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Banker's Toolbox, Inc., leaders in compliance solutions for financial institutions, announced the acquisition of Georgia-based MainStreet Technologies (MST). MST is an industry leader in the loan risk management space. This acquisition adds to a strong and growing portfolio of compliance-related solutions and will continue to enhance the value Banker's Toolbox brings to both their customers and the industry. (Read full press release here.)

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April residential sales decline

HUD and the Census Bureau have jointly announced statistics on new residential sales for April 2019:

  • New Home Sales - Sales of new single-family houses in April 2019 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000. This is 6.9 percent below the revised March rate of 723,000 and 7.0 percent above the April 2018 estimate of 629,000.
  • Sales Price - The median sales price of new houses sold in April 2019 was $342,200. The average sales price was $393,700
  • For Sale Inventory - The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of April was 332,000. This represents a supply of 5.9 months at the current sales rate.


Former marketing officer jailed 70 months for fraud

Ataollah Aminpour, former chief marketing officer of now-defunct Mirae Bank (Los Angeles) was sentenced on May 20, 2019, to 70 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme that caused the Koreatown-based lender to issue more than $15 million in fraudulent loans, and ultimately caused the bank to suffer severe losses. Aminpour, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one felony count of making a false statement to a financial institution, was also ordered to pay $7,519,084 in restitution.

According to court documents, Aminpour held himself out as a successful businessman who could help people obtain financing for gas station and car wash businesses with little or no down payment. In some instances, Aminpour would identify a business for the borrower to purchase, and would negotiate the sales price. On the commercial loan applications that Aminpour would submit to the bank on behalf of the borrower, however, Aminpour would overstate the actual purchase price of the business, thereby causing the bank to issue inflated loan amounts that were not fully secured. For example, Aminpour made false statements to Mirae Bank in an application for a $4.2 million loan in connection with the purchase a car wash in Maywood. When he pleaded guilty, Aminpour admitted that, on the application, he falsely stated that the purchase price of the car wash was $6.65 million when the real purchase price was $3.25 million.

In his plea agreement, Aminpour further admitted that his scheme involved false statements in six loan applications submitted between November 2005 and February 2007 for loans totaling $16.7 million, and that losses on those loans exceeded $7.5 million. In addition to the loans charged as part of the fraud in this case, Aminpour referred approximately $150 million in loans to Mirae Bank, and the losses on those loans played a significant role in the bank’s collapse in 2009, according to court documents. The FDIC and Wilshire Bank, which acquired Mirae Bank’s assets from FDIC, together suffered more than $33 million in losses on the Aminpour-referred loans. Wilshire Bank was subsequently acquired by Bank of Hope.


Time to kick the NFIP can down the road again?

The National Flood Insurance Program is currently set to expire May 31, 2019, nine days from today. There are three bills in Congress to extend the program. Of those, H.R. 2578, sponsored by Representative Maxine Waters, has passed the House and has been placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. To plan next steps if the NFIP lapses before H.R. 2578 or another extension bill is enacted, review our December 31, 2018, Top Story.


OCC recommends central beneficial ownership data

Senior Deputy Comptroller for Bank Supervision Policy Grovetta N. Gardineer yesterday discussed efforts to protect the financial system from being misused for illegal purposes during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Gardineer specifically addressed the threats posed to our financial system by the use of shell companies and methods to better identify the true beneficial owners of assets.


$1.9M in HUD awards for public housing residents

HUD yesterday awarded an additional $1.9 million to the six public housing authorities and non-profit organizations IN Georgia, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Texas to hire or retain service coordinators to help residents find jobs and educational opportunities:


FTC rescinding several FCRA model forms

The Federal Trade Commission has published at 84 FR 23471 in today's Federal Register a final rule rescinding several Model Forms and Disclosures issued under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) that it has determined are no longer necessary. Given the CFPB's 2018 updates to its model forms and disclosures, the Commission determined that rescinding several of its model forms and disclosures would reduce confusion. The Commission also made conforming amendments to address references to the updated model forms and disclosures in related rules.

The amendments, which are effective today, remove current appendices A and D through H in 16 CFR part 698, redesignating current appendices B (Model Forms for Risk-Based Pricing and Credit Score Exception Notices) and C (Model Forms for Affiliate Marketing Opt-Out Notices) as appendices A and B. Today's final rule includes a table of rescinded 16 CFR part 698 appendices and the corresponding CFPB appendices taking their place.


Oklahoma tribe receives CU charter

Yesterday, NCUA Chairman Rodney E. Hood presented a federal credit union charter to the Otoe-Missouria Federal Credit Union in Red Rock, Oklahoma. As the first federal credit union chartered in 2019, the Otoe-Missouria Federal Credit Union will serve the approximately 4,200 members and employees of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe as well as 17 tribal-owned businesses.


OCC Spring 2019 Semiannual Risk Perspective

The OCC has posted its Semiannual Risk Perspective for Spring 2019. Highlights include:

  • Credit quality is strong when measured by traditional performance metrics, but successive years of growth, incremental easing in underwriting, risk layering, and building credit concentrations result in accumulated risk in loan portfolios.
  • Operational risk is elevated as banks adapt to a changing and increasingly complex operating environment. Key drivers for operational risk include persistent cybersecurity threats as well as innovation in financial products and services, and increasing use of third parties to provide and support operations that are not effectively understood, implemented, and controlled.
  • Compliance risk related to Bank Secrecy Act/Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML) is high as banks remain challenged to effectively manage money laundering risks.
  • Interest rate risk and the related liquidity risk implications pose potential challenges to earnings given the uncertain rate environment, competitive pressures, changes in technology, and untested depositor behavior.


Fannie and Freddie refinances increase

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 234,716 refinances in the first quarter of 2019. FHFA's first quarter 2019 Refinance Report also shows that 901 loans were refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), bringing the total number of HARP refinances to 3,495,296 since inception of the program in 2009. The Report also indicated:

  • Total refinance volume increased in March 2019 as mortgage rates fell in previous months.
  • The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell from 4.37 percent in February to 4.27 percent in March.
  • From April 2009 through March 2019, 2,919,583 loans refinanced through HARP were for primary residences, 110,922 were for second homes and 464,791 were for investment properties.


$5M from HUD for CO detectors

HUD Secretary Carson announced yesterday that $5 million will be made available for the purchase and installation of carbon monoxide detectors in public housing units where they are necessary through HUD’s Emergency Safety and Safety and Security Program. This is the first time HUD is targeting grants specifically for the purchase and installation of CO detectors.


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