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Inside Washington (11/01/2012)
  • WASHINGTON (11/2/12)--The Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that lenders must have proper documentation in place before filing a foreclosure. In a unanimous ruling, the high court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Freddie Mac against Ohio homeowners Duane and Julie Schwartzwald. Freddie charged that the Schwartzwalds owed $245,000 after defaulting on a mortgage they received from Legacy Mortgage in 2005 (American Banker Nov. 1). Freddie attached a copy of the mortgage identifying the Schwartzwalds as borrowers and Legacy as lender to its complaint, but did not include a copy of a promissory note the Schwartzwalds had also signed. Freddie claimed it could not obtain the note. In the dismissing the suit, the high court ruled that parties initiating foreclosure actions cannot do so before obtaining an assignment of the promissory note and mortgage securing the borrower's loan
  • WASHINGTON (11/2/12)--Backers of the interchange fee law are criticizing a Washington, D.C. mobile payments company after the firm sent an e-mail informing customers that a fee increase was the result of the provision in the Dodd-Frank Act. Parkmobile USA, a mobile payments company with an exclusive contract for Washington, D.C. municipal parking areas, said in the e-mail that parking transaction fees would increase to 45 cents from 32 cents and were "triggered" by Dodd-Frank (American Banker Nov. 1). In response Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.) who authored the interchange fee law provision asked the company to retract the statement. A $7.5 settlement in retailers' class antitrust lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard over credit card interchange fees was filed Oct.  23 by class counsel for the plaintiffs in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (News Now Oct. 23). The settlement calls for Visa, MasterCard and the banks to create a $6.05 billion fund (which would be a record amount for a class action settlement) to repay retailers for past fees charged. It also stipulates that retailers would be permitted to assess "check out" fees or surcharges on credit card purchases, which has previously been prohibited by Visa and Mastercard rules. Several retail organizations and retailers oppose the settlement. Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney has said that the surcharging aspect of the settlement--as well as the provision that consumer-owned credit unions would see a reduction in interchange revenue--are signs that the settlement does nothing for consumers …
  • WASHINGTON (11/2/12)--Borrowers with poor credit scores are subject to tighter lending standards for government-issued loans since the financial crisis, but those with high scores face largely the same standards as before the recession, according to the Federal Reserve's October Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey. Responding to a special question on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lending, a majority of domestic banks indicated that their lending standards for approving an application for an FHA-insured purchase mortgage were about the same as in 2006 for a borrower with a credit score of 660, but that standards had tightened for borrowers with lower FICO scores. Regarding residential real estate lending the past three months, banks reported that standards for both prime and nontraditional mortgages had remained unchanged on balance.  Respondents said in both the July and October surveys that demand for prime and nontraditional residential mortgage loans had increased …


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