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COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary GET COMBO TITLE AND SECURITIZATION ANALYSIS – CLICK HERE

EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS SUBMISSION FROM NJ CONSUMER IS A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO BREEZE THROUGH, BUT IT CONTAINS GOOD RESEARCH AND GOOD QUESTIONS.

At least one point emerging from all this information is that the basic concepts of default, performing loans and non-performing loans have been perverted by the securitization hoax. If Wall Street’s intention had been something other than deception, all of this would be clear as a bell. But what they were looking for was a way to take money from investors and not give it back, take houses from homeowners and not account for it, and take taxpayer money for losses than never occurred.

I have already written about the fact that the bonds given to the investors (actually non-existent, because they were “uncertificated”) contained vastly different parties and terms than the note signed by homeowners. There are several reasons this is important.

The investor/lenders are the only real source of funds and the only people who actually were at risk to lose money if they were not repaid. Somehow Wall Street managed to insert itself as a mere intermediary and actually claim the houses, the debts and force fees on both investors and homeowners that were improper, undisclosed, illegal and unconscionable.

For purposes the bailout, they took the investor loss and claimed it as their own, taking taxpayer money in the trillions to bailout their ailing enterprises. Most investors received nothing out of that money. And for sure, no borrower ever received a credit for money received on their obligation even though the government waived rights of subsrogation against the homeowner. So the debt was paid by the government and the borrower still owed it, making the obligation worth far more because it was being repaid several times over.

For all other purposes Wall Street took the loans receivables as their own without ever having advanced any money to the borrowers or to the investors for purchase of the obligation. In order to keep the investors placated they made sure the investors continued to get paid regardless of what was really happening with most of the money. They did this first, by using the investors own money to send them payments as though they were from borrowers. That is a fact and it is right in the prospectus of most “securitized” pools (which contain nothing of value).

They did the same thing with insurance, credit default swaps, cross-collateralization payments, over-collateralization payments, etc., and sold the same borrower obligation several times over (as much as 40 times over) by changing the apparent terms of the loan to look like another loan, or by covering the “sale” with language that made it look like a hedge product, like a credit default swap, synthetic CDO, or insurance. In each case, the money was received, sometimes courtesy of the U.S. Government, under an express waiver of subrogation, which means that the payor agreed that this payment ends the matter.

The loss was covered by an actual payment of money but neither the investor/lender nor the homeowner/borrower was ever given the information to allocate it to their bond or note or obligation. But so far, the Banks have succeeded in covering this up. So far, neither the investors nor the borrowers have fully realized that they are entitled to an accounting for ALL money transactions relating to the investors bond and the homeowners loan.

The reason is simple. As for the investor, they don’t want to pay the money to the investor and they don’t want the investor knowing how much money was made using the investor’s partnership (REMIC) in name only. As for the borrower, they don’t want the borrower getting credit for what the investor did or should have received as a result of the payments that were due under the bond. This would defeat the ability of the Wall Street to treat loans as being in default when in fact they were either paid in full or paid ahead.

Thus far, the banks have succeeded in directing the attention of the courts, the lawyers and the pro se litigants to the very narrow accounting provided by servicers as to the payments made by ONLY the borrower. When the time comes that the government payments, the insurance payments, the servicer payments, the counterparty payments, and the proceeds of other credit enhancements are taken into account, the picture will change. It will be obvious that virtually none of the amounts demanded in foreclosures, none of the amounts shown in the end of month statements on loans, and none of the distribution reports to investors were true, correct or even well-intentioned.  

by Consumer in NJ

Maybe you don’t understand the point of the cut/pasting of the original 11 bank credit facility who started this mess connecting Lawyers Title Corporation, LandAmerica, Commonwealth, TD Financial Services, etc.

In good faith, I’ll continue sharing good information. I’m a researcher not a blogger. I’m a consumer harmed finding loopholes that harmed the economy transaction by transaction. What are you doing in good faith? Anyone who is a consumer not a blogger who understand and wants to be the ghost writer fine meanwhile I’m not seeing in the bulic domain the information I’m sharing that is important to how the economy harmed by money laundering a crime against the nation collective acts intentional collaboration, collusion methodical movement of cash right out of the nation c/o Mortgage Servicers affilaites of national banks. Thank you Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Hawke, Duggan, and who is the new guy? .

You need an attorney who knows the law. How are you going to know if you have a good attorney? How will you ask educated questions if the attorney has fiduciary interests of others ?

RED FLAG, attorney who promises you a loan modification connected to REO Lender’s reo broker, lender, dealer agaent affilaite beneficiary of the subservicer, robo-mill default lenders ?

RED FLAG attorney who says you don’t have to pay anything upfront.

Foreclosure was scary until Foreclosuregate. What is scary now is what Congress and the President, has not done about the OCC and CFPA c/o Federal Reserve.

What you don’t understand will hurt you.

We all proved that we are stupid people who signed stupid contracts. The Court will say a prudent buyer beware.

Obligor (Seller of loan) on your behalf signed mortgage backed note separating at time of ‘purchase’ of financial product the note from the debt. The Servicer c/o Purchaser sold back servicing rights takes possession of pledged asset cash of promissory note borrower co-signed.

The Tempory Lender recorded as the only document ‘Mortgage/Deed of Trust’ proves we did not understand that the ‘TRUST’ Cash paid by Purchaser separated the Note and DEED at time of purchase of ‘mortgage’ a financial product placed into public domain.

Alert all you whippersnappers signing the same documents today, ask for access to all of the related governing agreements between Seller and Purchaser, Obligor, Beneficiary, etc.which were intentionally witheld by the Obligor from all who come before you. Make an educated decision that its ok your property deed and note are separated..

The Obligor has the OBLIGATION to pay all principal and interest payments on a debt. We are the debtor c/o Obligor who allowed affilaites as third parties to Sell Loans purchased by …

Because you did not seek a copy of the Obligor’s contract and Agreements Sale & Serive Agrement, Loan Purchase Agreement, etc., and now don’t care to review agreements available on the public domain SECINFO . Com, and FFIEC . GOV Federal Reserve System reveals how the money moves to/from Parent Chase Manhattan Corporation 1998, 1998 with entity – data processing servicer is the Federal Reserve System Classification – Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS). and all MERS Members then by default c/o FREDDIE MAC shareowner are ‘affiliates’ of national banks Mortgage Servicers (Norwest Mortgage, inc, Americas Servicing Co, Premier Asset Services, Wells Fargo Home MOrtgage, Chase Home Lending, GMAC Mortgage Corp of IA, ….
You don’t understand what I’m taling about. Sorry. Call be happy to help you understand what you don’t know that is harming you, your famaily, friends, neighbors, your municipality, your state and nation.

Keep complaining that you don’t understand. I won’t give up.
I don’t wany anyone to roll over and lose their home through ignorance for if you do you are part of the problem and allowing the perpetrators to continue harm the economy one mortgage at a time. ITts bad enough both Houses of Congress, The OCC, The Federal Reserve, 12 Federal Home Mortgage Loan Corporations, FHA, HUD, and they pulled over federal taxes from you for the Consumer Financial Protection Agency who all protect government interest of only GINNEMAE guaranteed loans and self interests of all private wealth institutional bankers and institutional investors. Do you think the FEDERAL RESERVE is the ‘Central Bank’? Nope sorry its not. Do you thing the FHMA lawsutis protect non-conforming loans NOPE does not.

In default, you do not lay down like a dog because your scared.
You don’t have to listen to some REO broker quick move into an apartment
Does the party standing before the court Plaintiff have the right as note holder in due course to take the property. That is all a foreclosure is.due to default (hardship) (loss of job) (sickness) (divorce) all the top 5 stressors in life. My intentions as a consumer harmed to help reveal the loopholes which harmed our economy.

The Agreements governing your mortgage did not start and stop the day you signed the mortgage promissory note.

By the way the Temporay Lender aka Seller of the Loan already authorized the loan and ordered the cash from a purchaser before you signed the promissory note. WHich means legally the loans was already signed and you are a what co-signor?

The harm to the economy methodical c/o money laundering. Corportions are perpetual entities, whose assets include, contracts, agreements, registration statements, T-1 Indenture, Trusts, etc., assets as receivables think of it like if you die and had money a house a busienss a car, another house, another buisness. How would the estate be assigned a value? The business a value? That may help you understand the one loan combined with all loans 2003-2008 which harmed the economy by laundering cash right under the noses of each federal regulatory agency c/o OCC.

2. Seller is sole owner of Loan
Seller has authority to Sell, transfer and assign the same …(see manual not attached)
Seller attests there has been no Assignment, sale or hypothecation thereof by Seller
except the usual hypothecation of the documents in connection with Seller’s normal banking transactions in the conduct of its business.

Hypothecation new word: (for me)

What Does Hypothecation Mean?
When a person pledges a mortgage as collateral for a loan, it refers to the right that a banker has to liquidate goods if you fail to service a loan.

The term also applies to securities in a margin account used as collateral for money loaned from a brokerage.

You are said to “hypothecate” the mortgage when you pledge it as collateral for a loan

New Word: Rehypothecation:
When a broker pledges hypothecated client owned securities in a margin account to secure a bank loan. Rehypothecation also known as a margin loan. Related terms (Banking, Brokers, Pledged Asset, Hypothecation.

Pledged Asset

What Does Pledged Asset Mean?
An asset that is transferred to a lender for the purpose of securing debt.

The lender of the debt maintains possession of the pledged asset, but does not have ownership unless default occurs.

A pledged asset is returned to the borrower when all conditions of the debt have be satisfied.

Home buyers can sometimes pledge assets, such as securities, to lending institutions in order to reduce the necessary down payment. Thus, these securities would not have to be sold in order to meet the down-payment requirements, allowing for any capital appreciation while maintaining the associate mortgage benefits.

Related terms Capital appreciation; Collateral; Default; Hypothecation, Loan, Mortgage, Rehypothecation …
Bonds, Fixed Income, Personal Finance

WHAT ABOUT ‘Sub-Sovereign Obligation – SSO”
What Does Sub-Sovereign Obligation – SSO Mean?

A form of debt obligation issued by hierarchical tiers below the ultimate governing body of a nation, country, or territory. This form of debt comes from bond issues and is issued by states, provinces, cities or towns in order to fund municipal and local projects.

Also referred to as a “municipal (muni) debt obligation”.

This form of debt obligation is commonly created by municipalities in order to meet funding requirements. Issuing bodies are responsible for their own debt issues, which can carry significant risk depending on the financial health of the municipality.

WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE ‘NIMS’ IN REMIS? Hmmm. Relate back to the ‘cash’ taken out of ‘TRUST’ custody of a pension fund or municipality, c/o Non-Deposit Trust Company Non-Member ‘cash’ purchaser ordered by ‘seller’ originator deposits ‘cash’ c/o depositor individual bank closing agent, …for a new Loan.
If existing loan is placed in default and not really paid off (during a refinance) there are a lot of ifs, but the loan can be placed in forced default over 90-120 days and repurchased depending upon ‘agreements. What does your agreement say? Read a simple one from 9/24/1998 re Countrywide Purchaser and E-Loans Seller (Originator). Google Purchase.
A debt collector robo-firm c/o subservicer instructed by Servicer c/o Investors/Owner of ‘mortgage note’ Pleged Asset

Trying to take your property. How? What in writing gives them the right to attach the debt to the Pledged Asset?
Master Servicer ‘agreeded’ in REMIC SERVICER who purchased servicign rights was in control after 90 days.

A 90 day default common for REMICS, there are other defaults that can occur between buisness entities seller and purchaser.

If mortgage affixed a MIN# that affiliate of a national bank’s Mortgage Servicer did not register transactions at RETAIL with County Clerk/Recorder because the ASSIGNMENT/Mortgage Promissory Note borrower signed with Temporay Lender is the Assignment, statutory taxes paid by borrower for credit line increase in a documented called a mortgage promissory note like an amendment to the exisint mortgage if a refiance – a loan modiifcation.

MERS MEMBERS by default are automaticfally affiliates of a National Bank’s Mortgage Servicer. Keep in mind the OCC since 2003 has protected all MERS MEMBERS c/o Federal Reserve private wealth managers who assigned visitorial powers c/o Supremacy Clause trump State Attorney Generals trying to enfoce laws can’t secure evidence related to any transactions ‘cash’ attached to ‘Mortgage Servicers affilaites of national banks. Chase Bank NA all MERS MEMBERS affiliates of natioanl banks Chase, Wells Fargo BanK NA, GMAC Bank c/o NASCOR dba Wells FArgo Asset Securities Corp. That is one joint venture governing loan originated c/o affiliates of these banks may do business in the names of these banks and the depositor ‘Wells Fargo Asset Securities Corp’….

Every rolling 12 month period, the ‘debt’ serviced, the servicer posts asset ‘receivables’ for 12 months…

Select Servicers maintain huge portfolios of many loans.
The servicer may have made an agreement to pay the P&I pending sale of REO property c/o subservicer for example GMAC Mortgage Corporation who will advance funding as a Tempoary Lender c/o REO Lender of Premier Asset Services affilaite – who is that? an affiliate of a Mortgage Servicer of a national bank, Welsl Fargo Bank NA. Hmmm.

You need to understand what was once illegible to me the agreements and decphier the relationship to secure evidence and to figure out if documents you have are accuate business statements you can pursue through the courts seeking disclosure of the agreements that govern the transactions.

if you want ‘evidence’ there is NO one answer fits all.

You each have a ‘Loan’ 0123456789 that went through an ‘origination’

During that origiantion, a purchaser and seller’ depending upon the governing agreement, exchanged cash. The written agreements provide the ‘agency’ authority. Look for your evidence. Look for loopholes. Find ‘evidence’ or you’ll lose.

Go back — go back — go back and find the original agreements.

1998 is a good place to start, when the integrated networks in place for Origiantions already existed and operating, over the CLOUD, portals connecting bank closing agents, title and settlement agents, MERS Members, TD Servicers, First America, Fideltiy, DocX, LPS, LSI, eLynx, etc., and all of the robo-firms in agreement with all the sub-servicers, servicers, ….

Example: Lawyers Title Services bank closing agents, title agenies, virtual notary services c/o title and settlemetn agencies, etc.

Select a simple one where you don’t have any paradigmns and read and you’ll understand better. Your preconceived ideas divert and hide the truth.

MERS exists c/o Chase Manhttan Corp as Parent of Mortgage Electronic Systems, Inc. Yes you read correct. What does that mean? The ‘joint venture’ between FREDDIE MAC, Chase, WFC, GMAC (private). The dollars ‘income’ flowed to Chase c/o Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.

All MERS MEMBERS by default ‘affiliates’ of national banks, federal associations, federal savings banks…..by 3/13/2000 when Financial Holding Companies now parent money flows through Federal Reserve System in light of day between ‘Real Estate Industry’, ‘Insurance Industry’ and ‘Banking Industry’.

Google Purchase Loan Agreement
Select
Example:
Loan Purchase Agreement
Countrywide Home Loans Inc.
E-Loans Inc.
9/24/1998

‘LOAN PURCHASE AGREEMENT’
9/25/1998
COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, INC, A NY CORPORATION AS ‘PURCHASER’ OF LOANS FROM E-LOANS ‘Seller’ Originator

E-LOAN, INC. A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION ‘SELLER’ OF LOANS

COUNTRYWIDE AGREES TO PURCHASE LOANS SECURED BY REAL PROPERTY WITH SERVICING OF THE LOANS FROM ‘SELLER’ E-LOANS

COUNTRYWIDE CORRESPONDENT LENDING DIVISION LOAN PURCHASE PROGRAM

PARTIES AGREE:Seller & Purchaser

“Related terms’ Collateral, Loan, Mortgage, Pledged Asset, Rehypothecation …

1. ELIGIBLE LOANS SELLER MUST BE APPROVED QUALIFIED AND/OR LICENSED TO ORIGINATE SUCH LOANS – so we can assume E-Loans has affiliates who are qualifed in all 50 states.

-Loans sold include
Conforming Conventional (GINNE MAE), Jumbo…not guaranteed by Ginne Mae,, Second Mortgage Loan Program (what is that resale of purcahsed loans after 120 days?), etc. Each defined with a unique set of rules.

GinneMae the only government guaranteed loans regulations govern conforming loanos conforming loans, and all non-conforming loans are considered Alt-A Loans (1) missing GSE requirement (no income verification). How do you know if your loan was conforming or not? Ask? Secure discover and find LPS ‘Non-Conforming’ printed on reports.

Whether conforming or non-conforming all of the loans from Sellter will be purchased by purchaser Countrywide in accordance with this Loan Purchase Agreement, and manual not attached herewith, that you get only if you are an affiliate, member, subscriber, vendors, servicer, whatever.

Have you read your agreements that govern the loan you signed as borrower? It was signed before you signed by the Seller who issued the insurance c/o Temporay Lender, the commitment to issue cash or accept cash, insurance for the event of a default. A default in some agreements may be the interest and late payment fee’ after 90 days if not paid places the loan in forced default. You know how they sent back checks for partial payments the servicer refused to take anything but the total amount owned? Why not take some? Because once 90 days in default, the loanos may be resold and repurchased.

Do you know what the Seller is responsible for? Look at a real agreement and look up the vernacular you don’t understand don’t apply what you think the work ‘lender’ and ‘temporary lender’ mean. And Pretender Lender is not a financial term. Temporary lender is a financial business entity role of some business entity who makes money in 3 different ways. Does not mean all Temporay Lenders do all that.

Countrywide Purchaser of Loans and E-Loans the Seller agree

1. Seller shall fully underwrite each Loan (prior to submission to Countrywide)

9/24/1998 Loan Purchase Agreement refers to ‘must use’ if avaialble’ a Countrywide-approved automated-underwriting system for underwriting the loan.

2. Commitment to Purchase Loaons
Seller may commit to sell a Loan to purchaser Countrywide (refer to manual we don’t have)

Countrywide will confirm conditions of sale of Loan to Countrywide, deliver confirmation Commitment to Seller, set for terms of transaction, Countrise ‘purchaser’ will pay for each Loan (refer to manual affects Purchase Price).

Terms of Commitment
Including Purchase Price Effective Period
Seller is approved by Countrywide to sell Loanos to Country wide on a bulk sale basis …
Countrywide and ‘Seller’ E-Loans shall execute Addendum to ‘Loan Purchase Agreement (BULK SALES) which will be attached and incorporated into this Agreement by reference (not attached).

Countrywide has right (BUT NOT OBLIGATION) to underwrite any Loan submitted for purchase

Seller’s repurchase obligations under Section 9 hereof… 270 days later…

Seller delivers to Countrwide appraisal of real estate security for each Loan
Appraisal signed by a qualified appraiser (see manual not attached) prior to Countrywides approval to purchase loan.

4. Delivery of Loan Documents

When is a loan deemed ‘delivered’ to Countrywide

A) if it is received by Countrywide within the Commitment Period

B) if Loan in compliance with Delivery of Closed Loans and Funding Documentation (see manual not attached)

C) Loan has no outstanding conditions that prevent Countrywide from FUNDING purchase. Example: failure to deliver within 120 days of Loan purchased (forward sold) any of the required documentation Countrywide Assessment fee of $50 per month after initial 120 day grace period. $50 if 1 or more documents.
Failure to deliver to Countrywide one or more of the original documents specified in Delivery of Closed Loans (see manual not attached) within 270 days from date the Loan was purchased by Countrywide shall obligate SELLER to repurchase Loan pursurant to Section 7 of this Agreement.

5. Payment of Purchase Price and Seller’s Wire Instructions
Countrywide Purchaser shall after receipt of loan documentation package TILA – HUD etc., deliver the Purchase Price (less any fees or discounts due to Countrwide)

Commitment to Seller
Seller’s wire instructions ‘Order Cash for Loanj0123456789;’ or in accordance with any bailee letter or trust receipt submittted with the Loan 01234567890 (all as determined in the ‘sole’ and ‘abosolute’ discretion of Countrywide.

6. Sellers Obligations, Representations & Warranties
Seller prepresents and warrrants each Loan offered for sale (purchase by Countrywide)

1 Loan documents duly executed by trustor/mortgagor
Loan documents acknowledged and recorded;

each Loan is valid
Each Loan complies with all cirterial (see manual not attached)
Note and Deed of Trust/Mortgage constitute4 entire Agreement between trustor/mortgagor and the beneficiary/mortgagee

There is no verbal understanding or written modification which would affect terms of note or deed of trust/mortgage

except by written instrument delivered

and expressly made known to the beneficiary/mortgagee and recorded if recording is necessary to protect interests of beneficiary/mortgagee.

2. Seller is sole owner of Loan
Seller has authority to Sell, transfer and assign the same …(see manual not attached)
Seller attests there has been no Assignment, sale or hypothecation thereof by Seller
except the usual hypothecation of the documents in connection with Seller’s normal banking transactions in the conduct of its business.

Hypothecation new word: (for me)

What Does Hypothecation Mean?
When a person pledges a mortgage as collateral for a loan, it refers to the right that a banker has to liquidate goods if you fail to service a loan.

The term also applies to securities in a margin account used as collateral for money loaned from a brokerage.

You are said to “hypothecate” the mortgage when you pledge it as collateral for a loan

New Word: Rehypothecation:
When a broker pledges hypothecated client owned securities in a margin account to secure a bank loan. Rehypothecation also known as a margin loan. Related terms (Banking, Brokers, Pledged Asset, Hypothecation.

Pledged Asset

What Does Pledged Asset Mean?
An asset that is transferred to a lender for the purpose of securing debt.

The lender of the debt maintains possession of the pledged asset, but does not have ownership unless default occurs.

A pledged asset is returned to the borrower when all conditions of the debt have be satisfied.

Home buyers can sometimes pledge assets, such as securities, to lending institutions in order to reduce the necessary down payment. Thus, these securities would not have to be sold in order to meet the down-payment requirements, allowing for any capital appreciation while maintaining the associate mortgage benefits.

Related terms Capital appreciation; Collateral; Default; Hypothecation, Loan, Mortgage, Rehypothecation …
Bonds, Fixed Income, Personal Finance

There are 2 defaults going on at the same time with Countrywide

Simple explanation provided by Investopedia

What Does Default Mean?
1. The failure to promptly pay interest or principal when due. Default occurs when a debtor is unable to meet the legal obligation of debt repayment. Borrowers may default when they are unable to make the required payment or are unwilling to honor the debt.

2. The failure to perform on a futures contract as required by an exchange. Investopedia explains Default

1. Defaulting on a debt obligation can place a company or individual in financial trouble. The lender will see a default as a sign that the borrower is not likely to make future payments. For example, if Company XYZ is unable to make a coupon payment on its bonds, the bondholders would place XYZ in bankruptcy. This would give the company an opportunity to claim XYZ’s assets as a form of repayment for the debt.

2. Defaulting on a futures contract occurs when one party does not fulfill the obligations set forth by the agreement. The default usually involves not settling the contract by the required date. A person in the short position will default if he or she fails to deliver the goods at the end of the contract. The long position defaults when payment is not provided by the settlement date.

 

AND the indictments start

“This will go on for a long time and a lot of people will be indicted,”

“The government continues to show that it simply doesn’t understand how this market operated,”
Editor’s Note: If you read this carefully, you get a flavor of how the derivative scam adventure involved everyone except its victims. Mind you, there is nothing wrong and probably everything right about derivatives. The problem is not the instrument, it is how it was used and who used it. Banks shouldn’t be allowed to underwrite, sell, trade and take investment positions contrary to the interests of the clients who buy those securities.  No trading in derivatives should be subject to the description “opaque debt investment. All trading needs to be transparent when it comes to underwriters. And complex derivatives should not be used as a cover for fraud.


Conspiracy of Banks Rigging States Came With Crash (Update1)

By Martin Z. Braun and William Selway

May 18 (Bloomberg) — A telephone call between a financial adviser in Beverly Hills and a trader in New York was all it took to fleece taxpayers on a water-and-sewer financing deal in West Virginia. The secret conversation was part of a conspiracy stretching across the U.S. by Wall Street banks in the $2.8 trillion municipal bond market.

The call came less than two hours before bids were due for contracts to manage $90 million raised with the sale of West Virginia bonds. On one end of the line was Steven Goldberg, a trader with Financial Security Assurance Holdings Ltd. On the other was Zevi Wolmark, of advisory firm CDR Financial Products Inc. Goldberg arranged to pay a kickback to CDR to land the deal, according to government records filed in connection with a U.S. Justice Department indictment of CDR and Wolmark.

West Virginia was just one stop in a nationwide conspiracy in which financial advisers to municipalities colluded with Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Wachovia Corp. and 11 other banks.

They rigged bids on auctions for so-called guaranteed investment contracts, known as GICs, according to a Justice Department list that was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on March 24 and then put under seal. Those contracts hold tens of billions of taxpayer money.

California to Pennsylvania

The workings of the conspiracy — which stretched from California to Pennsylvania and included more than 200 deals involving about 160 state agencies, local governments and non- profits — can be pieced together from the Justice Department’s indictment of CDR, civil lawsuits by governments around the country, e-mails obtained by Bloomberg News and interviews with current and former bankers and public officials.

“The whole investment process was rigged across the board,” said Charlie Anderson, who retired in 2007 as head of field operations for the Internal Revenue Service’s tax-exempt bond division. “It was so commonplace that people talked about it on the phones of their employers and ignored the fact that they were being recorded.”

Anderson said he referred scores of cases to the Justice Department when he was with the IRS. He estimates that bid rigging cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Anderson said prosecutors are lining up conspirators to plead guilty and name names.

“This will go on for a long time and a lot of people will be indicted,” he said in a telephone interview.

Bidding Encouraged

The U.S. Treasury Department encourages public bidding for GIC contracts to ensure that localities are paid proper market rates. Banks that conspired in the bid rigging for GICs paid kickbacks to CDR ranging from $4,500 to $475,000 per deal in at least 10 different transactions, government court-filed documents say.

A GIC is similar to a certificate of deposit, but its rates aren’t advertised publicly. Instead, towns rely on advisory firms such as CDR to solicit competing offers.

In the bid-rigging deals, CDR gave false information to municipalities and fed information to bankers allowing them to win with lower interest rates than they were otherwise willing to pay, the indictment says. Banks took their illegal gains from the additional returns and paid CDR kickbacks, according to the indictment.

Not Guilty Plea

Wolmark, 54, who was indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan on antitrust, conspiracy and wire fraud charges, to which he pleaded not guilty, declined to comment when reached by telephone at CDR’s office. Goldberg, who hasn’t been charged, declined to comment, says his attorney, John Siffert.

Court records in the broadest-ever criminal investigation of public finance shed new light on how Wall Street’s biggest banks were cheating cities and towns during the same decade in which they were setting the stage for a global economic collapse.

As the banks were steering the world’s financial system to the brink of catastrophe by loading more than $1 trillion of subprime mortgage loans into opaque debt investments, they were also duping public officials across the U.S.

Many of the same bankers and advisers who sold public officials interest-rate swap deals that backfired for taxpayers are now subjects of the criminal antitrust investigation involving GICs.

The swaps are derivatives designed to keep monthly interest payments low as lending rates change. Municipal- derivative units of the largest U.S. banks also sold the contracts, public records across the nation show.

Key Witness

Derivatives are financial instruments used to hedge risks or for speculation. They’re derived from stocks, bonds, loans, currencies and commodities, or linked to specific events like changes in the weather or interest rates. Options and futures are the most common types of derivatives.

A key witness in the government’s case is a former banker whom the government hasn’t named, according to a civil lawsuit filed by Baltimore, Maryland, and six other municipal borrowers against Bank of America, JPMorgan and nine other banks. The banker is providing evidence against his peers.

The witness, who was employed by Bank of America Corp. starting in 1999, has laid out the inner workings of the scheme in confidential meetings with investigators, according to the civil lawsuit.

Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has also been providing prosecutors with evidence since at least 2007. The bank voluntarily reported its own illegal activity and agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department’s antitrust division, according to a press release from the company.

Amnesty Agreement

In exchange, the government promised in an amnesty agreement not to prosecute the bank. Bank of America spokeswoman Shirley Norton in San Francisco said in an e-mail the firm is continuing to cooperate.

The banker who has been cooperating with the Justice Department said he overheard his colleagues change Bank of America’s bids after coaching from brokers or other banks bidding on the same deal, according to information that the firm provided to plaintiffs in the civil case filed by seven municipalities.

At least five former bankers with New York-based JPMorgan, the second-biggest U.S. bank by assets, conspired with CDR to rig bidding on investment deals sold to local governments, according to the Justice Department list now under seal.

At least three other former JPMorgan bankers are targets of the investigation, according to filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Six bankers with Bank of America, the biggest U.S. lender, are also named in the sealed Justice Department list as participants.

16 Companies

Eighteen employees at 16 other companies, including units of General Electric Co., UBS AG and FSA, then a unit of Brussels lender Dexia SA, are also cited as co-conspirators by the Justice Department, according to the list under seal. None have been charged in the case.

Citigroup spokesman Alex Samuelson, Dexia spokesman Thierry Martiny, GE spokesman Ned Reynolds, JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony, UBS spokesman Doug Morris, and Ferris Morrison, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo & Co., which acquired Wachovia in 2008, declined to comment.

Former CDR employees Douglas Goldberg, Daniel Naeh and Matthew Rothman, pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan in February and March to wire fraud and conspiracy to rig bids.

In October, CDR was charged with criminal conspiracy and fraud, along with Chief Executive Officer David Rubin, 48, vice president Evan Zarefsky and Wolmark. They pleaded not guilty. Rubin, who was also charged with making fraudulent bank transactions, faces as much as $3 million in fines and more than 30 years in jail if convicted.

No Law Broken

Rubin declined to comment in a telephone call.

“Mr. Rubin doesn’t think that CDR broke the law in any of these transactions,” said Laura Hoguet, his attorney in New York.

Daniel Zelenko, a lawyer for Zarefsky in New York, said he was confident his client will prevail at trial.

“The government continues to show that it simply doesn’t understand how this market operated,” Zelenko said in an e- mail.

During more than three years of investigation, federal prosecutors amassed nearly 700,000 tape recordings and 125 million pages of documents and e-mails regarding public finance deals.

$400 Billion

Municipalities and states raise $400 billion a year by selling bonds. They invest much of those proceeds in GICs, sold by banks or insurance companies. Those accounts hold taxpayer money and earn interest before public agencies spend it.

Banks and advising firms illegally siphoned money from taxpayers by paying artificially low interest rates in the GICs, the CDR indictment says. The money was intended to build schools, hospitals, roads and sewers and refinance higher-cost debt.

The bid-rigging schemes were orchestrated by CDR and other advisory firms, according to the indictment and the civil suits. Advisers are unregulated private firms hired by local governments to consult on public finance deals — and are almost always paid by the banks that arrange the transactions or manage the GICs.

Wilshire Boulevard

CDR, which was located on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California, during the transactions under investigation, has provided advice on more than $158 billion in public transactions since it was founded in 1986, according to its website.

CDR helped arrange deals in which financial firms took millions of dollars in profits from GICs, Bloomberg News reported in October 2006. Almost all of the deals were shams: As much as $7 billion in bond-issue proceeds were invested in GICs but never spent for the intended purpose of providing services to taxpayers.

CDR signed off on interest-rate swaps to municipalities, as banks took hidden fees sometimes 10 times as much as they charged on fixed-rate bond deals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. For the public, the swaps were fraught with risks.

In the past decade, banks have peddled swaps the world over, from Jefferson County, Alabama — which was forced to the brink of bankruptcy — to the hill towns of the Umbria region of Italy. Many of these swaps soured when the credit crisis began in 2007.

Getting Out

Dozens of municipalities have paid banks billions to get out of swap contracts. The agency that oversees the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge said it spent $105 million to escape its deal in July 2009.

“They were gouging the municipalities,” said retired IRS investigator Anderson, 59. “Beside the excessive fees, some of the swap deals just didn’t work. It was just awful. The same people were involved in the GIC end of the market.”

Bid rigging not only cheated cities and towns, it also illegally denied the IRS required taxes from GIC income, Anderson said. The evidence is clear in telephone recordings made on GIC desks, he said. “We could hear people talking about how everyone knew who was going to win the bid. You could tell it was just everyday business.”

The Securities and Exchange Commission is conducting a probe of bid rigging from its Philadelphia office that’s parallel to the Justice Department investigation.

More Probes

State attorneys general in California, Connecticut and Florida are also investigating. Bank of America, JPMorgan, Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE, and Zurich-based UBS have disclosed in regulatory filings that they may be sued by the SEC.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has raided at least two of CDR’s competitors, Pottstown, Pennsylvania-based Investment Management Advisory Group Inc., known as Image, and Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Sound Capital Management. Neither has been charged.

Robert Jones, a managing director of Image, declined to comment, after answering a call to the firm’s office. Johan Rosenberg of Sound Capital didn’t return calls seeking comment.

Tape recordings cited in a letter by Justice Department prosecutor Rebecca Meiklejohn show how those deals worked. In two GIC bids for the Utah Housing Corp., CDR’s Zarefsky advised an unidentified trader that his firm could lower its offer by “a dime,” or 10 basis points (a basis point is 0.01 percentage point).

‘A Couple Bucks’

The West Valley City-based housing agency accepted contracts with GE’s FGIC Capital Market Services division for 5.15 percent and 3.41 percent in 2001, public records show. Zarefsky didn’t return calls seeking comment.

“I can actually probably save you a couple bucks here,” Zarefsky told the trader, according to the letter citing the tape recording.

The Utah agency, which finances mortgages for low-income residents, didn’t know that financial firms were cheating it out of money that could have been used to help home buyers, said Grant Whitaker, who runs the agency. “It sounds like somebody got a better deal than we did,” he said in a telephone interview.

Such deals could produce large illegal profits by banks, said Bartley Hildreth, public finance professor at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta.

A New Wrinkle

“Just a basis point on many of these deals is tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.

This isn’t the first time Wall Street has faced accusations of reaping excessive fees on investment deals with public officials. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008, Merrill Lynch & Co. and other securities firms agreed by 2000 to pay more than $170 million to settle SEC charges that they had sold overpriced Treasury bonds to municipalities.

The so-called yield burning drove down the returns that local governments earned and trimmed required payments to the IRS. The firms neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.

Even as the banks were settling with regulators, they devised another way to burn yield, this time by skimming money from GICs, according to the indictment, which said the conspiracy went from 1998 to at least 2006.

In the lawsuit against Bank of America and JPMorgan filed in New York in June 2009, the city of Baltimore, two Mississippi universities and four other municipal borrowers say that bankers from those two companies colluded in bidding for GIC contracts in Pennsylvania.

Holiday Party

At a holiday party sponsored by advising firm Image at Sparks Steak House in Manhattan early in the past decade, the Pennsylvania deals were discussed by the Bank of America trader who is cooperating with prosecutors and Sam Gruer of JPMorgan, the civil antitrust lawsuit says.

The Bank of America trader told Gruer that he was happy that the two banks weren’t “kicking each other’s teeth out” on bidding for certificates of deposits for bond proceeds, the suit says. That information was provided by Bank of America to the plaintiffs.

Gruer, who was informed by prosecutors in 2007 that he was a target of the investigation, declined to comment.

Coaching a Bidder

The trader who is now a federal witness joined Bank of America after being recommended by Image, according to information that the bank turned over to the Baltimore-led plaintiffs. He was assigned by Phil Murphy, who headed the municipal trading desk, to be Bank of America’s point person for investment contracts bid by Image, the lawsuit says.

Image coached Bank of America in winning an investment contract in Pennsylvania, according to an internal e-mail exchange in May 2001 between Bank of America trader Dean Pinard and Image’s Peter Loughhead that was obtained by Bloomberg News. The e-mail was provided to Bloomberg by a person who got it from Bank of America and asked to remain unidentified.

Loughead, who ran bids for Image, advised Pinard on how much to offer for managing the cash fund for a $10 million bond issued by the sewer authority of Springfield Township, York County, 100 miles (161 kilometers) west of Philadelphia.

‘Don’t Fall on Any Swords’

Pinard said in the e-mail to Loughead that Bank of America was willing to pay the town as much as $40,000 upfront to win the deal. Loughead wrote that the bank didn’t need to pay that much.

“Don’t fall on any swords,” Loughead wrote to Pinard the day before bids were submitted. He suggested that the bank could win the contract with a bid of slightly more than $30,000. The next day, Bank of America offered $31,000. It won the bidding, authority records show.

Loughead didn’t return calls seeking comment. Pinard didn’t respond to telephone requests for an interview and no one responded to a knock on the door at his Charlotte home.

Image ensured that Bank of America would dominate GIC deals in Pennsylvania by soliciting sham bids from other banks to make the process look legitimate, according to testimony from the trader cooperating with the Justice Department.

Bank of America would return the favor to Image by submitting so-called courtesy bids at the adviser’s request, allowing JPMorgan to win some of the deals, according to information that Bank of America gave plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Switching Jobs

Bank of America has cooperated with the municipalities that were suing the bank as part of its 2007 amnesty agreement with the Justice Department.

Traders such as FSA’s Goldberg often had worked for several banks and insurance companies that had a role in GIC contracts, according to employment records with Finra, the self-regulator of U.S. securities firms. CDR employees went on to work in the derivative departments of Deutsche Bank AG and UBS, the records show.

Before joining Bank of America, Pinard, 40, worked at Wheat, First Securities Inc. in Philadelphia with two bankers who would later join Image, according to broker registration records.

“Few people understand this part of public finance,” Georgia State’s Hildreth said. “It is a very small band of brothers who know the market. So, of course, they are going to reap the benefits.”

34 States

For nearly a decade, CDR founder Rubin, Wolmark, and Zarefsky helped fix prices on investment deals that cheated taxpayers in at least 34 states, according to their indictments and records filed in the case.

FSA’s Goldberg, who received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John’s University in Queens, New York, worked with CDR employees on GIC deals, according to the indictment and public records. Goldberg worked from 1999 to 2001 at GE, which gets 35 percent of its revenue from financial services.

Goldberg was referred to only as “Marketer A” in the CDR indictment. “Marketer A” was then later identified as FSA’s Steven Goldberg in the Justice Department list of co- conspirators.

At GE, Goldberg worked with Dominick Carollo, a senior investment officer for FGIC, and Peter Grimm, who worked there from 2000 until at least 2006, according to court documents and public records. GE sold FGIC in 2003 to a group led by mortgage insurer PMI Group Inc.

Funneling Kickbacks

Goldberg and Grimm worked with CDR to increase their gains on GIC deals, according to the CDR indictment and conspirator list. Carollo left GE in 2003, joining the derivatives unit of Royal Bank of Canada. Grimm and Carollo didn’t respond to telephone calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Goldberg continued to participate in the conspiracy after he left for FSA in 2001 and used swap deals with Toronto-based Royal Bank of Canada and UBS to funnel kickbacks to CDR, according to the indictments and the Justice Department list of conspirators. Royal spokesman Kevin Foster said the company is cooperating the government.

FSA, Royal Bank of Canada and UBS all worked on public finance deals in West Virginia that prosecutors say involved bid rigging.

At least three times, Goldberg conspired with CDR to pick up deals with West Virginia agencies, according to a guilty plea by former CDR employee Rothman and other records filed in federal court in Manhattan. Among them was a $147 million investment contract with the West Virginia School Building Authority.

‘Raw Greed’

That state’s schools need every penny they can get, said Mark Manchin, executive director of the school authority. With 17 percent of West Virginians below the poverty line in 2008, the state was 45th among the 50 U.S. states, according to a 2009 Census Bureau report. Manchin said some students study in dilapidated, century-old buildings.

“It’s just raw greed at the expense of the most vulnerable,” he said in a telephone interview. “With deteriorating facilities all over the state, that money is what we use to build schools.”

Bank of America’s municipal derivatives division, which was formed in 1998, worked on the 14th floor of the Hearst Tower in Charlotte. The space was so tight that the banker who’s cooperating with the Justice Department said he could hear others in the office change their bids when they got word from financial advisers, according to information Bank of America gave Baltimore.

Bank of America’s Murphy told the banker helping prosecutors that Image would use sham auctions to steer deals to Bank of America if the employee told Image that he “wanted to win” and “would work with” Image, according to the civil suit filed by Baltimore. Murphy declined to comment.

Verbal Cues

They would use verbal cues to communicate. The banker would ask whether the bid was a “good fit” to get information on competing bids from Image. Sometimes Image’s Martin Stallone said Bank of America’s bids were “aggressive,” or too high, and had to be reworked.

At other times, Stallone would ask the banker to bid a specific number, according to the civil suit.

Stallone didn’t respond to messages left for him at work or to a list of questions faxed and e-mailed to Image.

Like Financial Security Assurance, Bank of America also paid kickbacks to brokers for their help in getting deals, according to the Baltimore lawsuit, which based its allegations on information provided by Bank of America.

On June 28, 2002, Douglas Campbell, a former municipal derivatives salesman at Bank of America, wrote in an e-mail to his boss, then managing director Murphy, that he had paid $182,393 to banks and brokers not tied to any particular deals.

‘Better Relationship’

Three payments totaling $57,393 went to CDR, which played no role in any transaction connected to that amount. A copy of the e-mail was contained in a North Carolina lawsuit filed by Murphy against Bank of America in 2003.

“The CDR fees have been part of the ongoing attempt to develop a better relationship with our major brokers,” Campbell wrote.

The bid rigging in GIC contracts has reduced public funding for schools and housing across the U.S.

“If this was going on in a small state like West Virginia, it must have been huge elsewhere,” the state’s Assistant Attorney General Doug Davis said.

To contact the reporters on this story: William Selway in San Francisco at wselway@bloomberg.net; Martin Z. Braun in New York at mbraun6@bloomberg.net

Last Updated: May 18, 2010 08:55 EDT

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