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Early last week, recently-appointed director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Melvin L. Watt, announced plans to keep GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac going strong. This new strategy is in stark contrast to the express goals of his predecessor Edward J. DeMarco, White House officials and other proposed legislation, such as the Housing Opportunities Move the Economy (HOME) Forward Act of 2014, that was aimed at dismantling the GSEs and shifting mortgage-lending…
Momentum in housing-finance reformation picked up speed last month as the House Financial Services Committee unveiled the proposed Housing Opportunities Move the Economy (HOME) Forward Act of 2014. The proposed HOME Forward Act was introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters, who stated that the Act provides “an opportunity to address some of the fundamental flaws of the current system, by ending the perverse incentives created by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s ownership structure and providing an…
SEC Chair Mary Jo White announced last week that the SEC is changing its protocol relating to admissions of guilt in settlements with wrongdoers in the securities markets. Historically, SEC practice was to settle cases against entities and individuals without requiring admissions of guilt. This was thought to promote swifter settlement of claims, payment of civil penalties, and removal of wrongdoers from positions of power in the market. Beginning in June of 2013, the SEC
Anyone with experience in the construction industry knows that form construction contracts are routinely used to memorialize agreements for the construction of new projects.  Standardized contract forms promulgated by various institutions are indeed an extremely valuable resource for architects, developers, contractors, and their attorneys seeking the most effective way to generate a written document that reflects all aspects of the parties’ agreement.  Whether in the construction industry in Miami or beyond, it is important…
On Tuesday, the United States Justice Department announced that it finalized a settlement agreement with JPMorgan Chase for $13 billion. This settlement will resolve a multitude of state and federal investigations into JPMorgan Chase’s sale of residential mortgage-backed securities to investors between 2005 and 2008. In addition to paying fines for securities violations, the proceeds from the settlement will be further distributed to compensate investors who relied upon representations made by JPMorgan Chase as to…
Under Threat of Having to Repurchase Thousands of Home Loans Sold to Freddie Mac Prior to January 1, 2009, Wells Fargo Agrees to Resolve all Remaining Claims in a Single $780-Million Cash Payment As of June 30 of this year, Wells Fargo & Co., this nation’s largest mortgage lender, had received demands to repurchase $1.4 Billion out of the $343 billion of residential-mortgage loans Wells Fargo sold to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae between…
Before Contracting to Lease Commercial Space, Be Sure to Protect the Property Against Potential Liens As multiuse high-rises and commercial buildings are once again springing up in areas of Downtown, Brickell, and Midtown Miami, restaurant, retail, and other commercial-use spaces continue to dominate the street-level landscape.  For developers and owners of these New Miami structures, the income from leases of ground-floor spaces is critical to the overall profitability of the building.  Chic restaurants, inviting cafés, and…
Lehman unsuccessfully attempted to consolidate repurchase claims Earlier this year, a United States District Court judge for the Southern District of Florida (Judge James Lawrence King) severed and dismissed 7 out of 8 mortgage repurchase claims filed by Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. against a residential mortgage originator because Lehman was attempting to demand the repurchase of 8 separate loans in a single complaint. Initially, the claims had been asserted in a single…