New York sues over foreclosure system
ALBANY, N.Y. — New York’s attorney general on Friday accused some of the nation’s largest banks of deceit and fraud in using an electronic mortgage registry that he said puts homeowners at a disadvantage in foreclosures while saving banks more than $2 billion.
Democrat Eric Schneiderman sued Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo over their use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., claiming the banks submitted court documents containing false and misleading information that appeared to provide the authority for foreclosures when there was none.
The suit also names the registry operator in Virginia, MERSCORP Inc.
Schneiderman claims the MERS system has eliminated homeowners’ ability to track property transfers through traditional public records. He said the electronic system now stores that data and is plagued by inaccuracies and what the lawsuit calls “faulty and sloppy document preparation and execution practices.”
“The banks created the MERS system as an end-run around the property recording system, to facilitate the rapid securitization and sale of mortgages,” Schneiderman said Friday.
MERS spokeswoman Janis L. Smith said the company complies with all laws and county and state recording regulations. J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America declined to comment. There was no immediate comment from Wells Fargo.
Chip maker’s CEO dies in plane crash
BOISE, IDAHO — The head of memory chip maker Micron, who was long known for taking risks in stunt flying, died Friday when a small experimental plane he was piloting steeply banked, stalled and crashed near an Idaho runway.
Steve Appleton, who survived a similar crash eight years ago, was the only person aboard the plane when it crashed shortly after its second take-off attempt in Boise, according to witnesses and safety investigators.
Micron’s board planned to meet this weekend to discuss its next steps. Corporate governance experts raised questions in the past about whether Appleton, as CEO, should be engaging in a hobby as risky as stunt piloting. Trading of the company’s shares was suspended.
Micron is one of many companies that make semiconductor chips for various devices, including computers, mobile devices, cameras, cars and industrial systems.
It makes products under the Lexar and Crucial brands, and is one of Idaho’s largest and most influential employers.