California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Was There a Loan WaMu Wouldn’t Make?

The troubles that resulted in WaMu being acquired for $1.9 billion by JPMorgan Chase seem to be 100% of its own making. They are being investigated by Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General for the State of New York, for pressuring appraisers at e-AppraiseIT to increase the value of properties so that their profits on subprime loans could be higher. Other attorneys general are investigating WaMu in their respective states.

WaMu and some of its executive officers are also the subject of civil lawsuits, one of which was filled by Chad Johnson, a partner at Bernstein, Litowitz Berger & Grossmann, on behalf of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan board, a large shareholder. Says Johnson: “(CEO) Kerry Killinger pocketed tens of millions of dollars from WaMu, while investors were left with worthless stock.” With WaMu gone, he added, “it is all the more important that Killinger and his co-defendants are held accountable.”

Keysha Cooper, one of WaMu’s senior mortgage underwriters, describes a work environment in which approving loans, no matter how risky or dubious, was her job. To paraphrase the old Chiller films of the 1950s: “Volume was the order of the day”. This included strong-arming underwriters to “re-structure” loan applications until the numbers worked. Loan officers with high sales volume were rewarded with Hawaiian vacations, whereas those that balked, such as Ms. Cooper, found themselves being written-up and, in her case, being put on probation before ultimately being fired. One of the loans she ad objected to defaulted immediately; the borrower never made a single payment.

Read the Full Article in the New York Times.

© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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