Archive for 'Wall Street'

ACA International applauds the Federal Trade Commission’s creation of National Consumer Protection Week, March 6-12, 2011, and encourages consumers to visit AskDoctorDebt.com for helpful, free information on debt collection and their rights.

ACA International and its non-profit Educational Foundation proudly created AskDoctorDebt.com, a free consumer-focused resource in English and Spanish to answer questions about debt collection and consumer rights.  “Debt collection can be complex and confusing so we created AskDoctorDebt.com with straightforward information to provide consumers a tool they can trust without fear of gimmicks or being ripped off,” said ACA International Interim Chief Executive Officer Ted Smith.

According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of consumer debt in the United States now exceeds a record $2.45 trillion (with an average credit card debt per household of more than $16,007). Whether a mortgage, medical bill, student loan, or credit card debt, the repayment of consumer and business credit is vital to our economy.  “Uncollected debt has serious impacts such as the higher cost for goods and services, a reduction in available credit, and in far too many cases, causes an organization to fail.  When organizations fail, people lose their jobs,” said Smith.

Businesses from Main Street to Wall Street rely on the repayment of credit to pay rent, employees’ salaries, utilities, taxes, insurance, and all other business expenses. In all, companies write off an average of more than $152 billion in bad debts each year, of which third party debt collectors recover more than $52 billion dollars on their behalf.

According to Smith, “It’s not only the non-profit and private sectors that benefit from debt collection.  Federal, state, and local government also rely on the repayment of billions of dollars in delinquencies including uncollected court fees, unpaid taxes, library fines, and traffic tickets. Increasingly they are engaging third party debt collectors to recover these debts as a means to close budget gaps, reduce the need for future tax increases, and keep more money in the pocket of hard working American consumers and small business owners.” More than 40 states use third party debt collection, and in 2009 municipal governments reported $40 billion in uncollected debt placed with third party collectors for recovery.

“Harassment, threats and other illegal activity are unacceptable, and violators must be held accountable. Our members are working with regulators, Congress and state leaders to ensure a balanced debt collection system that protects consumers and allows the legitimate collection of debt to function,” said Smith.

ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, is the comprehensive, knowledge–based resource for success in the credit and collection industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together more than 5,300 members worldwide, including third–party collection agencies, asset buyers, attorneys, creditors and vendor affiliates. ACA International establishes ethical standards, produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, and articulates the value of the credit and collection industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers. For more information about ACA International, visit www.acainternational.org. For more information about ACA Education Foundation, visit www.acainternational.org/foundation.

CONTACT: Mark Schiffman, PR Director
Tel.(952) 259-2124 or schiffman@acainternational.org

CONTACT: Mark Schiffman, PR Director of ACA International, +1-952-259-2124, schiffman@acainternational.org

Web Site: http://www.acainternational.org

Zacks Crude Oil Highlights

Zacks highlights commentary from People and Picks Trader inthemoneystocks.

For more Voice of the People, visit http://at.zacks.com/?id=5851

Oil Fades as Panic Subsides

RELATED TICKERS: Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP), Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) and SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY).

Fear and panic have driven the oil market sharply higher over the last few days. Just last week crude oil was trading at $85 per barrel. Overnight, spot crude hit $103.00 per barrel. This massive spike was all on the back of unrest in the Middle East.

Libya is now in what appears to be a civil war but the biggest fear on Wall Street is whether or not it would spread to Saudi Arabia. There have been rumors, panic and much more but as of now, it seems it is subsiding. After hitting $103.00 overnight, oil has faded to the flat line on the day.

Oil stocks had jumped on the price spike in crude but are now falling sharply on its retreat. Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) is trading at $86.04, -1.03 (-1.18%) while ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is trading at $77.76, -0.81 (-1.03%). However, Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) is bucking the trend, trading at $103.15, +0.88 (+0.86%).

The markets are moving on the flat line today, very muted considering the risks and swings in oil. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSE: SPY) is trading at $130.92, -0.10 (-0.08%).

The markets will remain focused on oil and the Middle East. In addition, key economic data was released today. At 8:30am ET Jobless Claims were reported to have dropped 22,000 to 391,000. This was a slightly bullish number for the markets. However, Durable Goods minus Transportation fell 3.6%. Then at 10:00am ET New Home Sales were reported down 12.6%.

The markets will begin to look at economic news again, especially with the Non Farm Payrolls number coming next Friday.

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CONTACT: Brent Billock, People & Picks Manager of Zacks.com, +1-312-265-9307, pandp@zacks.com

Web Site: http://www.zacks.com

Real Estate: War Declared on Banks

Real Estate: War Declared on Banks

Real Estate: War Declared on Banks-Image via Wikipedia

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “we have had it with US banks and federal mortgage entities dumping their toxic Chinese drywall foreclosures on new unsuspecting home buyers in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia and Southeast Texas, with little to no disclosure. We do not think “As Is” is a disclosure when it comes to a toxic Chinese drywall foreclosure.” The group says, “Wall Street and US pension funds need to wake up. The big banks and federal mortgage entities are, and have been, bundling new loans involving toxic Chinese drywall home foreclosures, and then selling the securitized mortgage to really stupid pension funds, and how or why the SEC and the Justice Department have not gotten involved in this multi-billion dollar flim-flam leaves us baffled.” The group says, “however, if securities or shareholder law firms have an interest in bank shareholders or pension funds being swindled by bank executives selling what really are toxic mortgages, please feel free to give us a call. Time’s up.” For more information, interested shareholder law firms can call the Chinese Drywall Complaint Center anytime at 866-714-6466, or they can contact the group via its web site at http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com.

Quote startif securities, or shareholder law firms have an interest in bank shareholders, or pension funds being swindled by bank executives selling what really are toxic mortgages, please feel free to give us a call. Times upQuote end

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center is now formally accusing major US banks and major federal mortgage entities of reselling their toxic Chinese drywall foreclosures to unsuspecting new home buyers, and then securitizing the mortgage and selling it to Wall Street investors and/or pension funds, all with no disclosure. The group says, “note to US pension funds and Wall Street: we suspect you are already a major victim of major US banks or government owned mortgage operations selling you a securitized toxic Chinese drywall mortgage from Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia and Southeast Texas, and here’s the problem—as soon as the new buyer finds out the home contains toxic Chinese drywall, it’s a foreclosure all over again–your asset is worth zero.” They say, “and what happened to any accountability from whoever is bundling these toxic mortgages, giving them a triple A rating, and passing them off to an unsuspecting investor or pension fund? After the 2008 US mortgage-economic meltdown we are not just going to sit and wait for President Obama or his administration to say or do something anymore. Time’s up.” http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “the imported Chinese drywall disaster actually gets worse, for Wall Street. We think within a month or two we will be able to prove that publicly traded homebuilders or their mortgage entities knew about the toxic Chinese drywall disaster as far back as 2005, and most forgot to say anything to the innocent consumer, Wall Street, or the pension funds, that really were all on the receiving end of a toxic mortgage.” They say, “further, while the US Centers for Disease Control passed last week on any sort of formal testing of the long term exposure health issues related to toxic Chinese drywall, we are saying if gasses being emitted in these toxic Chinese drywall homes are corrosive enough to eat through a copper air conditioning coil or turn electrical wires black, it can’t be very good for someone’s health.” They say, “we are tired of getting the consumer calls every day and not being able to actually help them. We are super tired of federal agencies like the Justice Department, the US EPA, and the US Consumer Products Safety Commission miserably failing US citizens and taxpayers. We still can’t figure out why President Obama has failed to mention this disaster one time in public—-but we can’t wait anymore. Time’s up.” http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

The Chinese Drywall Complaint Center says, “in scope we think the toxic Chinese drywall disaster involves more homes than were involved in Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Ivan combined. We think there are toxic Chinese drywall homes in all 50 US states, and if anyone really wants to take a good look at what toxic Chinese drywall does to a home, visit our web site—this is everyone’s problem.” http://ChineseDrywallComplaintCenter.Com

Economy: Fed’s Numbers are Misleading

Economy: Fed's Numbers are Misleading

Economy: Fed's Numbers are Misleading-Image via Wikipedia

On yesterday’s nationally syndicated G. Gordon Liddy radio show, investment expert Kip Herriage revealed why the economy is worse than the government is letting on and what the average American can do now to prepare.

On yesterday’s nationally syndicated G. Gordon Liddy radio show, investment expert Kip Herriage revealed why the economy is worse than the government is letting on and what the average American can do now to prepare. Having been a highly successful Wall Street money manager and financial advisor for 15 years, Herriage knows fact from fiction. At the age of 37, he retired free and clear from the securities business to focus full time on leveling the playing field and making wealth-building knowledge available to everyone. “The inherent conflicts of interest on Wall Street make it virtually impossible for the average person to build any real wealth with traditional investments,” said Herriage, now CEO of Wealth Masters International and publisher of the Vertical Research Advisory investment newsletter.

A key point Herriage raised during yesterday’s live interview was that people need to educate themselves and think critically about the financial reports they hear from government officials and the mainstream media. He encourages the public to dig deeper into data like the Consumer Price Index and federal unemployment figures. “When you put a family’s real survival needs back into the equation, the dollar is steadily losing purchasing power,” Herriage asserts, “and the true unemployment rate is much higher than reported when you count the U6 metric that tracks folks who’ve been out of work or underemployed for more than a year.”

Along with other leading observers like Texas Representative and past presidential candidate Ron Paul – also a guest on today’s show – Herriage voiced concern that the government’s spiraling deficit spending and bailout policies will plunge America into a worse economic crash than the Great Depression. He recommends that everyone get ready now by becoming financially literate, reducing personal debt and adopting carefully researched contrarian investment strategies, rather than continuing to go along with the old investment paradigm. Wayne Allyn Root, a frequent guest host standing in for G. Gordon Liddy, is enthusiastic about Herriage’s message, saying, “Kip’s VRA newsletter is a must read for every saavy investor. Disregard it at your own peril. His mantra is my mantra. Kip Herriage’s newsletter is my financial Bible.”

Herriage follows up yesterday’s appearance on the G. Gordon Liddy show with a live interview on CBS radio later this week and is in demand around the world as a guest media expert, author and public speaker on entrepreneurship, economics, investment strategies and global financial policies. His latest book, Crashproof Prosperity, which outlines many of the subjects covered on this morning’s G. Gordon Liddy show, will be available in January, 2011 (http://wealthjournals.com/crashproof-prosperity.html). The G. Gordon Liddy show is heard in 150 markets and on Sirius and XM Satellite radio – program archives are available on the web at http://www.liddyshow.com/programhighlights.

About Wealth Masters International
Wealth Masters International is a Texas based L.L.C. who was incorporated in January 2005 and intends to take the company public within the next few years. They are in the forefront of promoting the greatest financial education that provides their members with a platform to securing life-changing wealth and lifestyle success.

Wealth Masters International markets to individual consumers looking for cutting edge, powerful solutions that assist them in every important area of their lives. In just a few short years, Wealth Masters has propelled itself as the leading company is its respected industry, due to their ability to combine both exceptions product utility with a Business Opportunity that is geared towards generating unlimited prosperity and financial freedom. Wealth Masters International has grown exponentially since their development four years ago, and they have been making a presence in the financial community and will continue to do so as they remain as the top tiered company in financial education.

Now is the time to join one of the fastest growing companies in the industry. Now is the time to actualize ultimate success in all aspects of your life with Wealth Masters International.

If you would like more information regarding this topic, please visit http://www.wmitoday.com or contact Wealth Masters International directly at (832)532-7655.

About Kip Herriage
Kip is best known as CEO and Co-Founder of Wealth Masters International, one of the world’s fastest growing financial education and consulting firms, with 35,000 members and operations in over 140 countries. He also publishes the acclaimed Vertical Research Advisory investment newsletter (http://www.vraletter.com). For 15 years, Kip was Vice President and money manager for one of Wall Street’s largest investment firms, successfully and ethically managing over $70 million in assets for high-net-worth clients.

Bad Home Loans Gamble Pays Off for Wall Street

Bad Home Loans Gamble Pays off for Wall Street

Bad Home Loans Gamble Pays off for Wall Street-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

With America’s current foreclosure crisis, Legal Vetting Inc. (http://www.legalvetting.org) is offering hope to troubled homeowners that were sold fraudulent, predatory loans when the lenders allegedly conspired with companies such as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and Goldman Sachs. According to Legal Vetting, these transactional parties were gambling all along that the loans would undoubtedly fail. The Philadelphia-based firm provides in-depth mortgage analysis to a nationwide network of lawyers and has already investigated over $600 million in foreclosure cases this past year.

Legal Vetting concentrates on analyzing the inaccuracies within the lending and securitization process, along with the ongoing involvement of transactional parties. “Goldman Sachs’ executives and others were secretly aware that the true value and quality of those loans were not as Goldman claimed. These lenders have orchestrated unjust enrichment to themselves with unclean hands by manipulating and falsifying their representations within the mortgage securitization process, breaching their fiduciary duty to the homeowner and committing fraud, which in turn has led to the cascade of mortgage foreclosures in this country,” said Blair Wright, the founder and CEO of the firm.

With over 26 years in the mortgage industry, Wright speaks from experience: “Legal Vetting’s primary argument is that the majority of this country’s foreclosures stem from loans that should never have been made in the first place. The lenders knew that Wall Street would ignore the abusive lending to hedge their bets. Goldman understood this and not only offered the mortgage backed certificates as a sound investment to their investors but secretly placed a $10 million bet that the mortgages would fail – and when the mortgages did fail, then the AIG policy would pay out $3 billion to Goldman. All in all, Goldman picked up $12.8 billion in six transactions from AIG from an estimated $50 million dollar investment. Most importantly, Goldman could not have made this money without the abusive predatory lending on the homeowner.”

According to Legal Vetting, the source of the current economic crisis was Wall Street’s unclean hands to produce profits from homeowners who were duped into defective mortgage products. “The American people will pay again, a second time, when the U.S. Government needs to cover the $182 billion paid out to AIG as a bailout, along with the $350 billion now needed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” said Wright.

Wright has positioned the Legal Vetting’s business model to identify lender fraud, pin-pointing documents that identify the conspiracy of the SEC Trust transactional parties, support the homeowner’s counter claims by providing this information to a team of independent litigators, who countersue the responsible parties for their unclean hands. Wright continued, “Wall Street could not have made their money without the homeowner, and it is this litigation support which allows the homeowner to stay in their home, and have an attorney pursue restitution for these atrocities.” Legal Vetting is currently operating in Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey and is planning the opening of offices in Georgia and California.

Legal Vetting’s platform provides the independent litigating attorney with all client care screening and support, along with the in-depth forensic auditing and organizing of the discovery and SEC documents, providing the specifics as identified and represented within the various counterclaims against the SEC transactional parties. The firm’s support staff maintains this information on a secure online legal network to ensure that legal expectations are met for both the homeowner and the litigating lawyer.

For more information, please contact:
Blair Wright
Legal Vetting Inc.
Telephone: 866.364.1399 ext. 750
Fax: 866.363.5877
Website: http://www.legalvetting.org

SOURCE Legal Vetting Inc.

Real Estate Appraisers Get Help from Federal Reserve

Real Estate Appraisers Get Help from Federal Reserve

Real Estate Appraisers Get Help from Federal Reserve-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced an interim final rule to ensure that real estate appraisers are free to use their independent professional judgment in assigning home values without influence or pressure from those with interests in the transactions. The rule also seeks to ensure that appraisers receive customary and reasonable payments for their services.

The interim final rule includes several provisions that protect the integrity of the appraisal process when a consumer’s home is securing the loan. The interim final rule:

*Prohibits coercion and other similar actions designed to cause appraisers to base the appraised value of properties on factors other than their independent judgment; *Prohibits appraisers and appraisal management companies hired by lenders from having financial or other interests in the properties or the credit transactions;

*Prohibits creditors from extending credit based on appraisals if they know beforehand of violations involving appraiser coercion or conflicts of interest, unless the creditors determine that the values of the properties are not materially misstated;

*Requires that creditors or settlement service providers that have information about appraiser misconduct file reports with the appropriate state licensing authorities; and

*Requires the payment of reasonable and customary compensation to appraisers who are not employees of the creditors or of the appraisal management companies hired by the creditors.
The interim final rule is required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Compliance will be mandatory on April 1, 2011. Public comments are due 60 days after the interim final rule is published in the Federal Register, which is expected soon.

Wall Street Reform Brings Flood of Federal Investigations

Wall Street Reform Brings Flood of Federal Investigations-Image via Wikipedia

When President Obama signed the Wall Street reform bill into law on July 21, he likely ushered in what might be called “the decade of the whistleblower”—an era marked by a flood of federal investigations sparked by bounty-hunting employees looking to cash in on rewards that, in some cases, could turn them into instant millionaires. Indeed, the Dodd-Frank bill became law just three months ago, but plaintiff’s firms already report an astronomical jump in calls from would-be whistleblowers, noted two LeClairRyan attorneys, who will explore the potentially far-reaching impact of the Dodd-Frank whistleblower provisions during an Oct. 29 webinar at www.LeClairRyan.com.

The free Webinar, which runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. EST, will be conducted by James P. Anelli, a veteran labor and employment attorney with decades of experience representing management, and Carlos F. Ortiz, a seasoned white-collar defense attorney who served as a federal prosecutor for more than 15 years. Both attorneys are shareholders in LeClairRyan, based in the firm’s Newark, N.J., office.

While the Dodd-Frank Act has been widely discussed, its extremely significant whistleblower provisions have gone nearly unnoticed, the attorneys said. And yet, under those provisions, whistleblowers that provide information that exposes SEC violations will get up to 30 percent of fines exceeding $1 million. “Bear in mind that recent fines involving violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have reached up to $100 million,” Ortiz noted.  “The fallout from these whistleblower provisions will be huge. This is an incredible incentive for employees who are looking to get rich to do all they can to gather information on, and report, potential violations by their employers. Why would they go through existing compliance hotlines when they can contact a plaintiff’s attorney and pursue such potentially lucrative payouts?”

Generally speaking, the scope of previous SEC whistleblower laws was limited to cases of insider trading. Dodd-Frank, which will be administered by the newly created Bureau of Consumer and Financial Protection, applies to all potential SEC and commodities-trading violations. For a variety of reasons, it will affect a broad swath of both private and public entities, Anelli noted. “In the old days, whistleblower laws applied to Wall Street traders using insider knowledge to swap ‘hot stock tips’ with each other, but the new framework is quite broad,” he explained. “It applies to virtually any company that deals with consumer credit, loans or property in any capacity, including mortgage brokers, financial advisors and credit-counseling services.”

During the webinar, Ortiz will describe the manifold ways in which public companies that do business overseas could be forced to deal with an upsurge in employee-generated complaints under FCPA. (The conduct of foreign intermediaries, for example, is already under close federal scrutiny.) But public companies are not the only ones that will be affected by the bounty-hunting provisions—their subsidiaries and privately-held competitors might also come under closer federal scrutiny.

“Let’s assume your company is privately owned and does business in Malaysia,” Ortiz said. “If your chief competitor in the market is a publicly-traded American company that, thanks to a whistleblower complaint, becomes the target of a federal investigation, the Department of Justice might launch a broader ‘industry probe.’  DOJ might say, in effect, ‘Now that we know Company X was bribing officials in Malaysia to get work, let’s investigate all of its competitors.'”

Moreover, Anelli added, the new whistleblower provisions apply to all of the subsidiaries of any public company. “A large public company might have 100 subsidiaries, and as long as the financial information of those subsidiaries is used in its consolidated financial statement, those entities are covered under this law,” he said. “The ‘Wall Street reforms’ actually have a reach that is far beyond the publicly-traded realm.”

How should companies protect themselves against bogus complaints filed by bounty-seeking employees? What specific practices and departments tend to be at highest risk of being cited for an SEC violation? How will the new anti-retaliation provisions—which include private causes of action for employees who suffer retaliation—affect the way managers should conduct themselves in the wake of a whistleblower complaint? During the webinar, Ortiz and Anelli will explore these and other questions. They will also offer advice on how companies can develop effective internal controls and document their efforts to maximize compliance.

The potential stakes, the attorneys note, are high: Federal enforcement actions have been increasingly aggressive in recent years, with approximately 150 companies already under investigation for FCPA violations and a growing number of individual executives being singled out for prosecution. “The reforms included a burden-shifting framework that is favorable to employees,” Anelli concluded. “Under this framework, employees in many instances will now be able to show that they meet the burden of proof that is required to recover their cut of the eventual fine. Because of the amounts involved, whistleblower cases are going to turn into big business for plaintiff’s law firms. As more whistleblowers start making big bounties—and headlines—the number of investigations will only grow. Careful preparation clearly is in order.”

To register for the webinar: (“Dodd-Frank Will Usher in the ‘Decade of the Whistleblower’ “) please visit https://leclairryanevents.webex.com. Registration deadline is 11:00 a.m. EST on Friday, Oct. 29.  HRCI credit for the webinar is pending

About LeClairRyan

Founded in 1988, LeClairRyan provides business counsel and client representation in corporate law and high-stakes litigation. With offices in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the firm’s nearly 300 attorneys represent a wide variety of clients throughout the nation.  For more information about LeClairRyan, visit www.leclairryan.com.

Available Topic Expert: For information on the listed expert, click appropriate link.

Carlos Ortiz

https://profnet.prnewswire.com/Subscriber/ExpertProfile.aspx?ei=95648

SOURCE LeClairRyan

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