Tag Archives: documents

Holder says WikiLeaks under criminal investigation


(AP) – 54 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will prosecute anyone found to have violated U.S. law in the leaks of classified government documents by online whistleblower WikiLeaks, Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday.

“This is not saber-rattling,” said the attorney general, who declared that the Obama administration condemns the leaks.

Holder said the latest disclosure, involving classified State Department documents, puts at risk the security of the nation, its diplomats, intelligence assets and U.S. relationships with foreign governments.

“To the extent that we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law, who put at risk the assets and the people I have described, they will be held responsible; they will be held accountable,” Holder said at a news conference on another topic. He called the WikiLeaks probe “an active, ongoing criminal investigation.”

visit our website for radio show times: TheCollectorsCoach.com


Bank of America – BofA – halts foreclosures in 50 states!


lan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer, On Friday October 8, 2010, 3:01 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — A mushrooming crisis over potential flaws in foreclosure documents is threatening to throw the real estate industry into chaos, as Bank of America on Friday became the first bank to stop taking back tens of thousands of foreclosed homes in all 50 states.

The move, along with another decision on foreclosures by PNC Financial Services Inc., adds to growing concerns that mortgage lenders have been evicting homeowners using flawed court papers, without verifying the information in them.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp., the nation’s largest bank, said Friday it would no longer complete foreclosures in all 50 states as it reviews documents used to process foreclosures. That applies to homes that the bank takes back itself and those that it transfers to investors such as mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

A week earlier, the company had said it would only do so in the 23 states where foreclosures must be approved by a judge.

The bank did so in reaction to mounting pressure from public officials inquiring about the accuracy of foreclosure documents. A document obtained last week by the Associated Press showed a Bank of America official acknowledging in a legal proceeding that she signed thousands of foreclosure documents a month and typically didn’t read them. The official, Renee Hertzler, said in a February deposition that she signed up to 8,000 such documents a month.

A company spokesman, Dan Frahm, said the bank still believes its documents are correct but wants to satisfy officials’ concerns. “Our ongoing assessment shows the basis for our past foreclosure decisions is accurate,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who had called for such a suspension, applauded the bank “for doing the right thing by suspending actions on foreclosures while this investigation runs its course.” Also Friday, Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said he would hold a hearing on the issue next month.

“American families should not have to worry about losing their homes to sloppy bureaucratic mismanagement or fraud,” Dodd said. “Regulators at the federal, state, and local levels have a responsibility to uphold the law and protect consumers from unfair foreclosure, and lenders have a duty to not cut corners around the law.”

Banking and housing analysts, meanwhile, fear the foreclosure document problems could prolong the housing bust, and hundreds of thousands of inevitable foreclosures will be pushed off into some legal limbo for years.

“If you are looking at the key in this country to economic stability, it’s the housing industry,” said banking analyst Nancy Bush of NAB Research. “This is a huge mess that helps nothing.”

And some analysts feel that uncertainty about foreclosures could make potential buyers change their mind about purchasing foreclosed properties. That’s because of fears that the former owners will turn around and sue.

However, there could be a silver lining to the problem. A delay in foreclosures could actually prop up home prices in the short term because fewer low-priced homes would pour onto the market in the coming six months. When those properties ultimately do go up for sale, the overall economy could be in better shape, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics.

“The irony is, it may actually support the recovery,” Zandi said. “It may be that when those properties actually hit the market, the economy is in a better place,”

Also Friday, PNC Financial Services Group Inc. said it is halting most foreclosures and evictions in 23 states for a month so it can review whether documents it submitted to courts complied with state laws. An official at the Pittsburgh-based bank confirmed the decision on Friday, which was reported earlier by the New York Times. The official requested anonymity because the decision hasn’t been publicly announced.

PNC became the fourth major U.S. lender to halt some foreclosures. In addition to PNC and Bank of America, Ally Financial’s GMAC Mortgage unit and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have announced similar moves in the past two weeks.

AP Real Estate Writer Michelle Conlin contributed to this report from New York….go to original article.


In Disclosing Secret Documents, WikiLeaks Seeks ‘Transparency’.


WikiLeaks.org, the online organization that posted tens of thousands of classified military field reports about the Afghan war on Sunday, says its goal in disclosing secret documents is to reveal “unethical behavior” by governments and corporations.

Editors and reporters who worked on these articles will be answering questions about the coverage of the material.  Since it was founded in December 2006, WikiLeaks has exposed internal memos about the dumping of toxic material off the African coast, the membership rolls of a racist British party, and the American military’s manual for operating its prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

“We believe that transparency in government activities leads to reduced corruption, better government and stronger democracies,” the organization’s Web site says. “All governments can benefit from increased scrutiny by the world community, as well as their own people. We believe this scrutiny requires information.”

The trove of war reports posted Sunday dwarfs the scope and volume of documents that the organization has made public in the past.

In a telephone interview from London, the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, said the documents would reveal broader and more pervasive levels of violence in Afghanistan than the military or the news media had previously reported. “It shows not only the severe incidents but the general squalor of war, from the death of individual children to major operations that kill hundreds,” he said.