A section of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower to report annually to Congress on its activities, whistleblower complaints, and the SEC’s response to such complaints. The SEC submitted that report earlier this week.
A federal judge ruled that a whistleblower lawsuit may proceed against Wells Fargo and Mortgage Investors Corporation (“MIC”) with claims that the banks illegally charged veteran borrowers hidden fees on refinanced home loans backed by the Veterans Administration.
South Carolina-based Harmony Care Hospice, Inc. and its owner and Chief Executive Officer have agreed to pay nearly $1.3 million to settle allegations that the company submitted false claims to Medicare for patients under care at its hospice facilities.
Credit Suisse recently agreed to pay $120 million to settle U.S. civil charges that it misled investors in the sale of risky mortgage bonds in the months leading up to the financial crisis. In a separate similar case, JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $296.9 million to resolve claims against it.
The New York Attorney General has filed suit against Credit Suisse for mortgage securities fraud. In the lawsuit, the New York AG accused the Swiss bank of misleading investors over the quality of residential mortgage-backed securities. The deception resulted in losses to investors of some $11.2 billion, according to the lawsuit.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed three separate lawsuits in federal court recently to halt the deceptive tactics of companies preying on distressed homeowners by falsely claiming they could save their homes from foreclosure. The FTC announced the enforcement actions as part of its Distressed Homeowner Initiative, a federal effort to stop predatory foreclosure rescue, mortgage modification, short sale, and bankruptcy schemes that have targeted distressed homeowners.
United States prosecutors recently filed suit against Wells Fargo, claiming the lender misrepresented the quality of the mortgages it handled under a federal housing program. The case against Wells Fargo follows many similar lawsuits by the government against large banks related to their lending practices.
The United States Supreme Court heard arguments in two cases in which the defendants seek to expand the class action limits of last year’s Wal-Mart v. Dukes case. On November 5, 2012, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend and Amgen, Inc. v. Conn. Ret. Plans & Trust Funds.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a new rule that will allow the agency to oversee consumer debt collectors for the first time at the federal level. It is hoped that federal oversight of debt collectors will improve transparency in the market and reign in abusive tactics by debt collectors.
Concerns have been raised about large banks beginning to make short-term loans similar to those found in the oft-criticized and problem-plagued payday lending arena. Banks have faced lower revenue as a result of limits on debit card and overdraft fees.
Debt collection agencies will come under federal review for the first time beginning January 2, 2013, when the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) begins oversight. The agency’s authority to oversee debt collection agencies comes under the portion of the Dodd-Frank regulatory law that deals with nonbank financial companies.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a settlement with defendants in the United States who abetted unlawful debt collection calls from India. In conjunction with the settlement, the defendants will relinquish nearly all of their assets, amounting to roughly $175,000, which will be used for consumer refunds.