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Bank of America allegedly froze the account of gun manufacturer American Spirit Arms, saying the company “should not be selling guns on the Internet,” the company’s owner, Joe Sirochman, alleges.

“My name is Joe Sirochman owner of American Spirit Arms…our Web site orders have jumped 500% causing our Web site e-commerce processing larger deposits to Bank of America. So they decided to hold the deposits for further review,” Sirochman wrote on American Spirit Arms’ official Facebook page on Dec. 29, 2012.

“…as you could imagine this made me furious…After countless hours on the phone with Bank of America I finally got a Manager in the right department that told me the reason that the deposits were on hold for further review,” the post read. “Her exact words were…”We Believe you should not be selling guns and parts on the internet.”

After initially flipping the “f**k out,” Sirochman said he told Bank of America they have no right to make up their own rules and regulations regarding the online sales of firearms.

“[W]e are a firearms Manufacturer with all the proper licensing FFL (Federal Firearm license ), SOT and that we follow all Federal and All States’ rules and regulations on shipping Firearms and parts ..and that we are also Audited by ATF and Homeland 
Security on a regular basis,” he wrote.

So far, Sirochman says just one-third of the companies Internet sales over a two week period have been released to the company. Needless to say, American Spirit Arms is looking for a new bank.

As points out, “this isn’t the first time Bank of America has targeted a customer involved in the firearms industry.”

“McMillan Group International was reportedly told that its business was no longer welcome after the company started manufacturing firearms – even after 12 years of doing business with the bank,” the report adds.


:angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:


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An even easier fix is for all gun owners that bank there to find a new bank....let Bank of Amerika have all the liberal customers....they will only get deposits on the first of the month though!

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And un freaking believable !!!

This was so unbelievable I asked my guys to check it out.... thinking of course it must be some misunderstanding in some banking boob doing something stupid, but certainly not freezing their account.... And appears it has indeed happened! Unreal!

I would hope that every single person, whether they are characterized as liberal or conservative.... or as the majority of us, who can't be characterized by a simplistic box.... everyone... pull their money out of BofA and put it into another bank. If nothing else, it should be alarming that your bank makes impetuous, histrionic, irresponsible decisions about how people should spend their money and/or where they should spend it. I'd be beyond livid if my bank were to freeze an account based upon their interpretation of law, and in violation of the constitutional protection of the right to bear arms.

If there is one single person reading this, who supports the 2nd Amendment, supports the right to bear arms, supports the individuals right to own guns.... and does not take their money out of BofA, then please don't say another word about your beliefs. If you can't walk the way you talk.... your talking don't mean spit. Understood it will be a pain. Understood it might take a bit of time to make the transition... but I assure you... it will pale in comparison to sending the message its okay to let some bank infra-structure make decisions about your constitutionally protected rights!

You want to send a message people will hear, and the legislators will notice? Do you want to take a stand for what is right? Then, stop talking and start walking to your BofA and tell the banker to transfer your money to another bank immediately.

And PS apart from your beliefs about the right to bear arms.... I would take my money out anyway in making the statement that your banking infra-structure is not impervious nor do they carry the right to make legal decisions about how people spend their money or where. They have been getting away with so much for so long, and making piles of money off the backs of the middle class for so many years, they're now blatantly acting out their belief they're indeed above the law, and we peons can do nothing to stop them.... I wish I had an account so I close it....

PPS and if by some chance this is the Patriot Act playing out... as the PA has a lot of banking stuff codified into its law..... take your money out anyway, as a statement that the PA must be repealed and modified immediately.... This may be our first real "in your face" of the average citizen unfolding of the PA in action..... If so, hopefully you are really pizzed off about it.

Great Find TG ^5 !!

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LOL.......BofA has been ripping the American people off for years now! I guess as long as it didn't effect ASA, it was business as usual. THEY SHOULD HAVE CHANGE BANKS ALONG TIME AGO. WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!


Symbol Price Change

BAC 12.09 -0.02

The mortgage settlements just keep coming. On Monday morning, Bank of America said it reached an agreement to resolve virtually all existing and future claims that it (and mortgage lender Countrywide, which BofA bought in 2008) misrepresented the quality of home loans it sold to Fannie Mae from 2000 through 2008. In the deal, Bank of America is paying $3.6 billion in cash and is also repurchasing about 30,000 mortgages for $6.75 billion. That money all goes to Fannie Mae, the government-sponsored enterprise that taxpayers bailed out in the financial crisis.

Bank of America is paying for the deal by tapping into reserves it had already set aside for mortgage-related losses, plus is kicking in an additional $2.5 billion. That Bank of America needed to draw on extra money has some bank watchers nervous that it hasn’t set aside enough money for other outstanding mortgage cases. Tyler Durden over at ZeroHedge says the bank’s reserves have been “far too low” and this Fannie settlement may just be the tip of the expenses Bank of America will face over loans it sold to private investors. “So with one of the GSEs out of the way, and with an additional $2.5 billion in reserves having to be established just to prefund this particular $10 billion settlement, one can see why the firm is so skittish in coming to a settlement over its private label exposure,” he wrote Monday morning.

So what other mortgage expenses may be out there? In 2011 the bank and private mortgage bond holders reached a $8.5 billion settlement, but that still needs court approval and has been contested by some investors, who have sued for greater compensation. In these deals, the bank will need to pay investors who bought mortgage bonds, which can include hedge fund, pension funds and other institutional investors. MKM Partners’ Harry Fong wrote in a note Monday that he expects Bank of America will want to resolve those private-investor concerns before striking a deal on yet another big case, the bank’s longstanding battle with mortgage insurer MBIA.

All of these cases I’ve mentioned so far just focus on the original sale of the mortgages. The bank also faces costs related to how it serviced mortgages and foreclosed on borrowers since then. As part of the deal with Fannie Mae, the bank agreed to pay $1.3 billion to cover the costs of foreclosure problems and delays. This money goes to Fannie Mae. Also on Monday, Bank of America and other mortgage servicers reached a $8.5 billion accord over faulty foreclosures. (The accord had earlier been rumored to be an estimated $10 billion.) The regulators didn’t provide a breakdown of costs per bank, but analyst Richard Staite of Atlantic Equities wrote before the the deal was announced that he expected Bank of America to bear the brunt of a settlement.

Unlike the other settlements I’ve written about in this post, this accord actually goes to directly assisting and compensating homeowners who are facing foreclosure or may have lost their home as the result of faulty mortgage servicing.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said in a statement Monday morning that the settlements are part of the bank’s progress putting “legacy mortgage issues” behind it. And oh, what a legacy that has been.

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Edited by TAV
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Like some have already said. Don't get mad, just switch banks and urge others to do so. That's the greateness of capitalism: Choice.


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FBI: Drug Cartels Use Bank of America to Launder Money

Ryan DahrougeinBusiness,Banks 6 months ago

Mic this!9


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FBI Drug Cartels Use Bank of America to Launder Money

An affidavit released by the FBI last month reveals one of Mexico’s most violent narcotic-trafficking drug cartels has been laundering money into the U.S. through accounts with Bank of America.

Beginning in or around 2009, members of the infamous Los Zetas cartel had been sneaking drug earnings past federal authorities into Texas and then laundering them through Tremor Enterprises LLC, a horse training and racing business that was run, in part, by José Trevino Morales, a brother of cartel leaders, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales and Omar Trevino Morales.

The Morales brothers in Mexico would purchase Quarter Horses, known for their potential in short sprint racing, through transactions from two accounts established at Bank of America. Once the horses were considered in prime racing condition, they were sold cheaply to José Trevino Morales, at which point he could put the horses up for auction. The resulting profit allowed the Morales brothers to disguise their huge drug earnings as legitimate margins. This scheme hit its peak in September 2010, nearly a year after the Bank of America accounts were opened. Mr. Piloto, one of the horses allegedly bought with cartel money, won the $1 Million first prize at the All American Futurity at Ruidoso Downs, in New Mexico and the winnings were deposited into a Bank of America account owned by Tremor Enterprises LLC. José Trevino then purchased the horse from his brothers for $100,000 and one auction later, the Moraleses could claim a legitimate source for their earnings.

Since December 2009, Bank of America filings reported an estimated dozen transactions between the two accounts, totaling $1.5 Million.

Federal authorities aren’t new to this type of security lapse. Passed in 1970, the Bank Secrecy Act requires banks to report to federal officials suspicious transactions of $10,000 or more; a failure to do so can lead to penalties or prosecution. In 2010, HSBC’s North American unit’s procedures for money-laundering detection were deemed poor and the company was ordered to improve or face steep penalties. Similarly in late 2010, the Wells Fargo-acquired bank, Wachovia, was ordered to pay a $160 million penalty when they failed to detect and investigate the use of their accounts by drug traffickers to launder money into the U.S., including a transfer of $378.4 billion, the equivalent of a third of Mexico’s GDP. Bank of America, it should be noted, is not being charged with any wrongdoing.

Oversight like this allows foreign organizations free range for their finances in the U.S., a notion dangerous when applied to even a legitimate industry. Wells Fargo’s penalty was substantial, but it was a mere 2% of their 2009 profits, a year in which they earned $12.3 billion. Allowing banks to forgo the undoubtedly tedious and expensive task of establishing effective anti-money laundering programs in exchange for a fine when the security lapse comes to the FBI’s attention, possibly in the form of a wealthier cartel member, compromises national security and strengthens networks and industries the Department of Defense has vowed to dismantle. This latest laundering scheme is evidence of a systematic failure by the banking industry to address the problems in their detection programs and it’s coming at the expense of the safety of the Mexican and American public.  

Picture Credit: From en:Image:Bank of America Corporate Center.jpg , by user Fife Club.

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Mic this!9


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By the time this country figures out were a frog,in a pot, on a stove

it will be too late. If you bank do so locally with a small bank. If your

smart keep your savings in precious metals, you'll get a better rate of

return. If you think you can't afford them look at silver, it cost @$30 an

ounce and should be much higher.

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Outstanding! After all the bank bailouts, I quit using all of them as well. These banks have weakened our country and I frankly don't see how or why anyone would continue to use them.

MORE BANK OF AMERICA NEWS...JPMorgan Loses Bid to Dismiss FHFA Mortgage Securities Suits

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) lost a bid to have a U.S. judge dismiss lawsuits filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency against 16 U.S. banks over mortgage-backed securities.

JPMorgan, Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and Citigroup Inc. were among the lenders sued last year for allegedly misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about the soundness of loans underlying billions of dollars of residential mortgage-backed securities. JPMorgan served as the lead underwriter for 30 out of the 103 securitizations at issue in this case.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan yesterday rejected a bid to throw out the FHFA’s complaint, overruling arguments that the agency lacked factual support that the loans underlying the securitizations weren’t underwritten in accordance with the guidelines set out in the offering documents.

“The agency’s reliance on this information is not, as the defendants allege, an effort to argue ‘fraud by hindsight’; rather the amended complaint suggests that these market events are telltale signs of defects that were present in the securitizations all along, albeit, unbeknownst to the public,” the judge wrote.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have operated under U.S. conservatorship since 2008, when they were seized amid subprime mortgage losses that pushed them toward insolvency.

Cote did narrow the case, dismissing some claims alleging violations of the Virginia Securities Act as well as fraud claims regarding the owner-occupancy and loan-to-value ratio of the securities for which New York-based JPMorgan served as lead underwriter.

Joe Evangelisti, a spokesman for JPMorgan, declined to comment on the ruling.

Also sued by the FHFA were Barclays Plc, Nomura Holdings Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, Societe Generale SA, Morgan Stanley, Ally Financial Inc., Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG and First Horizon National Corp.

The case is Federal Housing Finance Agency v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., 11-CV-6188, U.S. District court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Royal Park Sues Bank of America Over Mortgage Securities

Royal Park Investments SA/NV sued Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the second-largest U.S. bank, in New York state court over losses on about $1.6 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities.

The suit seeks damages of more than $713 million for losses on the securities, which were initially purchased by third parties, according to a complaint filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Oct. 26.

Royal Park, based in Brussels, was set up in May 2009 by Fortis Bank SA/NV, the Belgian state and BNP Paribas SA to manage a pool of distressed-debt securities. It sued Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch unit and other defendants, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG, and Deutsche Bank AG in the same court in July over losses on mortage-backed securities. BANK OF AMERICA NEWS...JPMorgan Loses Bid to Dismiss FHFA Mortgage Securities Suits

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More of the tentacles of BofA.....

MUMBAI: After remaining cautious on public sector banks through 2012, Bank of America Merrill Lynch has turned positive on the government banks. It has upgraded State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Oriental Bank of Commerce to 'Buy' on expectations of a rate cut that would lead to steepening of yield curve.

"The RBI should begin cutting repo rates in January - we expect a total cut of 75 bp by June and another 50 bp thereafter through FY14. In addition to allaying some asset quality pressures, the cuts can, in our view, steepen the yield curve. Based on past cycles, the short-end of the curve could fall by 50-70bp over the next 6-9 months, and even by 100bp through FY14, resulting in significantly higher bond gains vs. our current estimates," the report said.

According to the brokerage, higher bond gains coupled with possibly stronger recoveries from small accounts, especially in the agri field and with SMEs would provide upside to the earnings.

"We upgrade only SBIBSE 0.32 %, BOB and OBC to 'Buy' to reflect: a) their ability to trade up to 0.5-1.0SD above their average multiples based on their underlying sustainable RoEs and earnings trajectories, a pick-up in recoveries (which may surprise) and gains from the potential steepening of the yield curve for government banks," the report said.

The brokerage has raised SBI's price target to Rs 2,920 from Rs 1,915 earlier, Bank of Baroda's target has been revised to Rs 1,075 from Rs 800 and Oriental Bank of Commerce's target price is set at Rs 430 from Rs 250 earlier.

"We also raise POs for Union Bank and Indian Bank, pegging their target multiples at or about 0.5SD above their averages, as we have done with the other government banks," the report added.

Union Bank's target price has been raised to Rs 330 from Rs 270 and Indian Bank's target price is seen at Rs 280 from Rs 220 earlier.

BofAML has reiterated Underperform rating on Canara Bank and Bank of India. According to the report, both the stocks are trading at above their implied Gordon-based multiples.

"More importantly, we look for more clarity on the new management strategies. Hence, while they are among the bigger beneficiaries of a steepening yield curve, we would wait to see the new management strategies relating to asset quality (credit cycle). Similarly, for Punjab National Bank we are still wary of lingering asset quality issues, even though it may benefit from the recovery momentum. Hence, in these cases, we have pegged our target multiples at close to average - more in sync with the Gordon model," the report added.

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In mortgage settlements, BofA comes up $5 billion short

By Stephen Gandel, senior editor January 8, 2013: 6:05 AM ET


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Once again, the bank seems to have failed to tell investors how large its legal bills would actually be.

Correction and Update: 1/8/13, 11:30 AM.

FORTUNE -- When a bank tells investors and the Securities and Exchange Commission how much it expects to pay to cover its legal bills and bad loans, you would think those estimates are fairly accurate -- or if not accurate, at least close. In the case of Bank of America, that expectation proved wrong, once again. This time the bank was off by a whopping $5.2 billion.

On Monday, Bank of America said it reached a $11.6 billion deal with Fannie Mae (FNMA) to settle claims that it and Countrywide, which BofA bought in early 2008, sold faulty loans to the mortgage insurance giant in the run-up to the financial crisis. The bank also is laying out money to resolve claims that it improperly foreclosed on borrowers -- as part of a $8.5 billion broader settlement between federal regulators and a number of large banks -- as well as some other mortgage-related costs.

None of these settlements were all that surprising. The ghost of bad mortgage past has hung over BofA for some time. And the bank has been locked in negotiations with Fannie over mortgage claims. At last count the two were wrangling over about $11 billion in mortgages. So the $11.6 billion payout is pretty close to what should have been expected. Indeed, investors appeared to shrug off the news. BofA's shares (BAC) closed Monday down just two cents, to just over $12.

MORE: Fed: Mortgage rates won't go much lower

But what is truly surprising was just how far off BofA was in estimating how much it would cost to resolve all these claims.

Every quarter, all banks, BofA included, tell investors how much they have set aside to cover such things as defaulted loans and legal bills. This money is called reserves, and it's sort of a rainy day fund. Banks are supposed to put the money aside when they can reasonably expect a loss to occur. And they draw money out of the account when they have to actually pay out or take the loss. The number is supposed to reassure investors. Bank of America, for instance, has earmarked a total of $16 billion just to cover the types of deals it cut with Fannie.

But bank reserves, and in particular legal reserves, are murky. Banks only give a total amount, and not what goes into that calculation. It's the 'trust us' approach. And at least in BofA's case, it's not clear investors should. Take the Fannie settlement. BofA said it had not previously reserved for $2.7 billion of the deal. The bank is paying Fannie $11.6 billion, but that includes buying back nearly $7 billion in loans. Many of those loans may be worth as much as half of their original value. So out of a roughly $7.8 billion deal (final cost), BofA had put only 65% of the settlement aside. By that math, BofA's $16 billion reserve fund for these types of deals should really be more like $24 billion.

In all, BofA had set aside $6.4 billion, or enough to cover just 55% of the cost of the all the legal settlements and losses the bank announced on Monday.

A spokesman for BofA said that the bank was glad to have the Fannie matter behind it. He said the bank does its best to estimate future legal costs, but settlements vary. The spokesperson said the Fannie deal was larger than expected because it covers not just the loans in dispute but other related matters and eliminates any payouts that BofA might have to make to Fannie on behalf of loans it made. BofA could still be forced to compensated Fannie and Freddie Mac for mortgage bonds BofA underwrote and the insurers bought as investors. The BofA spokesperson said some of the charges BofA took on Monday were not things the bank typically sets up reserves for.

(UPDATE: Commenting on the bank's reserve policies a BofA spokesman said, "Bank of America follows all applicable accounting rules with regard to establishing reserves and we book reserves when the amounts are both probable and estimable.")

The SEC knows that banks often don't have a stormy enough outlook when putting together their rainy day funds. So they tell banks to tell investors how much they might possibly lose above and beyond the money they have already set aside. And even on this estimate, BofA was way off. Last quarter, it put its potential Fannie losses at $1 billion. The final bill was nearly three times that.

MORE: Good luck estimating your new tax rate!

And what about that other $2.5 billion in mortgage-expenses that BofA said it would take as a charge on Monday? Well, $1.1 billion has to do with the settlement BofA and other banks signed with federal regulators on foreclosure abuses. Another $900 million is money that BofA is adding to litigation reserve fund for mortgage claims, which is a positive sign, but another acknowledgement that its reserve fund was short. The rest, $500 million in costs, BofA won't say more about other than to say it is other mortgage related costs.

So while BofA shareholders should be happy that the bank has put some more legal claims, and costs, from the housing bust behind it, Monday's settlements and charges should leave investors questioning the bank's financial statements once again. BofA says its legal reserves and its much bigger, and far more important, loan loss reserves are two total different things. But if BofA is skimping on one, who's to say it hasn't been skimping on the other? And recently, BofA has been pulling money out of its loan loss reserves, saying the amount of money it needs to have on hand to cover bad loans is shrinking.

The cover story of the Atlantic this month says that four years after the financial crisis banks remain black boxes - you can't really tell what's in them and how they make money. Legal reserve funds are another example of that. If bankers really want to earn investors' trust back, actually putting aside an amount of money that approaches their real potential losses would go a long way.

Update and Correction: The story is updated to include a comment from a Bank of America spokesman related to the firm's reserve policies. An earlier version of this piece said that BofA had eliminated the possibility that it would owe more money to Fannie for past mortgages. In fact, the settlement just covers loans that BofA made and Fannie insured. A FHFA case against BofA seeks damages on behalf of Fannie and Freddie for losses on mortgage bonds the two insurers bought in their investment portfolio that were underwritten by BofA. Also, an earlier version of this piece said that BofA recorded an accounting loss on the sale of its mortgage servicing rights. That was incorrect. BofA actually had a $650 million gain.

Posted in: accounting, Bank of America, banks, legal, mortgages, Wall Street

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