After years of harming homeowners with its foreclosure shenanigans, JP Mortgage Chase may finally pay for its crimes. Sources say the maligned bank reached a preliminary $13 billion mortgage settlement with the U.S. government this week, although the settlement will likely cost the bank roughly $9 billion after taxes are deducted. 

Major Bank Reaches Deal With Foreclosure Watchdogs

According to reports, $4 billion of the settlement will go directly towards consumers who were hurt by the bank’s fraudulent foreclosure actions. The other $7 billion would take the form of punitive fines, which, in theory, would help dissuade JP Morgan Chase and other major banks from taking similar actions in the future.

The settlement is a direct result of an effort by the Obama Administration to investigate the sale of mortgage-backed securities, the collapse of which was one of the primary causes of the financial crisis. These securities were created when banks took home loans and sold them to third parties. Thousands upon thousands of loans were shuffled through this process. 

The tactic, however, depended on rising home values, but when home values started to plummet, huge numbers of home loans went into default, and the mortgage-backed securities collapsed. Unfortunately for consumers, when the defaults started to occur, banks often couldn’t find their original promissory notes, and began engaging in widespread fraud. 

JP Morgan Chase Punished for Foreclosure Fraud

Among the fraudulent activities that led government officials to file their claim against JP Morgan Chase were forging foreclosure documents, illegally pushing consumers out of their homes before a foreclosure sale was authorized, and countless violations of state procedural laws. 

The extreme nature and extent of the crimes against homeowners in foreclosure led to the massive settlement. The chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, visited Washington this week to plead for mercy, but it appears the government was able to secure a historically large settlement. 

Of course, while the settlement is quite large, it still won’t sink JP Morgan Chase. In fact, some observers speculate that the settlement won’t change the bank’s actions at all. If you are being bullied by an aggressive home loan lender, contact an Illinois foreclosure attorney today to make sure it isn’t engaging in illegal foreclosure activities. 

Rusty Payton is a a real estate broker with iMove Chicago and partner with the Illinois law firm of PaytonDann.  He has over 24 years experience in real estate and bankruptcy matters.   He may be contacted at 321-702-1000 or at payton@paytondann.com.
 
 
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One of the greatest parts of living in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago is the abundant opportunities to take in cool art. One of my favorite artists is Chuck Meyers.  His art is whimsical at time - as evidenced by the series of Jelly beans pictured here - but also exhibits a great appreciation of the neighborhood he lives and works in. You can see Chuck's work at chuckmeyers.com and he also has many paintings on display at the Andersonville shoppe of Roost - 5634 N Clark Street.  Check it out if you are in Andersonville.  And....BUY ART!!!

 
 
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So, I was trying to fall asleep last night and what better way than picking up this week's edition of the Economist. Well, the only article that caught my interest was a piece about the Australian dingo and how it was causing a menace in certain areas of that country. What struck me as fascinating was an aside where the author speculated that the dingo was domesticated by the native aborigines and that the dingo formed an integral part of the aborigine family unit - so close that the phrase "three dog night" made reference to a common description of a cold night as in "it's colder than a three dog night."  It made me think of how many other common phrases we use frequently but never truly know where they originated. Those deep thoughts were enough to bring me to a slumber as I snuggled close to my Golden Retriever, Yankee, and was thankful that it was just gonna be a one dog night.