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Wednesday
Aug062014

Maine's Greenleaf Decision Creates Mortgage “Insecurity” for MERS

In a decision sure to cast doubt on the validity of numerous mortgages throughout the State, Maine’s highest court invalidated the foreclosure of a mortgage held by MERS. In Bank of America v. Greenleaf, the Maine Law Court held that MERS, a Delaware corporation that acts as nominee for mortgagees around the country, did not have sufficient ownership interest in the mortgage to assign the right to foreclose. 2014 ME 89. A bank that attempts to foreclose on a mortgage received through assignment from MERS, therefore, may lack standing and have no right to foreclose on the mortgage.

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Tuesday
Aug052014

FDIC: Banks can consult with FDIC staff instead of hiring consultants

The Summer 2014 edition of the FDICs Supervisory Insights Journal is now out. This edition includes two articles: (1) an article advising banks on how to meet regulatory expectations without outside consultants; and (2) an article summarizing common risks to banks as identified through FDIC examinations. The Journal concludes with a Regulatory and Supervisory Roundup listing recent Dodd-Frank rulemakings, FAQs, seminar listings, and operational guidance.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jul102014

Financial Institutions...In the News

  • Many borrowers suspicious of Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).  (Portland Press Herald 7.8.14)
  • Maine in top 5 of states with highest foreclosure inventory.  (Market Watch 7.8.14)
  • NBT plans to open branch in Portland, Maine. (Bangor Daily News 7.2.14) 
  • Many states have job levels at pre-recession levels even though the nation has regained all 9 million jobs.  (Portland Press Herald 7.2.14)
  • William J. Ryan to become board chair of Berkshire Hills Bancorp (Portland Press Herald 7.1.14)
  • Maine home sales increase 7.3% while sales prices decrease 4.8%.  (Portland Press Herald 6.25.14)
  • SunTrust Mortgage settles robo-signing dispute. 185 Mainers helped, according to Attorney General Janet Mills.  (Bangor Daily News 6.19.14) 
  • The FBI, several foreign governments and security firms break up sophisticated financial crime ring.  (Portland Press Herald 6.4.14)
Monday
Jun302014

Feds Release List of Rural, Middle-Income Geographies Qualifying for Community Development Credit

Today, federal banking regulators released the list of “distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geographies” for 2014.  The list can be found here.  Bank activities in these geographies will receive consideration as “community development” under the Community Reinvestment Act.  

According to today’s release, the list of communities is based on criteria developed by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), which can be found here.   Factors include unemployment, poverty, and population changes.  The designation includes a one-year “lag” for geographies that no longer meet the criteria.

In Maine, distressed communities (listed by census tract rather than by municipality) were designated in portions of Aroostook County, Washington County, Knox County, Piscataquis County, and Lincoln County.

A full copy of today’s release can be found at PR-51-2014.

Wednesday
May282014

FDIC Wants to Help Consumers "Save at the Bank," Avoid Fraud

The Spring 2014 issue of the FDIC Consumer Newsletter is now out.  This quarter, the focus is on helping consumers “Save at the Bank.”  The articles include tips for consumers to:

  • Lower their banking fees, including checking fees, lowering mortgage costs, and refinancing consumer loans;
  • Reduce the risk of fraud and theft, and
  • Tips on person-to-person (P2P) payments.

A full color copy of the newsletter is available here

The FDIC’s May 27, 2013 announcement can be found here.