was prepared with the assistance of Washington, D.C.-based Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC, which provides timely information and analysis of litigation that impacts mortgage bankers. The report was based on 45 lawsuits and other legal actions covered by that saw some activity during the second-quarter 2008.

WaMu Fails
In the biggest bank failure in history, Washington Mutual Bank has been shut down by federal regulators.

The Office of Thrift Supervision closed the Seattle-based thrift today, an announcement this evening said. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has been appointed receiver.

Paulson Announces Major Steps to Restore Mortgage Liquidity
The Bush administration announced major steps in unclogging mortgage securities in the U.S. financial system and said legislation may be passed as early as next week to relieve financial institutions of illiquid mortgage assets.

Mortgage assets are tying up the entire U.S. economy, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said at a press conference this morning. He noted that he, along with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox, met with congressional leaders last night to discuss a comprehensive legislative plan to deal with mortgage-related securities that are depriving financial markets of liquidity.

Project Lifeline announced

Wells Chief Discusses Tighter Mortgage Lending
Wells Fargo & Co.'s chief told investors that the company has tightened its guidelines on home-equity loans and residential mortgage programs.

President and Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf talked about the underwriting changes at the Lehman Brothers Global Financial Services Conference yesterday, according to a copy of his presentation.

Next Year's Originations Projected to Decline
Residential loan production is expected fall by more than 20 percent during 2009.

Massive ResCap Cutbacks
Residential Capital LLC will stop originating through its wholesale lending subsidiary, shut down 200 retail offices and lay off 5,000 employees in the process.

FHA Moves to Prevent 'Buy and Bail'
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is taking steps to thwart borrowers who commit mortgage fraud in order to buy another home at today's discounted prices then let their current residence fall into foreclosure.

Government Takes Over Fannie, Freddie
The government has seized control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The move -- which is likely to push mortgage rates lower and provide a sense of stability for the more than 10,000 employees at both companies -- is a blow to congressional Democrats who for years have prevented the Bush administration from stepping up regulation of the two government sponsored enterprises.

Lender Doubling Originations, Staff
An Oregon firm expects to more than double the nearly $700 million in loans it originated last year, while it plans to add 150 employees. A positive atmosphere is behind much of the success.

Read the full text of these articles and many more at:


Sam Garcia
Mortgage Industry News

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