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Wells Fargo Dodges Charges Over Shady Mortgage Practices With Record Settlement

April 8 – Wells Fargo & Co admitted to deceiving the U.S. government into insuring thousands of risky mortgages, as it formally reached a record $1.2 billion settlement of a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit.

The settlement with Wells Fargo, the largest U.S. mortgage lender and third-largest U.S. bank by assets, was filed on Friday in Manhattan federal court. It also resolves claims against Kurt Lofrano, a former Wells Fargo vice president.

According to the settlement, Wells Fargo “admits, acknowledges, and accepts responsibility” for having from 2001 to 2008 falsely certified that many of its home loans qualified for Federal Housing Administration insurance.

The San Francisco-based lender also admitted to having from 2002 to 2010 failed to file timely reports on several thousand loans that had material defects or were badly underwritten, a process that Lofrano was responsible for supervising.

According to the Justice Department, the shortfalls led to substantial losses for taxpayers when the FHA was forced to pay insurance claims as defective loans soured.

Several lenders, including Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co, previously settled similar federal lawsuits.

But Wells Fargo held out, and its payment is the largest in FHA history over loan origination violations.

Friday’s settlement is a reproach for “years of reckless underwriting” at Wells Fargo, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan said in a statement.

“While Wells Fargo enjoyed huge profits from its FHA loan business, the government was left holding the bag when the bad loans went bust,” Bharara added.

The accord also resolved a probe by federal prosecutors in California of alleged false loan certifications by American Mortgage Network LLC, which Wells Fargo bought in 2009.

No one has been criminally charged in the probes, and the Justice Department reserved the right to pursue criminal charges if it wishes, according to the settlement.

Franklin Codel, president of Wells Fargo Home Lending, in a statement said the settlement “allows us to put the legal process behind us, and to focus our resources and energy on what we do best — serving the needs of the nation’s homeowners.”

Lewis Liman, a lawyer for Lofrano, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wells Fargo on Feb. 3 said the settlement would reduce its previously reported 2015 profit by $134 million, to account for extra legal expenses.

The case is U.S. v. Wells Fargo Bank NA, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-07527.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/04/08/wells-fargo-mortgage-settlement_n_9647960.html


Sneaky Octopus Makes Daring Escape Through Aquarium’s Drain Pipe Into Pacific Ocean

Everyone loves a goodprison breakstory. “Escape from Alcatraz.” “The Shawshank Redemption.” “The Great Escape.” They imbue within us a sense of hope, daring, and adventure.

Now, a new tale of derring-do in New Zealand of a real-life prison escape may be added to this pantheon of greats: An octopus has outwitted its human captors and is now on the run in the Pacific Ocean. Considering the size of said ocean, its unlikely hell ever be recaptured.

As reported byBBC News, the National Aquarium in the coastal settlement of Napier was once home toInky the octopus, but no more. This particularly crafty, aquatic fellow managed to squeeze through a small gap in his enclosure left behind after some routine maintenance work, before sliding across the floor looking for an escape route.

He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes that go back to the ocean and off he went, said aquarium manager Rob Yarrall, as reported byRadio New Zealand. He didn’t even leave us a message. Staff were shocked to arrive at the scene to find no Inky and a trail of octopus tracks left behind by the former captive.

The staff should have realized long ago not to underestimate the power of these highly intelligent cephalopods; after all, they can escape from anything even the inside alocked jar.

Rather sadly, Inky left behind his tank-mate, another octopus, which the staff say theyll be monitoring extremely closely from now on.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/sneaky-octopus-makes-daring-escapes-through-aquariums-drain-pipe-pacific-ocean


Here are 5 things you may regret at the end of your life, from a nurse who works with the dying.

 

You might think watching people die would depress a person. It actually taught her how to live.

Bronnie Ware spent years as a palliative care nurse, helping patients be as comfortable as possible in the time just before their deaths. She compiled their stories and the most repeated regrets she heard them utter in their final days.

Do you ever imagine what the final years and months and days of your life will be like?

Shared originally on her blog, ” Inspiration and Chai,” here are the top five regrets, with quotes from her blog as she recorded them.

Regret #1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you living your best life right now? What’s stopping you?

Dreaming of living a different life than the one you have now? Image by Jorge Royan.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #2: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

This one speaks for itself.

That desk looks like instant stress before the workday has even started. Image by Alan Cleaver/Flickr.

Regret #3: I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

What if getting the words out is essential to your growth as a human?

Feelings aren’t just useless emotions. Expressing them can be the first step to self-actuating and becoming a newer version of yourself. Image by Garry Knight/Flickr.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #4: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Is there someone you treasure who you haven’t spoken with in much too long?

They’re so important to us and somehow we think that “life” getting in the way is a good enough reason to go without seeing them. Image by Jason Hutchens.

“Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #5: I wish that I had let myself be happier.

If you didn’t wake up joyful today, why not? What can you do to change that?

Who was the last person you giggled ridiculously with? Call them. Right now. Image by Adina Voicu.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” Bronnie Ware

Were there any regrets on this list that felt familiar to you? Others that you didn’t see listed?

These are five universal wake-up calls we all need to be reminded of. There’s no shame in tagging all the friends you need to call when you share this.

 

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/here-are-5-things-you-may-regret-at-the-end-of-your-life-from-a-nurse-who-works-with-the-dying?c=tpstream


Goldman Sachs to Pay $5 Billion in U.S. Justice Dept Mortgage Bond Pact | Fox Business

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2016/04/11/goldman-sachs-to-pay-5-billion-in-u-s-justice-dept-mortgage-bond-pact.html


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