MBS RECAP: After Green Binge, Bonds Take "Sick" Day

For the bond market St Paddy’s day was a 2 week celebration of “green” (as in the color of price gains or falling yields on trading terminals) beginning on March 4th.  Eight More »

Lori Loughlin left out of new Hallmark poster after college admissions scandal

Downloads AOL App Discover AOL MyBenefits ID Theft Protection Travel Tips Games Favorites Maps PC Checkup Secure PC Live Help Share Lori Loughlin has been erased from the Hallmark series “When Calls More »

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MBS RECAP: After Green Binge, Bonds Take "Sick" Day

For the bond market St Paddy’s day was a 2 week celebration of “green” (as in the color of price gains or falling yields on trading terminals) beginning on March 4th.  Eight of those 10 business days saw yields move lower with last Friday marking the 2nd lowest closing levels in well over a year.  

It’s only natural for bonds to need a bit of a break after all that partying.  They joined plenty of other revelers who may have had too much green recently in taking the day off today.  Granted, there wasn’t any sort of official market closure, but it would have been hard to notice if there was!  Volume was in line with the lowest levels of the year for a full business day and volatility was nowhere to be found.

The absence of volatility is a victory of sorts, considering yields are so close to long term lows and that the stock market broke above a key ceiling to make solid gains on the day.  

Participation, volume, and volatility are all expected to increase into (and especially after) Wednesday’s FOMC Announcement.

Article source: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/blog/904903.aspx

Lori Loughlin left out of new Hallmark poster after college admissions scandal

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Lori Loughlin has been erased from the Hallmark series “When Calls the Heart.” 

The western drama series featured Loughlin in a big part as the town mayor.

The show is a huge hit for the channel, with millions of devoted fans who call themselves “Hearties.” When Hallmark announced last week they were severing ties with Loughlin and halting all production of any shows and movies she was a part of, those fans were devastated. 

The Hearties took to Twitter, bombarding the producers to keep the show on the air and it worked.

“‘When Calls the Heart’ has always been bigger than the sum of its parts, and it has not been canceled,” the producers said in a statement. “With the full support of the network, we have gone on a creative hiatus to do some retooling on the remaining season 6 episodes.”

The producers also posted a series of images on Instagram over the weekend assuring fans the show would go on.

The episodes have already been filmed and edited, and now the plan is to cut Loughlin out.

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Selection committee doesn’t heed N.C. Central’s request to avoid Duke, Zion Williamson

On Saturday, North Carolina Central beat Norfolk State in the MEAC championship to earn a third straight NCAA tournament bid.

After the win, head coach LeVelle Moton immediately recognized his team’s likely fate as a No. 16 seed and had one request for the selection committee — anybody but Zion.

N.C. Central coach: Anybody but Zion

“Some coaches will say ‘We’ll take on anyone. We’ll be ready,’” Moton told reporters. “But I don’t want any part of playing Duke. Us playing against Zion [Williamson] would be like my 6-year-old son playing against me.”

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The selection committee did not heed his wish. The Eagles drew a First Four matchup against fellow No. 16 seed North Dakota State on Wednesday.

Their reward if they win? A matchup with the tournament’s No. 1 overall seed Duke in the East region.

No. 16 North Carolina Central: 9999/1 odds

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No. 16 Prairie View AM: 5000/1 odds

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No. 16 North Dakota State: 5000/1 odds

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No. 16 Gardner-Webb: 5000/1 odds

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No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson: 5000/1 odds

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No. 15 Bradley: 5000/1 odds

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No. 15 Prairie View AM: 5000/1 odds

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No. 13 Vermont: 2000/1 odds

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No. 16 Iona: 2000/1 odds

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No. 15 Colgate: 2000/1 odds

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No. 14 Yale: 1000/1 odds

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No. 13 UC Irvine: 1000/1 odds

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No. 11 Temple: 1000/1 odds

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No. 11 Saint Mary’s: 1000/1 odds

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No. 13 Saint Louis: 1000/1 odds

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No. 11 St. John’s: 1000/1 odds

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No. 14 Old Dominion: 1000/1 odds

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No. 11 Ohio State: 1000/1 odds

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No. 14 Northern Kentucky: 1000/1 odds

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No. 13 Northeastern: 1000/1 odds

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No. 15 Montana: 1000/1 odds

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No. 12 Liberty: 1000/1 odds

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No. 14 Georgia State: 1000/1 odds

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No. 11 Belmont: 1000/1 odds

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No. 9 Baylor: 1000/1 odds

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No. 11 Arizona State: 1000/1 odds

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No. 9 Washington: 500/1 odds

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No. 8 VCU: 500/1 odds

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No. 8 Utah State: 500/1 odds

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No. 8 Ole Miss: 500/1 odds

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No. 9 Oklahoma: 500/1 odds

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No. 10 Minnesota: 500/1 odds

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No. 10 Seton Hall: 300/1 odds

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No. 12 New Mexico State: 300/1 odds

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No. 12 Murray State: 300/1 odds

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No. 9 UCF: 300/1 odds

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No. 6 Maryland: 250/1 odds

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No. 10 Maryland: 250/1 odds

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No. 7 Wofford: 200/1 odds

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No. 5 Mississippi State: 200/1 odds

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No. 10 Florida: 200/1 odds

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No. 12 Oregon: 150/1 odds

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No. 5 Wisconsin: 100/1 odds

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No. 7 Nevada: 100/1 odds

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No. 7 Louisville: 100/1 odds

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No. 7 Cincinnati: 100/1 odds

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No. 8 Syracuse: 85/1 odds

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No. 6 Buffalo: 85/1 odds

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No. 4 Virginia Tech: 80/1 odds

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No. 5 Marquette: 70/1 odds

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No. 4 Kansas State: 70/1 odds

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No. 4 Kansas: 60/1 odds

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No. 6 Villanova: 50/1 odds

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No. 3 LSU: 50/1 odds

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No. 5 Auburn: 50/1 odds

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No. 6 Iowa State: 40/1 odds

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No. 3 Purdue: 30/1 odds

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No. 3 Houston: 30/1 odds

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No. 4 Florida State: 30/1 odds

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No. 3 Texas Tech: 20/1 odds

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No. 2 Michigan: 18/1 odds

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No. 2 Tennessee: 16/1 odds

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No. 2 Michigan State: 15/1 odds

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No. 2 Kentucky: 12/1 odds

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No. 1 Virginia: 8/1 odds

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No. 1 North Carolina: 6/1 odds

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No. 1 Gonzaga: 5/1 odds

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No. 1 Duke: 11/5 odds

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Raasean Davis would have his hands full

The Eagles’ strength is in their frontcourt. Center Raasean Davis — 6-8 and 240 pounds — leads the team with 14.6 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.

But he’s never seen anything close to the likes of Williamson in the MEAC. ACC opponents have never seen anything like Williamson.

A stacked North Carolina frontcourt gave up 50 points in the paint in Friday’s ACC tournament loss to Duke, the most the Tar Heels have allowed in the post in eight years, according to ESPN.

So, yeah. Odds are Zion will likely look like an adult playing against 6-year-olds whether Duke faces N.C. Central or Norfolk State this week.

But at least the Eagles can say they’re dancing.

More from Yahoo Sports:

 

Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/18/selection-committee-doesnt-heed-nc-centrals-request-to-avoid-duke-zion-williamson/23695266/

Teen who pushed girl off bridge pleads guilty to misdemeanor

A teenager accused of injuring her 16-year-old friend by pushing her off a 60-foot bridge in southwestern Washington in August pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

Taylor Smith appeared in Clark County District Court, where a state prosecutor recommended no jail time. She will be sentenced on March 27.

Smith pushed Jordan Holgerson off the Moulton Falls Regional Park bridge northeast of Vancouver on Aug. 7. Holgerson suffered six broken ribs and punctured lungs.

Smith, 19, was charged with one count of reckless endangermentabout a week and a half after the incident, a misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

She pleaded not guilty in December. Last month, Smith was offered a plea deal, the details of which were not shared in court.

The 10-second video clip of the incident captured on a cellphone went viral.

Holgerson initially planned to jump off the bridge into a river about 60 feet below, but has said she changed her mind.

She said in a recent interview on NBC’s “Today” that while she was looking forward to Smith being sentenced, she was uncertain what punishment Smith should face.

“Some days, I kind of want her to be put in jail,” Holgerson said. “And some days, I think that might be too harsh.”

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Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/03/18/teen-who-pushed-girl-off-bridge-pleads-guilty-to-misdemeanor/23695267/

Kylie Jenner and YouTuber David Dobrik surprise strangers at the mall

Over the weekend, Kylie Jenner teamed up with YouTube personality David Dobrik to give a few strangers quite the surprise. 

In a video posted to YouTube on Saturday, Jenner hides in the backseat as Dobrik gives rides to unsuspecting fans, who are quizzed about their Kardashian-Jenner knowledge, like which sister is their favorite and what they know about Jenner’s successful cosmetics brand

One fan reveals his favorite Kardashian sibling is Khloe only to find out Jenner is sitting behind him. “I was just about to say you were my favorite,” he says to uproarious laughter from Dobrik and Jenner.

Later, a young female fan freaks out when Dobrik tells her to congratulate Jenner on her success, only to discover the mogul is sitting behind her. “Bro, you f**king kidding me,” she exclaims as she covers her shocked face. “What the f**k!”

The video continues this way until one fan fumbles over his Jenner knowledge, much to Dobrik’s confusion. “Are we talking about the right Kylie?” he asks his passenger, who clarifies he’s indeed a fan of Jenner’s. 

When she finally pops up behind him, he tells Jenner she’s “f**king fire” and receives a hug from the superstar. 

Fans can’t seem to get enough of the surprises, with the video racking up over 6.3 million views and counting. Watch the full clip below. 

The playful video comes amid drama surrounding Jenner, who has been slow to rebuild her friendship with Jordyn Woods after it was revealed the Kardashian pal hooked up with Khloe Kardashian’s now-ex-boyfriend, Tristan Thompson. The revelation has caused a rift between the two longtime friends. 

A source previously told ET that the two friends “have communicated, but not much,” with Jenner “still figuring out where [Woods] fits into her life.” For more on that story, check out our full coverage below. 

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Article source: https://www.aol.com/article/entertainment/2019/03/18/kylie-jenner-and-youtuber-david-dobrik-surprise-strangers-at-the-mall/23695224/

Blue Ridge Real Estate Co. (BRRE: Pink Current) | Quarterly Report

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Article source: http://www.otcmarkets.com/financialReportViewer?symbol=BRRE&id=213766

Airbnb suffers major loss in fight for Santa Monica rentals

Cities continue to tighten their grip around Airbnb and other short-term rental sights, and Santa Monica, California, is no different.

In the latest loss, Airbnb and Expedia Group’s HomeAway lost their case in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to the city of Santa Monica. This means the previous ruling still stands that the short-term rental companies are liable for illicit rentals on their sites.

In Santa Monica, short-term rentals must be licensed by the city. If they aren’t, the companies will now be responsible for taking them off the site.

“This critical local law prevents residences in our community from being converted into de facto hotels – it protects affordable housing and it helps residents stay in their homes,” Santa Monica City Attorney Lane Dilg said in a statement.

And while the short-term rental sites tried to argue this regulation would make it impossible for the sites to operate, the three panel judges disagreed.

“Even assuming that the ordinance would lead the platforms to voluntarily remove some advertisements for lawful rentals, there would not be a severe limitation on the public’s access to lawful advertisements, especially considering the existence of alternative channels like Craigslist,” the judges said in the ruling.

Santa Monica’s regulations are among the strictest in the nation. They prohibit rentals of whole homes to travelers for less than 30 days. Vacation-rental hosts in the city can only rent rooms to tourists and must be present throughout the stay.

As for the city, it is pleased with the ruling and called it a win for housing and affordability.

“We are thrilled to have confirmation from the Ninth Circuit that our balanced approach to home sharing is working at a time when housing and affordability continue to challenge the region,” Mayor Gleam Davis said. “This is a big win for Santa Monica residents and our residential neighborhoods.”

But Santa Monica isn’t the only city Airbnb is fighting. New York City is upping the ante in its fight against Airbnb, as the two sides battle it out in court and in the court of public opinion.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced that the city is issuing a subpoena to Airbnb, demanding that the short-term rental site turn over the listing data that’s at the center of a legal battle between the two sides.

Last year, New York passed legislation designed to combat the rise of short-term rentals in the city. The law prevents landlords and tenants from illegally renting out apartments for a few days at a time to tourists.

And Massachusetts recently passed a law that extended the state’s current 5.7% hotel tax to most short-term rentals, along with giving municipalities the option of tacking an additional 6% onto the tax; 9% if an owner rents out two or more units in the same community.

But despite all of these battles, the company seems to be remaining optimistic.

“Airbnb has made great strides around the world, working with dozens of cities to develop more than 500 partnerships including fair, reasonable regulations, tax collection agreements, and data sharing that balance the needs of communities, allow hosts to share their homes in order to pay the bills and provides guests the opportunity to affordably visit places like the California coast,” the company said in a statement.

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48452-airbnb-suffers-major-loss-in-fight-for-santa-monica-rentals

These are the best counties to buy single-family rentals

Single-family rental purchases inched forward in the first quarter of 2019, according to ATTOM Data Solutions‘ latest Single-Family Rental Market report.

The Single-Family Rental Market report analyzes single-family rental returns in 432 U.S. counties each with a population of at least 100,000.

According to the analysis, the average annual gross rental among the 432 counties was 8.8% for 2019, rising from an average of 8.7% in the prior year.

ATTOM Data Solutions Chief Product Officer Todd Teta said buying single-family homes to rent them out is a better deal for investors in 2019 than it was during the same time in 2018.

“Last year, at this time, investors were seeing returns drop in three-quarters of the counties that were analyzed,” Teta continued. “So far this year, those margins are up in six out of every 10 counties analyzed.”

However, despite the generally rosier picture, Teta notes profits vary widely and investing in the single-family home rental market is not always a great move.

In fact, according to Teta, the typical bottom-line gain from county to county this year has ranged from as little as 3% to as high as 29%.

Notably, the report indicates the housing markets that posted the highest rental returns included Baltimore City, Maryland, up 24.5%; Bibb County, Georgia, up 21.9%; Cumberland, New Jersey, up 21.2%; Winnebago, Illinois, up 17.1%; and Wayne County, Michigan, also up 17.1%.

However, the housing markets that posted the lowest rental returns included San Mateo County, California, up 3.4%; San Francisco County, California, up 3.7%; Marin County, California, up 4%; Santa Clara, California, up 4.2%; and Kings County, New York, up 4.3%.

NOTE: ATTOM Data Solutions calculated rental returns by utilizing annual gross rental yields provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48453-these-are-the-best-counties-to-buy-single-family-rentals

This housing market clue predicts pending economic slowdown

When it comes to the health of the economy, the housing market is the canary in the coal mine, providing clear and early clues of pending trouble. And that’s why analysts track its performance intently, looking at a multitude of indicators that might signal the looming recession some are forecasting.

Now, one critical clue from the housing market has emerged to suggest economic growth is likely to backslide, and that is a steady decline in single-family authorizations.

In essence: Construction activity appears to be slowing.

Single-family housing authorizations – what some call a key predictor of economic recessions – represent building permits requesting permission to commence construction. In contrast, housing starts signal that construction has already begun. 

According to the latest data released by BuildFax, single-family housing authorizations fell for the third consecutive month in February, declining 4.24% from the previous month. This also represents a 5.75% decline year over year.

The data left BuildFax to conclude that, “without relief from this steady decline in single-family housing authorizations, an economic slowdown is likely forthcoming.”

Existing housing maintenance and remodeling volumes are also down, continuing a four-month decline. Maintenance volume was down 5.53% year over year, while remodeling volume was down 10.07%.

But at the same time, spend for both maintenance and remodeling increased, which BuildFax attributed to recent spikes in construction labor costs.

Interestingly, some cities are defying national trends, posting increases in new construction and maintenance in February.

Dallas, New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C., saw activity in new construction and maintenance rise.

BuildFax said Chicago saw the greatest increases, with new construction up 60.15% and maintenance up 19.51%, which the report said could be a result of the city’s strategic five-year housing plan to solve affordability problems.

“It’s yet to be seen whether housing activity in these cities will eventually slow as it has on a national level or if these will be key metros to watch as the U.S. potentially heads towards an economic slowdown,” BuildFax wrote.

BuildFax CEO Holly Tachovsky said the performance of these indicators over the next several months will be key to determining the overall impact on the economy.

“There have been persistent declines across key housing indicators for four consecutive months. However, we anticipate some economic relief as we head into 2019’s spring home buying season,” Tachovsky said.

“Mortgage rates have reached recent lows leading to increased potential for home sales, which is oftentimes followed by a surge in remodeling activity,” she continued. “The performance of single-family housing authorizations, maintenance and remodeling activity through this next season will shed light on whether declines in the housing market will spread to the broader economy.”

Here is a map of new construction and maintenance activity in the 10 largest metros:

map

(Source: BuildFax)

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48454-this-housing-market-clue-predicts-pending-economic-slowdown

PwC reaches $335 million settlement with FDIC over Taylor, Bean & Whitaker/Colonial Bank audits

PricewaterhouseCoopers will pay $335 million to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in a settlement that ends claims that the auditor failed in its duties by not discovering the accounting malfeasance that led to the late-2000s collapse of Colonial Bank, which funded the mortgages originated by Taylor, Bean Whitaker.

Once upon a time, TBW was the largest privately held mortgage company in the country, employing more than 2,000 people. But TBW collapsed in 2009 after it was discovered that TBW Chairman Lee Farkas and others were cooking the books to cover for hundreds of millions of dollars in nonexistent mortgages.

PwC acted as the auditor for Colonial Bank, which also collapsed when the issues at TBW were uncovered.

When it failed, Colonial Bank was taken over by the FDIC, which then sued PwC and claimed that the bank’s failure cost the insurer $5 billion, making it one of the country’s largest ever bank failures.

Eventually, a federal judge ruled that PwC was “negligent” in its role as Colonial Bank’s auditor, stating that the company could have done more to prevent Colonial’s collapse.

And last year, the judge ordered PwC to pay more than $625 million for its actions in the Colonial/TBW matter.

But, late last week, the two sides announced that they’d reached a settlement in the matter that will see PwC pay $335 million to the FDIC for its role in the TBW affair.

That amount is much closer to the $306.75 million that PwC originally contended it should pay the FDIC, rather than the $625 million awarded to the agency by District Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein.

And the FDIC agreed to the settlement over the objections of former FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg, who still serves on the FDIC board of directors.

Gruenberg issued a statement through the FDIC, in which he stated that he did not vote to approve the settlement because the settlement did not require PwC to admit liability in the matter.

“As a result of its failure to follow required auditing standards, PwC did not detect that hundreds of millions of dollars of assets claimed by Colonial did not in fact exist, had been sold to others, or were worthless. If PwC had complied with auditing standards, it would have discovered the fraud, the fraud would have been stopped, and the damages to Colonial Bank would have been limited,” Gruenberg said in his statement.

“As noted, the settlement announced today did not include a written admission of liability by PwC,” Gruenberg added. “Given PwC’s professional negligence, which contributed directly to the failure of Colonial Bank and large losses to the Deposit Insurance Fund, I voted against authorizing the settlement without a written admission of liability by PwC.”

Nevertheless, the FDIC agreed to the settlement.

“PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as Receiver for Colonial Bank have settled professional negligence claims brought by the FDIC-R against PwC to their mutual satisfaction,” a spokesperson for PwC said in a statement.

According to Rothstein, PwC was negligent in its audits of Colonial Bank’s business in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2008. Rothstein ruled that PwC’s audits were not designed to detect fraud and did not fully inspect Colonial’s business in the relevant years.

According to Rothstein, PwC did not inspect any of TBW’s loan files at Colonial in 2003 or 2004, failed to follow up on the “illogical” dates on Colonial’s financial reports, failed inspect any of the supposed collateral backing the mortgages in question, and neglected to follow-up on sample loans that failed quality control checks.

TBW is one of housing crisis’ most notorious collapses.

Beginning in 2002 and stretching to 2009, Farkas and his fellow conspirators swept funds between accounts at Colonial and Ocala Funding, a TBW subsidiary that also provided funding for TBW’s mortgages to cover constant overdrafts.

By December 2003, the rolling overdraft had grown to more than $120 million and sweeping the funds back and forth became too complex, so Farkas and others began selling mortgages that didn’t exist to cover the shortages.

By 2009, Colonial Bank had more than $500 million in nonexistent loans on its books.

TBW also sold loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In 2002, loans sold to Fannie represented 85% of TBW’s business, but Fannie Mae canceled its seller/servicer agreement with TBW after it learned that Farkas had personally taken out $2 million in loans that were not actually backed by homes or any other eligible collateral to pay for the buybacks on non-compliant loans that TBW sold to Fannie.

In fact, Farkas planned to sell eight fraudulent loans (totaling $2 million) to Fannie to cover the money he needed pay Fannie for other non-compliant loans.

Fannie Mae discovered this fraud when Farkas was unable to make payments on the eight fraudulent loans, but did not communicate its findings to Freddie Mac, its regulator or other interested parties.

Subsequently, Freddie considerably increased the volume of its business with TBW.

Farkas’ schemes were finally discovered when Colonial, which was on the verge of insolvency, applied for $553 million in funding from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

According to a 2014 report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General, Farkas planned to use TBW to invest $150 million in Colonial and help raise the additional $150 million because he knew that without the injection of funding, TBW’s massive fraud would be discovered.

The additional $150 million wound end up being diverted from Ocala’s books to Colonial’s, but the entire nature of Colonial’s fundraising raised a red flag with the Special Inspector General for TARP.

Investigators questioned whether the injection of funding from Farkas was a “round trip” transaction, where the $300 million from TBW would be paid back from the TARP funds.

In the process of the investigation, several of Farkas’ co-conspirators eventually revealed the details of the multi-year, multi-billion dollar fraud.

Farkas eventually received a 30-year prison sentence and was ordered to forfeit $38.5 million in ill-gotten gains for the $2.9 billion scheme after he was found guilty on 14 counts of bank, wire and securities fraud, becoming one of the only people actually jailed for financial crimes in the run-up to the housing crisis.

And this isn’t the first time that PwC has been forced to pay up over its role in the TBW collapse. Back in August 2016, the auditor settled a $5.5 billion lawsuit over the same issue.

For much more on the fall of TBW, click here.

Article source: https://www.housingwire.com/articles/48456-pwc-reaches-335-million-settlement-with-fdic-over-taylor-bean-whitakercolonial-bank-audits

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