December 21, 2007 |
Federal regulators are looking into allegations that mortgage lender Washington Mutual Inc. pressured First American Corp. of Santa Ana to inflate appraisals of homes nationwide. Washington Mutual, the nation's largest savings and loan, said Thursday that it was "voluntarily and fully cooperating" with probes by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of Thrift Supervision, a U.S. Treasury Department agency that regulates federally chartered S&Ls.
December 11, 2007 |
Washington Mutual Inc., citing growing mortgage losses, said Monday that it would slash its dividend by almost three-quarters, cut 3,150 jobs and raise $2.5 billion in new capital. The savings and loan, one of the largest U.S. home mortgage lenders, said a sharp downturn in demand for home loans was forcing it to eliminate 2,600 mortgage and 550 corporate support jobs, or 11% of its total staff, and close 190 of 336 mortgage offices.
November 8, 2007 |
Washington Mutual Inc. shares tumbled 17% to a seven-year low Wednesday after the nation's largest savings and loan said mortgage losses would mount through 2008, and a probe into alleged inflated home appraisals widened. New York Atty. Gen. Andrew Cuomo said his office was examining whether Washington Mutual pressured a big title insurer to inflate home values in appraisals, making it possible for borrowers to obtain mortgages they couldn't otherwise afford.
November 2, 2007 |
Yielding to pressure from a big mortgage lender, a Southern California-based appraisal company inflated the value of homes nationwide, encouraging consumers to pay too much for them or to borrow against equity they didn't have, a government lawsuit filed Thursday alleges. The fraud suit by New York Atty. Gen.
October 18, 2007 |
Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. savings and loan, said Wednesday that third-quarter profit fell 72%, hurt by mounting mortgage losses, and said it saw no end to the housing slump. The thrift nearly doubled its forecast for full-year credit losses, after setting aside $967 million in the third quarter. Housing difficulties helped push profit down 18% at its retail banking unit and cause a $348-million loss in its home loans unit, compared with a $23-million loss a year earlier.
October 2, 2007 |
Washington Mutual Inc., the largest U.S. savings and loan, is requiring that mortgage brokers show they disclosed lending terms to borrowers as a record number of Americans face losing their homes to foreclosure. Brokers who do business with Washington Mutual must provide evidence that they revealed their compensation and explained terms of the loan they recommended, including amounts, prepayment penalties and whether interest rates or payments may change, the Seattle-based lender said Monday.
September 11, 2007 |
Two of the largest U.S. banking companies said Monday that tough credit market conditions could cause higher losses related to their lending operations. Washington Mutual Inc., the largest savings and loan and sixth-largest mortgage lender, said it may set aside $500 million more for bad loans this year in addition to the $1.5 billion to $1.7 billion it had forecast, citing what Chief Executive Kerry Killinger called a "near perfect storm" in housing. Wachovia Corp.
August 21, 2007 |
The mortgage meltdown continued Monday as Countrywide Financial Corp. said it eliminated about 500 jobs in its sub-prime units and a big issuer of "jumbo" loans decided to shut down altogether. Before the layoffs Friday, Calabasas-based Countrywide, the No. 1 home lender, had been aggressively hiring top mortgage workers whose jobs had been vaporized by the sub-prime market's decimation. The company said it retained a workforce of more than 60,000 and was still looking to make new hires.
August 10, 2007 |
Two of the nation's biggest home-loan companies are preparing their investors for the worst. Countrywide Financial Corp. and Washington Mutual Inc. warned Thursday that turbulent mortgage market conditions were likely to hurt operations in the near term. The news, which came at the close of Wall Street's worst trading day since February, sent shares of both companies lower in after-hours trading. Countrywide, the No.
July 19, 2007 |
Washington Mutual Inc., the nation's largest savings and loan, Wednesday posted an 8% increase in second-quarter earnings and said it would quit making certain risky loans to borrowers with blotchy credit. City National Corp. of Beverly Hills, the largest commercial bank based in Southern California, said profit rose 1%. Pasadena's East West Bancorp, the second-largest Southland bank, beat expectations with a 10% gain. But Downey Financial Corp., a Newport Beach S&L, said net income slid 32%.