California Reinvestment Coalition Recommendations on Updating the Community Reinvestment Act

Community reinvestment act 2

Fact Sheet: Community Reinvestment Act Recommendations

To truly meet community needs, CRC members believe the CRA should be improved and strengthened. In a recent survey, 100% of members said that the level of CRA activity in their community needed improvement and that there was considerable room for banks to do more.

CRC recommends that CRA be reformed so that:

1. CRA implementation encourages, not discourages, reinvestment in rural areas. California is home to numerous rural reinvestment deserts, where a lack of lending and investment prevents communities from thriving economically. And yet, many of these areas already have bank branches and are included in bank CRA assessment areas. Regulators subject bank CRA activity in these areas to a lower level of scrutiny, as banks are able to denote these areas as subject to only “limited scope” review. For example, Bakersfield, California, has numerous bank branches, and those banks have CRA obligations in the city. However, these same banks are examined for their CRA activity far more closely in other, more urban areas of the state. This creates fierce competition, for example, for housing tax credit deals in urban areas, while rural projects struggle to find financing. Instead, regulators should ensure that the banks with the largest deposits in a given MSA are subject to a full scope review in that MSA.

2. Regulators should encourage banks to develop transparent, multi-year CRA Plans that reflect significant public input and that include measurable goals, such as tying reinvestment activity to a percentage of bank deposits. Banks are supposed to help meet community credit needs. And in many bank merger applications, banks must demonstrate that the merger will provide a community benefit. The public input process is critical to this assessment.

However, community input has been diluted, and is not sufficiently sought and considered under current CRA implementation, as an example, very few mergers will even have public hearings. Mergers most often lead to diminished resources for communities as 1 + 1 rarely equals 2 in terms of reinvestment. That is why a comprehensive review of mergers is so important, complete with strong community input and mitigation of any harm the merger may cause in the form of decreased reinvestment or reduced access to banking services or branches.

Regulators should encourage CRA plans, particularly in the context of mergers that must show a clear public benefit to the community. Strong and meaningful CRA plans reflect community input about community credit needs, motivate banks by setting strong goals for lending, investment and services, and allow communities to work in partnership with banks to ensure that they are treated equitably and fairly by financial institutions. CRA plans are a best practice that have resulted in significant gains for communities in the past few years. Strong CRA plans can help demonstrate that a merger will have a public benefit.

3. Banks should be downgraded for causing, enabling, or financing harm in communities, taking into account discrimination, and equity stripping conduct and transactions that lead to displacement. The CRA calls for an assessment of how well or poorly a bank is meeting community credit needs. This analysis must include an assessment of fair housing and related factors. Regulators should conduct a comprehensive review of a bank’s community impact. Wells Fargo is but the most recent example to demonstrate that simply investing in the community is insufficient- banks must also not cause harm or break the law.

For a regulator to give a bank a passing CRA grade while the bank engages in discriminatory lending would be to endorse discrimination. Further, a high CRA rating for a discriminatory bank could result in consumers being directed to a bank with an inflated CRA rating, only for the bank to potentially overcharge the consumer or deny that person a loan. In this way, regulators would abuse the public’s trust in its ratings.

Bank regulators should consider expensive overdraft programs and excessive reliance on fee revenue generated at the expense of the most economically vulnerable consumers as a basis for downgrading a bank in a CRA service test evaluation. Similarly, banks should be downgraded for financing high cost, predatory lenders, and for contributing to gentrification and displacement. Banks should also suffer CRA rating downgrades as a result of any involvement in the REO to Rental craze, which results in first time homebuyers being outbid by cash investors, tenants being displaced by Wall Street landlords, and neighborhoods losing long term residents as well as racial and income diversity.

4. Encourages banks to open and maintain branches in LMI and rural areas. Bank branches remain a critical part of how banks serve communities, and inequitable distribution of branches must be considered as part of the CRA service test. Critically, regulators cannot allow the industry’s preference for technology to result in fewer branches and shrinking CRA assessment areas, footprints, and obligations in LMI communities. Additionally, many LMI neighborhoods and communities of color not only lack access to bank branches, but also to a wide range of banking products and services, including ATMs.  Regulators should analyze whether banks are meeting the banking needs of all communities in their assessment areas.

Regulators should also consider how banks can better reduce the number of unbanked or underbanked consumers within their assessment areas. Moreover, banks should quantify the extent to which LMI bank customers are able to keep their accounts open and in good standing over time, or if their customers are pushed out of the bank by overdraft fees or other barriers. Low cost bank accounts should be offered and accessible to LMI consumers, including through bank acceptance of municipal identification cards and other accessible forms of ID.

5. Assessment areas should include areas where banks have branches, or where a significant number of their customers and depositors live. Regulation has lagged behind market innovation. Requiring reinvestment only around retail branches makes much less sense today, when internet, credit card, and fintech banks operate nationally but reinvest only in Salt Lake City or another headquarters location.

Assessment areas should be expanded to include areas where a substantial portion of a bank’s depositors and borrowers reside. At the same time, banks should not be allowed to receive additional CRA credit for lending or investing outside of the bank’s CRA assessment area, beyond the accommodation made to banks by regulators during the last CRA Questions and Answers review. This will only lead to a dilution of investment in LMI neighborhoods that are most in need of reinvestment. The primary purpose of the CRA is to serve communities where the bank is doing business, not to encourage reinvestment where it is easiest to do. Banks should not be able to circumvent obligations to serve the communities in their assessment areas. The focus of bank CRA should remain on LMI individuals and communities.

6. CRA examinations should consider and reflect new small business lending data that the CFPB will be overseeing. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, prime job creators, and bulwarks of the community. Yet small business owners benefit from fewer protections than homeowners. HMDA data has been collected for years, and used to inform CRA examinations, without problem or incident. Small business owners should also benefit from a comprehensive and unified lending data collection system.

CRC members strongly support Congress’ charge in Dodd-Frank that §1071 small business lending data be collected in order to facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws and enable communities, governmental entities, and creditors to identify business and community development needs and opportunities of women-owned, minority-owned, and small businesses. Such data collection and dissemination will surely make affordable credit more accessible to all small businesses, and will inform CRA examinations.

A recent CRC survey of our CDFI, community lender and technical assistance provider member organizations revealed that small business clients still face discrimination; are pushed by banks towards higher priced credit cards; are frequently targeted for nonbank credit products (like Merchant Cash Advances), and are in need of greater access to affordable, safe, and transparent credit.

7. Banks serve all segments of the community, including the immigrant community. Banks can and should serve the immigrant community by directly providing loans and investments to immigrants, and by supporting community lenders and other organizations that serve the immigrant community. Immigrant community members have significant unmet credit needs, whether it is a safe place to save money, a loan to buy a house, purchase a car, start a businesses, or pursue a citizenship application.

Banks should ensure that employees represent the diversity of their service areas, and make translation, interpretation and related language access services available to all potential clients. Banks should make loans and investments accessible to all community members, and invest and support community lenders and other organizations that serve the immigrant community.

8. The bank examination process can be improved so that years do not go by after an examination before the pubic rating is released. The regulators should hire additional examiners and provide enhanced training to ensure that there is consistency in the examination process across agencies and examiners. CRC believes that a primary reason behind the delay in the public release of CRA ratings is the propensity of banks to challenge and appeal initial CRA ratings by regulators. This process should be reformed to limit the circumstances in which a bank can challenge a rating, and the public should be given an opportunity to comment on the appeal when a bank invokes this otherwise opaque process. It is of critical importance that regulators set high standards of review.

To make CRA meaningful, regulators have to end the long history of CRA grade inflation so that poor CRA performance will be reflected in CRA ratings. Streamlining the process while lowering the examination bar will only lead to less investment, more harm to communities, and potentially, to greater risk in the US financial system. We saw this happen in the years leading up the financial crisis, when regulatory agencies competed against each other to attract banks to their charters, fueling a regulatory race to the bottom, and leading ultimately to the failure of several savings and loans and the end of the Office of Thrift Supervision.

California Reinvestment Coalition Goes to Washington

Last week, members of the California Reinvestment Coalition traveled to Washington, DC, for the annual National Community Reinvestment Coalition conference.  The theme this year was “Creating a Just Economy.”

Keynote speakers during the conference included Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, CFPB Director Richard Cordray, Representative Maxine Waters who is Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee, Comptroller Thomas Curry, Senator Sherrod Brown who is Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, Mark Morial, CEO of the National Urban League, and John Taylor, president and CEO of NCRC.

There were a number of sessions focused on reinvestment, affordable housing, small business lending, home ownership, gentrification, economic development, CDFIs, community health benefit agreements, fintech, rural development, fair housing, the racial wealth gap, the Community Reinvestment Act, redlining, and more, including a session entitled “Defending the CFPB” that Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of CRC, moderated.

In addition to attending the conference, CRC members also met with members of the California Congressional delegation and with bank regulators and their staff as well.  During the meetings, CRC members shared what they are seeing from their work in communities, specifically around issues related to small business lending, affordable housing and economic development.

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The president’s so-called “skinny budget” proposal was one of several topics covered at the meetings, and more background about the additional issues is included below.


Budget Proposal Impact on California

HUD Budget 

Eliminates CDBG, reductions for key programs serving renters Loss of $357 million in CDBG funds for CA cities;

$130 million in HOME funds for new affordable housing; Thousands of tenants to lose rental assistance vouchers;

More costs for Medicaid as seniors move to nursing homes w/o Meals on Wheels;

Increased homelessness;



Fewer loans, less support for Small Biz Owners. There are 86 CDFIs in CA that made 39,000+ loans in FY 2016.

Legal Services Corporation


11 CA orgs. receive funding through LSC.

Small Business Administration

Prime program defunded; Microloan program frozen Less financing available for CA small businesses.



Will harm efforts at building assets, including for 1st time homebuyers, also negative impacts for affordable housing.
AmeriCorps Eliminated

Work on tax returns, literacy, emergency response, health, and economic development.


Community Reinvestment Act

This year, CRA celebrates its 40th anniversary. Because of the CRA, financial institutions are helping to meet important community credit needs and building consumer and community wealth, through small business lending, mortgage lending, affordable housing finance, community development activity and bank branch and account access.

  • California Reinvestment Coalition members and other community groups have recently negotiated win-win community commitments with a number of banks, including City National, Bank of Hope, Cathay Bank and Mechanics Bank.
  • But bank regulators need to be more rigorous and timely in their CRA and Fair Lending examinations of banks. Wells Fargo had not had a CRA rating made public in 9 years, and several banks, such as BancorpSouth and Evans Bank that received Satisfactory CRA ratings were later sued for redlining.
  • Regulators should encourage banks to develop Community Benefit Plan agreements with local community groups, and incorporate these agreements into any bank merger approval and subsequent CRA exams.
  • Regulators should also provide CRA downgrades to institutions that engage in discriminatory, unfair, or deceptive practices, or that finance the direct or indirect displacement of low and moderate income people and communities of color, or that finance lenders who make predatory loans in these communities. Banks must diversify management and staff, and develop robust supplier diversity programs.

Rural Communities

Rural communities in California face unique and significant challenges. Banks are well placed to help local communities develop and grow through home mortgage and small business lending, affordable housing investments and low cost accounts.

  • But nonprofit groups and even some banks report that banks only lend and invest in geographic areas that are subject to “full scope” regulatory review (via CRA exams),  that tend to focus on larger, urban areas, especially for the largest banks.
  • Bank regulators should expand the number of full scope areas for banks that are among the biggest depositories and lenders in smaller, rural communities. Branch closings, especially in rural areas, are also effectively limiting access to banking for consumers.

Protect CFPB

The Dodd Frank Act and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are the most effective and publicly popular responses to the financial crisis.

  • The CFPB has secured over $12 billion in consumer relief, more than all of the other, relevant federal agencies combined.
  • The CFPB developed common sense rules that brought order and transparency to mortgages (Qualified Mortgage and QRM rules, home loan modifications (servicing rules, including successors in interest protections), and the collection of home loan data (HMDA rule).
  • Additionally, CFPB enforcement actions have protected consumers and communities from unlawful lending discrimination and unfair and deceptive practices.
  • Importantly, over 1 million consumers (including over 118,000 Californians) have already taken advantage of the CFPB’s user-friendly consumer complaint database to file complaints -some telling their stories – to seek relief but also to inform other consumers and CFPB enforcement officers about problematic practices and actors.
  • The CFPB’s Director, structure and authority must be vigorously protected.
  • Important CFPB rules on payday lending, prepaid cards, mandatory arbitration, debt collection and small business loan data must be finalized and protected from repeal.
  • We also support the CFPB’s work on issues that have important impacts on consumers, ranging from student loans to credit reporting agencies to financing for cars.

Small Business Lending

  • Small business lending has increased since Dodd Frank Act, not decreased as some Dodd Frank critics have suggested. But small business loans are still less available in LMI neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color
  • And many small business owners looking for credit from banks are relegated to higher cost and variable rate credit cards, not term loans.
  • 95% of the small business loans in CA from JPMorgan Chase Bank are credit card loans. While credit cards serve a purpose, they can come with higher costs, variable rates and are not well suited for the longer term capital needs that many businesses have.
  • Dodd Frank Section 1071 data would bring much needed transparency into who is receiving small business loans- and who is not. In the same way that HMDA data created greater transparency in the home lending market, 1071 small business data will shed light on small business lending trends, highlight disparities, and likely lead to increased lending.
  • Fintech, online, and marketplace lenders can present opportunity, but some are clearly also creating harm. CDFIs and community lenders are spending precious capital and staff time refinancing small business owners out of predatory fintech loans and merchant cash advances.
  • An Opportunity Fund analysis of 150 “alternative loans” found an average APR of 94%, and among Hispanic borrowers, the average monthly payment was more than 400% of take-home pay.
  • Advocates are concerned about a weakening of consumer protection under any OCC national fintech charter which will lead to preemption of state laws, and are concerned that the OCC has not shown itself to be a strong bank regulator (see, Wells Fargo).
  • We join Congressman Cleaver in raising concerns that fintech lenders are violating fair lending laws by not making good credit available to neighborhoods of color, that fintech algorithms may be biased, and that predatory fintech loans are destabilizing small business owned by women and people of color. The CFPB and other agencies must vigorously enforce fair lending laws against predatory and discriminatory fintech lenders. Bank partnerships with fintech lenders must be thoroughly scrutinized to ensure fair lending and consumer protection laws are followed
  • In addition to bank and fintech loans, small businesses are vulnerable to high cost products like Merchant Cash Advance and installment loans that can financially sink business owners instead of helping them.


Home loans are hard to come by in neighborhoods of color. Banks are increasingly focused on making jumbo loans which disproportionately benefit white borrowers, while making fewer loans to Latino and African American borrowers, and abandoning FHA loans in favor of their own, unproven products, with less than impressive results.

  • Any future GSE reform must maintain a duty to serve communities and retain affordable housing goals. Currently, Fannie and Freddie need to be held accountable to meeting ambitious affordable housing goals, and should offer more flexible products to qualified homeowners.
  • We are concerned about a return to redlining, and hope to see DOJ, CFPB and HUD continue their important work in enforcing fair housing and fair lending laws.
  • HUD is currently investigating CRC’s first HUD redlining complaint (more information and graphs below), filed against OneWest Bank for having few branches and making few home loans in neighborhoods of color in six Southern California counties.
  • Given our aging population, increased oversight is needed in the reverse mortgage market to ensure that seniors are not taken advantage of by loan originators and servicers.
  • CRC is deeply concerned that seniors are continuing to lose their homes unnecessarily due to servicer bureaucracy, a lack of strong oversight of this industry by HUD, and a very limited infrastructure to help seniors and their families avoid needless foreclosures.  The elimination of funding for Legal Aid organizations will exacerbate this problem.

Affordable Rental Housing

California continues to suffer from an affordable housing crisis. The California Housing Partnership Corporation estimates that California needs 1.5 million affordable homes to accommodate the state’s lowest income residents.

  • Any HUD budgets cuts to key programs such as HOME, CDBG, Rental Assistance and Low Income Housing Tax Credits, could be devastating.
  • California nonprofit housing developers report that many investors, including banks subject to the Community Reinvestment Act, are pulling back from existing commitments in tax credit deals and attempting to renegotiate terms in light of pending tax reform. The result is fewer units produced and more subsidy coughed up at the 11th hour by desperate nonprofits who then must forego developer fees, and local governments which must contribute additional, unplanned subsidies.
  • Banks should receive CRA rating downgrades for such behavior as well as for seeking community development lending credit for loans that foreseeably lead to displacement of low and moderate income residents the CRA was meant to benefit.
  • CRC is deeply concerned about Fannie Mae’s recent commitment to guarantee up to $1 billion in debt backed by single family rental homes owned by private equity giant Blackstone.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must continue to invest in the National Housing Trust Fund and Capital Magnet Fund.
  • Importantly, HUD must continue to implement Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing obligations and assist local jurisdictions in meeting critical housing needs, fighting displacement and creating access to areas of opportunity for all.

Immigrant Access

The current political environment, with its changing policies and harsh rhetoric is threatening to drive immigrant communities out of the country, or out of sight. A recent CRC survey of confirms that many of our organizational members are seeing clients go underground, fail to show up for jobs, and forego access to needed services because they are concerned about ICE.

  • Bank regulators and banks should work together to clarify and simplify the privacy data rights of immigrants so they will not fear that banks will share their private data with the government.
  • Banks should also be encouraged to lend directly to qualified immigrant homeowners and small business owners who may have ITIN numbers, as well as invest in CDFIs and community lenders that make such loans.
  • For banks serving large immigrant populations, they should consider what information may be helpful to share with their customers about power of attorney and other bank access issues should a household member face deportation.

Payday lending

Payday lending continues to be a scourge on working families, charging 400% APR for short term loans that trap unsuspecting consumers in cycles of debt.

  • The CFPB has designed well considered and reasonable rules to protect consumers against abuses.
  • Federal intervention is needed as payday lenders and lobbyists have a stranglehold in Sacramento.
  • Banks should be incentivized to continue to develop small dollar alternatives to such products and to assist CDFIs and other community lenders that seek to fill this niche, and should also be penalized in their CRA exams for any financing to high-cost, predatory lenders.


According to the CFPB, the majority of overdrafts are on transactions of $24 or less and are repaid within 3 days or less. The CFPB calculated that with a median overdraft fee of $34, this is equivalent to a loan with a 17,000 APR.

  • It is telling that payday lenders defend their triple digit APR loans by saying consumers are merely making informed decisions to take out payday loans because they are less expensive than overdraft fees.
  • Banks continue to overly rely on overdraft fees as a source of fee revenue, to the detriment of their clients. CFPB rules on abusive overdraft policies are important, and all regulators should independently examine the impact of overdraft on bank customers, and work with their banks to end this product.


More on CRC’s Redlining Complaint Against CIT Group

Redlining Complaint Against OneWest Bank filed by California Reinvestment Coalition

Mortgage lending in 2015 (CRC)

The complaint alleges that OneWest Bank’s lending to borrowers in communities of color is low in absolute terms, low compared to its peer banks, and is lower than one would expect, given the size of the Asian, African American and Latino populations in Southern California.

Branch locations OWB

As part of the complaint, an analysis of the bank’s assessment areas found that OneWest has only 1 branch in an Asian majority census tract, no branches in African American majority census tracts, and 11 branches in Hispanic majority census tracts.

Branches in Asian, African American, and Hispanic majority trats (OWB)

While OneWest’s foreclosure record is not part of the redlining complaint, analysis by CRC and Urban Strategies Council found that OneWest was nine times as likely to foreclose in communities of color as compared to extending mortgage loans in communities of color.

OWB foreclosures vs originations

OneWest Bank Foreclosure Tracker: How Many Families Are Losing Their Homes?

Editor’s note: We have compiled much of the information below (and a whole lot more!) on our website:  Take a look and let us know what you think!

As we reported earlier, OneWest Bank has refused to disclose how many foreclosures it has conducted since purchasing IndyMac Bank in 2009.  Instead, the leadership of the two banks would like to continue processing foreclosures on US families, be reimbursed from the FDIC for doing so, and hope that nobody questions their foreclosure track record as they attempt to merge with CIT Group.

CRC and our members and allies remain hopeful the Federal Reserve and the OCC will require OneWest Bank to disclose this information to the public.

But, in the mean time, we are going to start posting OneWest foreclosure notices every day on our new OneWest Foreclosure Tracker. The bank has already foreclosed on tens of thousands of homeowners, but this tracker is starting from March 2015.

If you have a foreclosure notice with OneWest you’d like us to include, please email it to  We can also post pictures of a foreclosure notice in your local paper.  If it is a Financial Freedom (subsidiary of OneWest Bank) foreclosure, we will indicate that with red ink.  Homeowners, attorneys, and surviving spouses all testified about their nightmare experiences interacting with Financial Freedom at at Federal Reserve hearing that you can read about here: SURVIVING HEIRS TESTIFY ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH FINANCIAL FREEDOM AND ONEWEST BANK FORECLOSURES

OneWest Bank: Foreclosing on Families Across the United States

66. IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA CIVIL ACTION CASE NO.: 05-2014-CA-030380 DIVISION: ONEWEST BANK N.A., Plaintiff, vs. HIGHT, JOHN R et al, Defendant(s). NOTICE OF SALE PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 45 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN Pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated 7 April, 2015, and entered in Case No. 05-2014-CA-030380 of the Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Brevard County, Florida in which OneWest Bank N.A., is the Plaintiff and Courtney Page Hight, an incapacitated person, by and through, Pennie Page also known as Pennie Ann Hight, as Guardian, as an Heir of the Estate of John R. Hight also known as Johnny R.Hight, deceased, Tenant # 1 n/k/a Dorothy Wilkinson, Tenant # 2 n/k/a Paul Robinson, Tenant #3 n/k/a Julius Talpas, The Unknown Heirs, Devisees, Grantees, Assignees, Lienors, Creditors, Trustees, or other Claimants claiming by, through, under, or against, John R. Hight also known as Johnny R. Hight also known as John Robert Hight, deceased, United States of America, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, are defendants,

65. IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA CIVIL ACTION CASE NO.: 05-2013-CA-037292 DIVISION: ONEWEST BANK, FSB, Plaintiff, vs. FOWLER, CHARLES A et al, Defendant(s). NOTICE OF SALE PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 45 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN Pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated 8 April, 2015, and entered in Case No. 05-2013-CA-037292 of the Circuit Court of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit in and for Brevard County, Florida in which Onewest Bank, Fsb, is the Plaintiff and Barefoot Bay Homeowners Association Inc, Mark Charles Fowler, Pamela Spuller, The Unknown Beneficiaries Of The Fowler Revocable Living Trust dated Novemebr 29, 1995, The Unknown Successor(s) Trustee(s) Of The Fowler Revocable Living Trust Dated November 29, 1995, are defendants…


63. The Property is subject to that certain Deed of Trust dated 3/23/2006, recorded 3/27/2006, under Auditors/Recorder’s No. 4143966, records of CLARK County, Washington, and an agreement to modify the terms and provisions of the said Deed of Trust, dated 12112/2007 from LEONID KUCHEROV A MARRIED MAN, as Grantor, to FIDELITY NATIONAL TITLE, as Trustee, in favor of INDYMAC BANK, F.S.B., as Beneficiary, the beneficial interest in which is presently held by OneWest Bank, FSB. 1/ No action commenced by the Beneficiary of the Deed of Trust is now pending to seek satisfaction of the obligation in any court by reason of the Borrower’s or Grantor’s default on the obligation secured by the Deed of Trust.

62. STATE OF NEW MEXICO COUNTY OF BERNALILLO SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT No. D-202-CV-2013-06333 ONEWEST BANK, FSB, Plaintiff, vs. ADORACION ABRAMS, IF LIVING, IF DECEASED, THE UNKNOWN HEIRS, DEVISEES OR LEGATEES OF ADORACION ABRAMS, DECEASED, TYNA ABRAMS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA BY AND THROUGH THE SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, GE MONEY BANK, THE UNKNOWN SPOUSE OF ADORACION ABRAMS, IF ANY AND THE UNKNOWN SPOUSE OF TYNA ABRAMS, IF ANY, Defendants. NOTICE OF SALE Notice is hereby given that on June 11, 2015, at the hour of 10:00 AM, the undersigned Special Master, will, at the front entrance of the Bernalillo County Courthouse, at 400 Lomas Blvd. NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102, sell all of the rights, title and interest of the above-named Defendants, in and to the hereinafter described real estate to the highest bidder for cash.



59. OneWest Bank NA v. Rosetta A. Swainstonreal property;

58.  May 29, 2015 IN THE CIRCUITCOURT OF THE EIGHTEENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA CIVIL ACTION CASE NO.: 2015-CA-022533 DIVISION: ONEWEST BANK N.A., Plaintiff, vs. ANTHONY BASTONE , et al, Defendant(s)….YOU ARE NOTIFIED that an action to foreclose a mortgage on the following property in Brevard County, Florida

57.  Date Filed May 5, 2015 Case Number845101 Amount$83,481.34 Case Type Foreclosure Judge Judge J. Burnside Onewest Bank, NA 2603 Main St., Ste. 300 Irvine California 92614. Defendant: David Dove, et al. 1613 Plymouth Road Cleveland Ohio 44109

56. COUNTY OF MORRIS SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY Morris County Chancery Division SHERIFF’S SALE NO. 15000412 DOCKET NO. F-008435-12 PLAINTIFF OneWest Bank, FSB DEFENDANTS- Sue C. Roberts, her heirs, devisees and personal representatives, and her, their, or any of their successors in right, title, and interest;

55. Onewest Bank, address not shown, vs. Charles Landers, individually and as Trustee of the Landers Family Revocable Living Trust, 958 Hunters Lane, et al., default on note for $190,688.12 plus attorney’s fees, costs, etc.

54. NOTICE OF SALE UNDER POWER STATE OF GEORGIA COUNTY OF RABUN Under and by virtue of the power of sale contained with that certain Security Deed dated August 19, 2009, from Vaughan Watts and Nancy V. Watts to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. as nominee for Financial Freedom Acquisition LLC, A Subsidiary Of OneWest Bank, FSB, recorded on September 2, 2009 in Deed Book J-35 at Page 448, Rabun County, Georgia Records, having been last sold, assigned, transferred and conveyed to OneWest Bank N.A. (formerly known as OneWest Bank, FSB) by Assignment and said Security Deed having been given to secure a note dated August 19, 2009, in the amount of $750,000.00, said note being in default, the undersigned will sell at public outcry during the legal hours of sale before the door of the courthouse of Rabun County, Georgia, on June 2, 2015, the following described real property (hereinafter referred to as the “Property”):

53. 226 Valleyview Drive, Franklin, buyer: Onewest Bank NA, seller: York Trustee Services LLC, Jan. 15, price: $247,526.

52. PUBLIC AUCTION – FORECLOSURE SALE Docket No.: CV14-6041672S Case Name: Onewest Bank, FSB v. Bernice Sullivan, The Widow, Heirs, and/or Creditors of the Estate, et al Property Address: 410-412 Hollister Avenue, Bridgeport, CT Type: Residential Sale Date: May 9, 2015

51. OneWest Bank NA v. Constance A. Feeney, real property.

50. AustinTown Neighbors: OneWest Bank NA v. Joan L. Armstrong et al, foreclosure.

49. Bradenton Herald: Estate of Glenn P. Lefevre et al, $198,746, Onewest Bank FSB, 2013-CA-000985, online.

48. Bradenton Herald: Woltz Revocable Trust under Trust Agreement et al, $176,107, Onewest Bank NA, 2014-CA-004502, online.

47. Bradenton Herald: Terri Ann Allen et al, $155,887, Onewest Bank NA, 2014-CA-003793, online.

46. OneWest Bank NA v. Joan L. Armstrong et al, foreclosure.

45. STATE OF CONNECTICUT RETURN DATE: MAY 12, 2015 :SUPERIOR COURT ONEWEST BANK N.A. :JUDICIAL DISTRICT OF :STAMFORD-NORWALK V. :AT STAMFORD THE WIDOWER, HEIRS AND/OR CREDITORS OF THE ESTATE OF :MARCH 20, 2015 ANTOINETTE D. BALZARINI A/K/A ANTOINETTE DALE BALZARINI, ET AL. NOTICE TO THE WIDOWER, HEIRS, AND/OR CREDITORS OF THE ESTATE OF ANTOINETTE D. BALZARINI A/K/A ANTOINETTE DALE BALZARINI AND ALL UNKNOWN PERSONS, CLAIMING OR WHO MAY CLAIM, ANY RIGHTS, TITLE, INTEREST OR ESTATE IN OR LIEN OR ENCUMBRANCE UPON THE PROPERTY DESCRIBED IN THIS COMPLAINT, ADVERSE TO THE PLAINTIFF, WHETHER SUCH CLAIM OR POSSIBLE CLAIM BE VESTED OR CONTINGENT. The Plaintiff has named as a Defendant, THE WIDOWER, HEIRS AND/OR CREDITORS OF THE ESTATE OF ANTOINETTE BALZARINO A/K/A ANTOINETTE DALE BALZARINI, and all unknown persons, claiming or who may claim, any rights, title, interest or estate in or lien or encumbrance upon the property described in this Complaint, adverse to the Plaintiff, whether such claim or possible claim can be vested or contingent, if not living, as a party defendant(s) in the complaint which it is bringing to the above-named Court seeking a foreclosure of its mortgage upon premises known as 128 CRESTWOOD DRIVE, STAMFORD, CT 06905

44. Houmato Today:  Defendant: Harold Conn Jr; Plaintiff: Onewest Bank; Executory Process; $N/A; Entry#126934 on 3/4/2015.

43. Middletown Press: LEGAL NOTICE FORECLOSURE AUCTION SALE MMX-CV-14-6012706-S Case Name: Onewest Bank N.A. v. Kristen L. Johansen, et al Property Address: 10 Cedar Street Essex, Connecticut Property: Residential Date of Sale: May 9, 2015

42. Farmington Independent: MORTGAGOR(S): Mary A. Hansen, a single person MORTGAGEE: Mountain Pacific Mortgage Company LENDER OR BROKER AND MORTGAGE ORIGINATOR STATED ON THE MORTGAGE: Mountain Pacific Mortgage Company SERVICER: OneWest Bank N.A.

DATE AND PLACE OF FILING: Filed November 27, 2007, Dakota County Recorder, as Document Number 2557780
ASSIGNMENTS OF MORTGAGE: Assigned to: Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation, a subsidiary of IndyMac Bank, F.S.B.; thereafter assigned to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. Thereafter assigned to OneWest Bank N.A.

OneWest Bank, FSB v.  Stephen D. Metas, Known Surviving Heir of Antoinette Metas, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner, Theresa Ann Freda, a/k/a Theresa Ann Metas, Known Surviving Heir of Antoinette Metas, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner,  Unknown Surviving Heirs of Antoinette Metas, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner, Christopher W.S. Metas, Known Surviving Heir of Antoinette Metas, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner, and Stephen D. Metas, Known Surviving Heir of Antoinette Metas, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner…

40. Amittyville Record: Premises being foreclosed: 150 Scott Avenue Deer Park, NY 11729 ACTION TO FORECLOSE MORTGAGE ON PROPERTY SITUATED IN SUFFOLK COUNTY SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF SUFFOLK …………X OneWest Bank N.A. f/k/a OneWest Bank, FSB, Plaintiff, -against- Anna Lois Jones a/k/a Anna L. Jones and all the heirs at law, next of kin, distributees, devisees, grantees, trustees, lienors, creditors, assignees and successors in interest of any of the aforesaid defendants at law….

39. OneWest Bank NA v. Mary Sefner et al, foreclosure.

38. Onewest Bank v. unkown heirs, Mike T. Chytraus, Steve E. Chytraus, Elizabeth C. Nielson, Sudden Valley Community Association, United State of America, the state of Washington, occupants of the premises, foreclosure.

37. The Morning Journal: SHERIFF’S SALE OF REAL ESTATE Plaintiff: ONEWEST BANK N.A. Vs. Defendant: MICHAEL W. WILLIAMS, ET. AL. Case Number 14CV184651 Court of Common Pleas, Lorain County, Ohio In pursuance of an Order of Sale issued from said Court to me directed in the above entitled action, I will expose to sale, at public auction in the Commissioner’s Public hearing Room on the 4th floor of the Lorain County Administration Building, 226 Middle Ave., Elyria, Ohio on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 at 10:15 am or shortly thereafter the following described real estate

36. Asbury Park Press: Seized as the property of CARL GUNNAR SODERLING, ETC., ET ALS, and taken in execution at the suit of ONEWEST BANK, FSB, to be sold by Michael G. Mastronardy, Sheriff.

35. Daytona Beach News Journal: OneWest Bank NA v. Foye J. Hensarling, real property

34. Amityville Record: Date filed: 2/25/15 SUPPLEMENTAL SUMMONS Premises being foreclosed: 150 Scott Avenue Deer Park, NY 11729 ACTION TO FORECLOSE MORTGAGE ON PROPERTY SITUATED IN SUFFOLK COUNTY SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF SUFFOLK …………X OneWest Bank N.A. f/k/a OneWest Bank, FSB, Plaintiff, -against- Anna Lois Jones a/k/a Anna L. Jones and all the heirs at law, next of kin, distributees, devisees, grantees, trustees, lienors, creditors, assignees and successors in interest…

33. The Vindicator: OneWest Bank NA v. Mary Sefner et al, foreclosure.

32. Alachua County Today: ONEWEST BANK, FSB, Plaintiff, JOHNNY L. WATTS et al,Defendant(s). NOTICE OF SALE PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 45 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN Pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated 18 February, 2015, and entered in Case No. 01 2014 CA 000967 of the Circuit Court of the Eighth Judicial Circuit in and for Alachua County, Florida in which Onewest Bank, FSB, is the Plaintiff and Johnny L. Watts, Bertha L. Watts, United States of America Acting on Behalf of the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development,, are defendants, the Alachua County Clerk of the Circuit Court will sell to the highest and best bidder for cash in/on the lobby of the Alachua County Family/Civil Justice Center, 201 East University Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32601., Alachua County, Florida at 11:00AM on the 1st of May, 2015, the following described property as set forth in said Final Judgment of Foreclosure:

31. Daytona Beach News-Journal: OneWest Bank NA v. Jose A. Soto Rodriguez, real property

30. Daily Legal News: The Unknown Successor Trustees and/or Beneficiaries of the Kerver Family Revocable Living Trust dated February 22, 2002, whose last known address and present address are unknown, will take notice that on February 16, 2015, the undersigned, OneWest Bank N.A. c/o Financial Freedom, filed its complaint in the Court of Common Pleas, 1200 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113, of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, alleging that there is due the plaintiff the sum of $174,049.63 as of January 21, 2015, on a Home Equity Conversion Note secured by a mortgage deed of even date conveying the following described property to wit:

29. Daily Legal News: OneWest Bank, FSB c/o Financial Freedom, filed its complaint in the Court of Common Pleas, 1200 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113, of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, alleging that there is due the plaintiff the sum of $156,628.12 as of January 30, 2014, on a Home Equity Conversion Note secured by a mortgage deed of even date conveying the following described property to wit….Plaintiff further says that as the result of scrivener’s error and mutual mistake of fact between the parties thereto, the Granting Clause in the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage executed by the primary defendant does not contain the marital status of the mortgagor. Plaintiff is informed and believes that Marian Danzi was in fact unmarried at the time of the execution of the plaintiff’s mortgage. Because this mistake was the result of a scrivener’s error and mutual mistake of fact between the parties to said document, plaintiff is entitled to have the above described mortgage reformed to properly state “Marian Danzi, unmarried” in the Granting Clause of said mortgage. Plaintiff is further entitled to an order of this Court decreeing the property as described in Plaintiff’s mortgage be sold at Sheriff’s Sale.

28. Ashbury Park Press: Seized as the property of LANE A. CURTIS, ET AL, and taken in execution at the suit of ONEWEST BANK, FSB, to be sold by Michael G. Mastronardy, Sheriff.

27. Ashbury Park Press: Seized as the property of OSCAR C. CORLISS, ETC., ET ALS, and taken in execution at the suit of ONEWEST BANK, N.A., to be sold by Michael G. Mastronardy, Sheriff.


25. Ashbury Park Press: OCEAN COUNTY SHERIFF’S SALE By virtue of the above stated writ, to me directed, issued out of the SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, CHANCERY DIVISION Docket No. F02315713 will be exposed to sale at public venue on TUESDAY the 7th DAY OF APRIL, A.D. 2015 between the hours of 12 o’clock and 5 o’clock (at 2 o’clock) Prevailing Time in the afternoon of said day at the Office of the Sheriff, Toms River, Township of Toms River, County of Ocean, New Jersey.Seized as the property of PETER JOHN VAIRO, ETC., ET ALS, and taken in execution at the suit of ONEWEST BANK, FSB, to be sold by Michael G. Mastronardy, Sheriff.

24. InYork: OneWest Bank N.A. v. Aron Richter, Known Surviving Heir of Isabelle R. Hooper, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner, Jennifer Richter, Known Surviving Heir of Isabelle R. Hooper, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner, John C. Hooper II, Known Surviving Heir of Isabelle R. Hooper, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner, Unknown Surviving Heirs of Isabelle R. Hooper, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner, and Sheree Hooper, Known Surviving Heir of Isabelle R. Hooper, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner NOTICE OF SHERIFF’S SALE OF REAL PROPERTY TO: Jennifer Richter, Known Surviving Heir of Isabelle R. Hooper, Deceased Mortgagor and Real Owner Your house (real estate) at 3009 Faith Lane, Red Lion, Pennsylvania 17356 is scheduled to be sold at Sheriff’s Sale on June 8, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in the Sheriffs Office,York County Judicial Center, 45 North George Street, York, PA 17401 to enforce the court judgment of $139,995.17 obtained by OneWest Bank N.A. against you.

23. Eugene Weekly: ONEWEST BANK N.A., FKA ONEWEST BANK FSB, its successors in interest and/or assigns, Plaintiff, v. UNKNOWN HEIRS OF DOROTHY L. ROSDAHL; RICK R. ROSDAHL AKA RICK RAY ROSDAHL; DORA L. ROSDAHL;

22. Daily Legal News: 838024—Financial Freedom  OneWest Bank, N.A. vs. Lessie Curry aka Lessie Adams aka Lessie M. Curry, et al.

21. The Daytona Beach News-Journal: OneWest Bank NA v. Caryll A. Dunham, real property

20. Geuga County Maple Leaf: LEGAL NOTICE IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS GEAUGA COUNTY, OHIO 14-F-000733 – OneWest Bank, N.A., Plaintiff vs. Daniel J. Sitkowski, aka Daniel Sitkowski, et al., Defendants

19. Lincoln Journal Star: By virtue of an order of sale issued by the District Court of Lancaster County, Nebraska, and pursuant to a decree of said Court in an action therein indexed at Case No. CI 14-1881, wherein OneWest Bank N.A. f/k/a OneWest Bank, FSB, is the plaintiff, and Charlotte Haas, Personal Representative of the Estate of Merlyn D. Brindley, Deceased, the Estate of Merlyn D. Brindley, the Heirs, Legatees, Devisees, Personal Representatives,

18. Knoxville News Sentinel: Shapiro and Ingle LLP, substitute trustee, to OneWest Bank, on Belt Road, $97,956.

17. Bradenton Herald: Richard Rowe et al, $485,191, Onewest Bank FSB, 2009-CA-007878, online.

16. Bradenton Herald: Rann Family Revocable Living Trust April 24, 1992 et al, $361,574, Onewest Bank FSB, 2013-CA-000692, online.

15. Middletown Press Classifieds: LEGAL NOTICE FORECLOSURE AUCTION SALE Docket No: MMX-CV14-6011234-S Case Name: OneWest Bank, FSB, OneWest Bank National Association vs. The Widower, Heirs and/or Creditors to the Estate of Shirley J. Rasmussen Property Address: 9 Woods Lane Clinton, CT Property Type: Residential Date of Sale: Saturday, April 11, 2015…

14.  Daily Legal News: Financial Freedom: 837783—OneWest Bank N.A. fka OneWest Bank, FSB vs. Jennifer Gayle Arshenovitz aka Jennifer Arshenovitz, et al. The unknown heirs, devisees, legatees, executors, administrators, spouses and assigns and the unknown guardians of minor and/or incompetent heirs of Bernard Arshenovitz, the place of residence of each being unknown, will take notice that on December 22, 2014, the undersigned, OneWest Bank N.A. fka OneWest Bank, FSB c/o Financial Freedom, filed its complaint in the Court of Common Pleas, 1200 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113, of Cuyahoga County, Ohio….

13.  News Leader Online: CASE NO.: 13-CA-000530-AXYX DIVISION: ONEWEST BANK, FSB, Plaintiff, vs. CLEO G COURSON, et al, Defendant(s). NOTICE OF SALE PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 45 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN Pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated 2-10-15, and entered in Case No. 13-CA-000530-AXYX of the Circuit Court of the Fourth Judicial Circuit in and for Nassau County, Florida in which Onewest Bank, Fsb, is the Plaintiff and Dorothy Courson, Laura Gail Courson A/K/A Laura Gail Claxton, Nadine C. Courson, The Unknown Spouse, Heirs, Beneficiaries, Devisees, Grantees, Assignee, Lienors, Creditors, Trustees, and all other Parties claiming an interest by, through, under or against the Estate of Cleo G. Courson, Deceased….

12. SUBSTITUTE TRUSTEE’S SALE Sale at public auction will be on April 13, 2015 at 10:00AM local time, at the west door, Hamilton County Courthouse, 615 Walnut Street, Chattanooga, Tennessee, pursuant to Deed of Trust executed by John E. Clark, to Resource Real Estate Services, LLC, Trustee, on February 28, 2007 at Book GI 8266, Page 608; all of record in the Hamilton County Register’s Office. Party entitled to enforce security interest: OneWest Bank N.A, its successors and assigns 

11. Morning Sun Classifieds: FINANCIAL FREEDOM: MORTGAGE SALE – Default has been made in the conditions of a mortgage made by Shirley Henderson, fka Shirley A. Richardson, unmarried, original mortgagor(s), to Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation, a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB, Mortgagee, dated January 31, 2003, and recorded on June 10, 2003 in Liber 1170 on Page 295, and assigned by mesne assignments to OneWest Bank N.A. as assignee as documented by an assignment, in Isabella county records, Michigan, on which mortgage there is claimed to be due at the date hereof the sum of Seventy-Four Thousand Three Hundred Thirty-Six and 60/100 Dollars ($74,336.60). Under the power of sale contained in said mortgage and the statute in such case made and provided, notice is hereby given that said mortgage will be foreclosed by a sale of the mortgaged premises, or some part of them, at public vendue, at the place of holding the circuit court within Isabella County, at 10:00 AM, on April 16, 2015.

10. Orlando Business Journal: ONEWEST BANK N.A., Plaintiff, vs. BONITA B. BEAR AKA BONITA B. BAGGETT, et al, Defendant(s). ________________________/ NOTICE OF SALE PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 45 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN Pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated March 3, 2015, and entered in Case No. 35-2014-CA-001679 of the Circuit Court of the Fifth Judicial Circuit in and for Lake County, Florida in which OneWest Bank N.A., is the Plaintiff….

9. Daily Freeman Classifieds: SUPREME COURT – COUNTY OF ULSTER ONEWEST BANK, FSB, Plaintiff against CRAIG CRAWFORD, et al, Defendant(s). Pursuant to a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale entered October 17, 2013.

8. The Times-Picayune: Michelle Drive 38212: Onewest Bank NA to OWB REO LLC, $50,000.

7. The McLeod County Chronicle: FINANCIAL FREEDOM MORTGAGEE: Cornerstone Mortgage Co.
DATE AND PLACE OF FILING: Filed April 2, 2009, McLeod County Recorder, as Document Number A-382814
ASSIGNMENTS OF MORTGAGE: Assigned to: Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation; Thereafter assigned to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.; thereafter assigned to OneWest Bank, N.A.
– See more at:

6. Daily Legal News: FINANCIAL FREEDOM 833316—OneWest Bank, N.A. vs. Carol McNeil, et al.

The unknown heirs, devisees, legatees, executors, administrators, spouses and assigns and the unknown guardians of minor and/or incompetent heirs of Carol McNeil, the place of residence of each being unknown, will take notice that on January 29, 2015, the undersigned, OneWest Bank, N.A. c/o Financial Freedom, filed its second amended complaint in the Court of Common Pleas, 1200 Ontario Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113, of Cuyahoga County, Ohio, alleging that there is due the plaintiff the sum of $59,497.28 as of August 13, 2014, on a Home Equity Conversion Note secured by a mortgage deed of even date conveying the following described property to wit:

5. The Daytona Beach News-Journal: OneWest Bank FSB v. Georgette Derienzo, et al, 1150 Bryn Mawr Drive, Daytona Beach, single-family residence.

4. The Daytona Beach News-Journal: OneWest Bank FSB v. Stephen Perechodiuk, et al, 16 Oak Brook Drive, Ormond Beach, single-family residence.

3. COUNTY OF MORRIS SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY Morris County Chancery Division SHERIFF’S SALE NO. 15000105 DOCKET NO. F-35996-09 PLAINTIFF – ONEWEST BANK, FSB DEFENDANTS- EVA KELEMEN Writ of Execution. By virtue of the above stated Writ of Execution to me directed and delivered I will expose for sale at public vendue on Thursday THE 16th DAY OF April 2015 between the hours of two and five o’clock in the afternoon of said day, that is to say at 2:00 P.M.

V. CATHY Y. MORRIS, et al.
GIVEN pursuant to a Final Judgment of Foreclosure dated 10/5/10, and
entered in the Office of the
Clerk of the County of SUFFOLK, wherein ONEWEST
BANK, FSB is the Plaintiff
AL. are the Defendant(s). I,


Homeowner Testifies About Financial Freedom Runarounds, Red-Tape to Federal Reserve

The testimony of Jose Graulau, a surviving family member about the proposed OneWest and CIT Group merger is featured in its entirety below. If you were unable to attend the hearing, CRC live-blogged it here and you may also find our CIT Group/OneWest Merger resource page helpful as well. Pictures are available here.





My testimony is in opposition to the proposed merger of OneWest Bank and CIT Financial.

My name is Jose Graulau.  I live in the Bronx New York where I am an operating room coordinator for a large medical center.

I did everything in my power to satisfy the reverse mortgage on my mother’s duplex after her death.    I notified One West Bank (OWB) of my intentions in August 2013.

OWB did not respond to my letters or calls. One month later a foreclosure letter stated I had 30 days to repay the entire loan balance.

I reconsidered my intention to purchase and decided to sell the property instead.  I submitted a listing agreement.

On 12/31 (New Year’s Eve) AlState Process Servers claimed they were hired by OWB to investigate my family and wanted documentation of all known and unknown relatives, either alive or deceased, and those born in or out of wedlock.

I felt threatened.  In Jan 2014 I requested a Deed in Lieu wanting nothing more to do with OWB

On Feb. 6th a representative of OWB came to the door of the elderly tenant in the duplex, and told her “she shouldn’t be paying rent and should sue me.”

Feb 2013  I received 5 calls from “Mable” from OWB asking me for personal information for the Deed in Lieu.  She refused to send me anything in writing.

Finally, Mable told me if I didn’t give her the info she wanted she would terminate the process and let it go to foreclosure.

I told Mable “fine let it go”.

I was served with a foreclosure complaint on 3/16/2014.

I am not quite sure why OWB told me I had 30 days to repay the entire loan balance in  2013 and now 17 months later the property has not been foreclosed.

I assume OWB will at some point collect all the interest, legal fees and costs they have piled on to this property through a claim to the FHA insurance fund or the FDIC loss share agreement.

My testimony illustrates OneWest Bank’s violation of my right to purchase, sell or execute a deed in lieu of foreclosure, acceleration of foreclosure, refusal to provide a Single Point of Contact, and conduct a pattern of written and verbal harassment.

I request an Investigation, audit, and review of individual OWB Reverse Mortgage Loan Files for the servicing violations of Federal Regulations and consumer rights I have brought forth and to ensure compliance with existing laws and regulations. 

 Additional Information:

  1. The Single Point of Contact letter was sent many times. I never spoke to Luisandra Hart or any member of her team.  I never spoke to anyone with any authority or who knew anything about my loan file.
  1. The attached letters from me are a chronology of events with OWB. In my attempts to repay the loan.
  1. The response letter from FF/OWB acknowledges the actions OWB, the law firm Stein Weiner, Roth and AlState Process Servers. OWB denied my request for a DIL unless I went to probate.  OWB’s comment they would look into the contact with the tenant went nowhere.
  1. I was served with the family tree questionnaire 3 times 12/31/13, 2/21/14, and 2/17/15 .
  1. In July 2014 OWB notified me of force-placed insurance on the property in the amount of $2,465.55.

Community Leaders Hold Press Conference at OneWest Bank Headquarters

OneWest Protest Picture (3)

A large group turned out for press conference and rally today

Earlier today, Los Angeles Community leaders gathered in front of the headquarters of OneWest Bank to share new information about the amount of corporate subsidy OneWest has received from the FDIC.

We want a strong CRA plan

Namoch Sokhom from PACE

Community leaders and affected homeowners called on bank regulators to hold public hearings about the proposed merger of OneWest and CIT Group, and urged the bank leadership to implement a moratorium on foreclosing on widowed homeowners whose deceased spouses had reverse mortgages.

TARP bailout Checks

$2.3 billion in TARP for CIT + $2.4 billion in FDIC subsidy for OneWest. Almost $5 billion in subsidy for the two banks!

Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, comments: “Now we know why the bank CEOs refused to tell us how much they’ve received from the FDIC. This is an embarrassing amount of subsidy for the FDIC to give to the billionaire owners of this bank, especially when the bank leadership refuses to create a strong community reinvestment plan. Given this new information, the Federal Reserve must hold public hearings in Los Angeles. The community deserves an opportunity to give input on the outsized corporate subsidies, the ongoing enrichment of billionaire investors, and the lack of public benefit with this proposed merger.”

Don't be a grinch OneWest (Sandy)

Sandy Jolley speaks about reverse mortgage foreclosures

Sandy Jolley, a reverse mortgage consumer advocate who has worked with senior homeowners and their families who have been harmed by reverse mortgages, including some whose mortgages were serviced by Financial Freedom, a OneWest subsidiary. She spoke at the conference today, explaining: “It’s been a busy holiday season for OneWest Bank, with at least three different cases of the bank moving to foreclose on seniors and widows, including a 103-year-old. Today, we’re calling on the bank CEOs to stop playing Grinch and to implement a moratorium on foreclosing on widowed homeowners.”

Stop foreclosing on seniors

Paulina Gonzalez, executive director at CRC

Paulina Gonzalez, executive director at the California Reinvestment Coalition commented: “An estimated 35,000 California families have been hurt by OneWest foreclosing on them during the past six years. As these middle class and working class families lose their homes, the FDIC has been writing checks to the billionaire investors who own OneWest. Is this really how it’s supposed to work?”


Orson Aguilar, executive director at Greenlining Institute

“The last thing California needs is yet another too-big-to-fail bank for the one percent, but that’s exactly what we’re going to get if this merger goes through as planned. Our diverse state deserves better” said Orson Aguilar, executive director of the Greenlining Institute.

Santa delivers message

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Additional Background: Representatives from the following organizations attended the press conference and rally:

  • The California Reinvestment Coalition,
  • Valley Economic Development Center (VEDC),
  • East LA Community Corporation (ELACC),
  • Montebello Housing Development Corporation,
  • Greenlining Institute,
  • ACCE,
  • PACE,
  • Affordable Housing Services,
  • Occupy Our Homes,
  • Occupy Fights Foreclosure, and
  • The Multi-Cultural Real Estate Alliance for Urban Change

A CIT Group/OneWest Proposed Merger Resource Page on the California Reinvestment Coalition website includes additional information about the proposed merger and why over fifty organizations are currently opposing the merger, urging the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to hold hearings, and calling on the bank to stop foreclosing on widowed homeowners.

Community Members have 6 Big Problems With OneWest and CIT Group Merger

Have you heard about the proposed bank merger of OneWest (former IndyMac) and CIT Group?

Over fifty organizations OPPOSE the merger, citing a long list of concerns to the regulators who are reviewing the proposed merger.  You can read more about their concerns here: 50 Organizations Oppose Too Big To Fail Bank Merger in California

Here’s what community leaders have said about the CIT/OneWest, Too Big To Fail merger thus far:

1) Harmful foreclosures, including on seniors with reverse mortgages

OneWest, and its subsidiary, Financial Freedom (reverse mortgage servicer) have foreclosed on tens of thousands of foreclosures, hurting homeowners and destabalizing communities.  Worse, it’s highly likely that the bank is being reimbursed by the FDIC as these mortgages go into foreclosure.

Sandy Jolley, a reverse mortgage consumer advocate who has worked with senior homeowners and their families harmed by reverse mortgages, raised the issue of harmful foreclosures on seniors by OneWest at an EGRPRA meeting earlier this week with top regulators, including the Comptroller of the Currency, Thomas J. Curry; Kay Kowitt, the Deputy Comptroller for the Western District, Martin J. Gruenberg, Chairman of the FDIC; Barry Wides, Deputy Comptroller for Community Affairs, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and Maryann F. Hunter, Deputy Director, Division of Banking Supervision and Regulations, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and others.

She comments: “I’m interested to see how regulators will address harmful products and practices (like reverse mortgages) in the context of measuring whether or not banks are meeting community credit needs.”

Here’s two recent stories about OneWest foreclosing on three  seniors with reverse mortgages:

From American Banker: HECM Non-Borrowing Spouses Renew Class Certification Attempts:

One, Janice Cooper, is a 73-year-old federal government retiree in Southern California with severe heart disease. She also requires the assistance of a registered service dog. Her only income comes from Social Security and does not know where she will live if the foreclosure goes through, according to the court filing.

The other, Ernestine Harris, is a longstanding plaintiff in AARP Foundation litigation against HUD. She is 65 and legally blind, according to a declaration filed by her attorney, J. Rachel Scott.

From CBS Dallas Fort Worth: 103-Year-Old North Texas Woman Fights To Keep Her House

Now OneWest, which is based in California with a small office in Dallas, is attempting to foreclose on Lewis’ home after she accidentally allowed her insurance to lapse, a violation of the loan agreement.

Daniel Rodriguez, director of the community wealth department at East LA Community Corporation explains: “Regulators missed their opportunity to prevent banks like IndyMac from making predatory mortgages, and communities throughout Los Angeles were destabilized as a result. The regulators have an important opportunity with this merger to protect homeowners from further preventable foreclosures.”

Kevin Stein, associate director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, suggests the regulators take a closer look at OneWest’s foreclosure record as part of the merger approval process: “Thousands of seniors and other homeowners have been hurt by OneWest, and counselors throughout California have rated it as one of the worst servicers in the state. This merger is an opportunity for regulators to review the bank’s record, audit their practices, and ensure that additional homeowners weren’t harmed by practices inconsistent with their loss share commitments.”

2) Bank’s Community Reinvestment Record is Weak 

Kevin Stein associate director at the California Reinvestment Coalition, explains that CIT Bank is a poster child for banks trying to circumvent the requirement to reinvest in their communities. CIT Bank accepts deposits from communities around the US ($14 billion worth in the case of CIT Bank), but only reinvests the money in Salt Lake City, Utah, near its headquarters:  “CIT Bank accepts $14 billion in deposits from around the US (via the Internet), but gets away with only reinvesting that money into communities near its Salt Lake City headquarters.”

Michael Banner, Chief Executive Officer, of Los Angeles LDC, comments: “While its peer banks have 30% of their branches in our communities, only 15% of OneWest bank branches are located in low and moderate income census tracts. If OneWest is serious about this merger moving forward, we would suggest it take a reality check and look at what its peers have accomplished as benchmarks for the many areas where it can improve.”

Roberto Barragan, president of Valley Economic Development Corporation, comments: “Here’s two banks that wouldn’t be alive without the support of taxpayers and bank regulators, and yet, they’re not willing to outline a strong plan of reinvesting in the communities where they do business? Until they are willing to come to the table with the community, this is a no-brainer for regulators. No public benefit means no merger approval.”

3) OneWest originates a low number of loans to Asian Homeowners 

Hyepin Im, president and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development comments: “Our communities are particularly concerned about the low level of mortgage lending by OneWest as compared to its peers. According to 2013 HMDA data, for the industry as a whole, 16% of mortgage loans in California went to Asian borrowers. In comparison, only seven percent of OneWest’s mortgages went to Asian borrowers. Regulators should take a close look at OneWest’s record in light of this proposed merger.”

4) The FDIC is providing ongoing Corporate Welfare to the Billionaire Owners of OneWest Bank

When the billionaire owners of OneWest Bank purchased the bank, they secured a lucrative “shared loss” agreement from the FDIC, meaning the FDIC is help covering the cost of soured loans that were originated by IndyMac Bank.

Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition comments: “Shared loss agreements are meant to protect our entire financial system, not to facilitate the enrichment of a few private investors who stand to gain immensely from this merger, while communities are left behind. Although the Loss Share Agreement may have been appropriate during the time of the financial crisis after IndyMac failed, the transfer of the Shared Loss Agreement to CIT Group as part of this proposed merger serves no public purpose or government interest, and only enriches investors. ”

5) On Creating another Systemically Important Financial Institution (Regulator Speak for Too Big To Fail)

“We don’t need another bank that is too big to fail,” said Michael Banner, Chief Executive Officer, of Los Angeles LDC. “We need to make sure that OUR communities don’t fail, by putting protections in place that insure improved access to capital to Main Street businesses and economic development projects that create much needed jobs and revitalize those communities that were hardest hit by the Wall Street induced financial crisis.”

6) No Clear Public Benefit from this Merger

“We see there are two sets of rules for Wall Street and Main Street,” comments California Reinvestment Coalition Executive Director Paulina Gonzalez. “Bank CEOs and investors will potentially ‘earn’ millions from this merger, despite no clear community benefits from the merger, and despite the fact this merger dramatically increases risks for the US financial system. Americans who are working two or three jobs to keep their head above water will have a hard time understanding how bank regulators would approve a merger that includes a plan for exorbitant executive salaries and planned corporate tax breaks and no guarantees of a clear public benefit.”

Kevin Stein, associate director at the California Reinvestment Coalition, adds: “CIT wants regulatory approval to buy OneWest, which will bring expected corporate profits, billions for investors, and millions for bank executives.

It also wants:

  1. To not to have to pay back $2.3 billion in TARP money it received from the US Government;
  2. To take advantage of merger’s expected profits and use tax gimmicks to lower its IRS bill;
  3. To have the FDIC agree to cover certain future losses; and
  4. To not offer a meaningful plan to serve and reinvest in the community.

Has a merger ever had so much public subsidy, so much private gain, and so little public and community benefit?”

If you’re concerned about this merger, please consider taking a few minutes to send an email to the regulators that will be making the decision about it.  You may receive a response that your “email isn’t timely.”  That’s okay.  It’s still important for regulators to hear from consumers and communities that will be impacted by this merger.  If you’ve had experiences with OneWest or Financial Freedom, please add that information in your message.  Here’s the link to send a message to the bank regulators:

Tell Bank Regulators: We need Public Hearings in LA on the OneWest and CIT Group Bank Merger


How to Update the Community Reinvestment Act


Today, the three primary bank regulators are holding a meeting in Los Angeles, focused on identifying regulations that are outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome. The meeting is being held as part of the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act of 1996 (EGRPRA). Bank regulators are looking to balance regulatory burden with their duty to ensure the safety and soundness of the financial system.

The invited panelists on the first three sessions at the meeting are bankers. The fourth session includes representatives from community-based organizations who will speak about updating regulations like the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

Community panelists are expected to speak about issues including:

  1. Updating regulations to respond to new technologies and practices;
  2. Transparency with bank CRA plans;Public benefit (or lack thereof) as a result of bank mergers;
  3. Fair housing and credit issues; and
  4. Grade inflation with CRA exams, with 96% of banks receiving a “satisfactory” or higher rating since the inception of the CRA, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Kevin Stein, associate director at the California Reinvestment Coalition, one of the community speakers, explains:

“This may be one of the few times when we agree with the bankers in the room- at least on a few points. The CRA is outdated, doesn’t reflect current bank practices, and fails to protect consumers and communities. As an example, CIT Bank accepts $14 billion in deposits from around the US (via the Internet), but gets away with only reinvesting that money into communities near its Salt Lake City headquarters. CIT’s proposed merger with OneWest Bank also raises questions about public benefit with bank mergers, regulator transparency, and serving community credit needs.

Regulators should update the CRA to address Internet deposits and their corresponding assessment areas, improve CRA exams to also account for harmful banking practices (for example by giving banks negative CRA credit), and should increase transparency into bank CRA plans and bank mergers so the public can provide meaningful input.”

Sandy Jolley, a reverse mortgage consumer advocate who has worked with senior homeowners and their families harmed by reverse mortgages, is attending the event and adds: “I’m interested to see how regulators discuss harmful products and practices (like reverse mortgages) in the context of measuring whether or not banks are meeting community credit needs.”

Sasha Werblin, economic equity director with the Greenlining Institute, also a panelist, explains: “Regulators must develop better methods for involving the public in analyzing how banks serve consumers. One immediate way to do this is for regulators to hold public hearings before every significant bank merger. Hearings would ensure that regulators and the public have a dialogue about how banks operate for the public benefit, community credit needs, and banking practices that help — and hurt — consumers.

Edmundo Hidalgo, president and CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa, a panelist on the consumer panel, comments on the impact when banks leave communities: “As banks have left, our communities have been flooded with high-cost “alternatives” that are far more expensive and risky for consumers. Regulators should start by focusing on the extent to which banks are culpable for the expansion of fringe lenders like payday lenders, whether through their abandoning low-income communities, or in some cases, providing cheap financing to companies who extend high-cost, dangerous credit products like car title or payday loans.”

Additional Context:

In September, the three bank regulators (FDIC, OCC, Federal Reserve) asked for public comment on proposed changes to the Interagnecy Questions and Answers Regarding Community Reinvestment. The California Reinvestment Coalition provided suggested improvements, CRC’s full letter can be viewed here.

A July 2014 report from the Congressional Research Service cites some of the long-standing concerns community advocates have had with the CRA, including grade inflation because regulators look to a bank’s peers instead of looking at a community’s needs when judging a bank’s CRA record. Report: The Effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act