Credit Card Delinquency Rates Rising Again

Although credit card delinquency rates still hover near record lows, more consumers are starting to fall behind on their payments. The rate rose 0.71% in the third quarter, the first time it has moved up since 2009.

Bank Settlements Bring Homeowners a Bit of Relief

This week brought a bit of good news for some troubled homeowners in the form of two separate settlement activities. The FTC has begun mailing refund checks to 450,000 Countrywide customers, and Wells Fargo reached an $85 million settlement with the Fed that will provide relief to up to 10,000 customers.

Obama's Mortgage Reforms: Higher Standards -- and Costs

The administration's proposed revamp of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is actually an offering of multiple policy options, essentially passing the political hot potato to the Republicans. Problem is, any fix is sure to make mortgages costlier, with potential harm to the housing market.

Allstate Sues Bank of America Over Toxic Securities

Allstate is suing Bank of America and its Countrywide Financial division over Countrywide's sale of $700 million in mortgage-backed securities to the insurance giant, alleging that Countrywide knew in advance that the assets would drop in value because of a high percentage of defaults.

Countrywide's Mozilo Settles With SEC

Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder Angelo Mozilo, along with two others, has reached a settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission related to charges of insider trading and civil fraud.

Mozilo in Settlement Talks With SEC on Fraud Charges

Angelo Mozilo, the former CEO of Countrywide Financial, is in talks with the SEC about a possible deal that could let him avoid standing trial for fraud charges, The Wall Street Journal said. Talks between Mozilo, two other former executives and the SEC seem to be moving towards a settlement, The Wall Street Journal said without naming its sources. A status conference has been ordered for today, which could signal a new development in the suit.

UBS Will Not Take Legal Action Over Subprime Losses

Switzerland%u2019s UBS (UBS) will not take legal action against former employees for racking up the massive losses on subprime mortgages that left the company needing a bailout. Kaspar Villiger, the UBS chairman, said that company was looking to the future, according to The Associated Press.

Goldman Sued by German Bank Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Goldman Sachs Group (GS) was sued by German bank Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg for allegedly mis-representing the credit quality of its mortgage-backed securities. The German bank ended up posting a $37 million loss on the investment.

GM's a Day Away From Making Its Own Car Loans Again

General Motors will once again have its own in-house financing unit starting Friday, when the auto giant closes on its $3.5 billion purchase of AmeriCredit. The new unit, to be renamed General Motors Financial, will allow GM to offer consumers more financing and leasing options.

Former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo Must Face Trial

Angelo Mozilo, former CEO of Countrywide Financial Corp., must face trial on charges he misled investors about the risks associated with subprime lending, a judge in Los Angeles ruled. U.S. District Judge John F. Walter denied requests from Mozilo and two other former Countrywide executives for a ruling that there were no genuine issues to be tried, Bloomberg News said.

Bank of America Settles Data Theft Claims

Bank of America Corp (BAC) will offer free services and reimbursement for losses to as many as 17 million consumers to settle allegations of data theft related to its Countrywide Financial mortgage unit. The accord settles more than 30 lawsuits filed since Aug. 2008, The Los Angeles Times reported. Federal authorities accused Rene L. Rebollo, who worked for the Countrywide subprime division, of downloading confidential information on customers and selling it to employees of other mortgage lenders to use as sales leads.

GM Looks Set to Report Another Profit

Three months after turning profitable since its bankruptcy, GM CEO Ed Whitacre is expected to report it made even bigger profits -- perhaps in excess of $1 billion -- during the second quarter when it releases its latest results on Thursday.

2008 Meltdown Vs. the S&L Crisis: Which Was Worse?

In the late '80s and early '90, more than 1,000 savings & loans failed in a financial crisis that cost the government $220 billion to resolve. By contrast, it looks like TARP will only cost the government $105 billion. So is the current financial crisis only half as bad? Not bloody likely.

Minorities Suffer Most in Home Foreclosure Crisis

One of the most disturbing aspects of the home foreclosure crisis is how much damage it has caused in minority communities. Now, the activist group Committee for Responsible Lending has spelled out the depth of the problem in stark detail.

BofA to Repay Bilked Countrywide Borrowers

Bank of America has agreed to repay $108 million to 200,000 struggling homeowners who were overcharged fees by Countrywide mortgage services companies prior to 2008.

Should NYU Have Higher Ethics Than a Payday Lender?

The New York Times recently looked at the plight of Cortney Munna, a graduate of New York University struggling with nearly $100,000 in student loans, and asked: Should schools abet students in the process of financial self destruction, or should they follow a higher purpose?

Inside the SEC's Legal Case Against Goldman Sachs

As laid out by the SEC, the sale of the CDO appears to be textbook securities fraud. The two keys are whether Goldman and VP Fabrice Tourre made material misstatements or omissions, and whether they had sufficient intent to deceive or defraud.

Why Fannie Failed: Ex-CEO Blames Conflicting Mandates

"I accept responsibility for everything that happened on my watch," Daniel Mudd, former CEO of Fannie Mae said Friday. But he said the government mandates for Fannie Mae to support affordable housing and home ownership ultimately made it impossible for it to succeed in its other mission: making a profit.

The Business Decisions That Brought Lehman Down

Sure, Lehman's accounting gimmicks played a role in its downfall, but the star of the show was a business strategy the left prudence behind in all-out pursuit of risk and reward. Too bad, risk won out.

Housing Is Utterly Dependent on Washington

Many are heralding the recent blip up in housing starts as evidence that housing is "turning the corner." But let's not forget that unprecedented government intervention throughout the mortgage and housing industries is the only thing keeping these markets afloat.