Banks are hashing out a $10 billion settlement with federal regulators to halt a lengthy process of reviewing thousands of foreclosure cases for errors, after both sides concluded it was too expensive and not delivering enough assistance, according to people familiar with the discussions. The Wall Street Journal reports the potential agreement, which has yet to be completed, came after large banks voiced concerns with a process set up by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve over foreclosure-related abuses that surfaced more than two years ago, the people said. Industry officials argued to regulators that the process they created to compensate consumers has been taking too long and urged the officials to consider a different approach that would bring the foreclosure reviews to an end, the people said. The banks were required by regulators in April 2011 to conduct an exhaustive review of foreclosures and to compensate consumers in cases where consumers could demonstrate an error. Banks had already spent around $1.3 billion on consultants hired to manage this process, with another $2 billion to $3 billion in spending expected, the people said.
A Connecticut lawyer has cancelled his plans to sue the state for $100 million for failing to protect children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre — at least for now. Personal injury attorney Irving Pinsky, who initially filed a request to sue the state late last week, told CBS affiliate WFSB on Tuesday that he will likely file papers to have the request withdrawn, “to calm the waters of all the stress some people seem to feel about this.” Pinsky represents the family of a six-year-old who survived the Dec. 14 rampage during which Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults, before taking his own life. The lawyer told WFSB he had received threats since filing the suit, including on his life. On Monday, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen’s office released a statement, in which he said that he was “aware of no facts or legal theory under which the state of Connecticut should be liable for causing the harms inflicted at Sandy Hook Elementary School.” ”The proposed lawsuit is utterly groundless,” Jepsen told Eyewitness News Tuesday. “The facts don’t support the contention the state somehow showed neglect.”
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Tuesday he plans to sue the NCAA in federal court over stiff sanctions imposed against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. The Republican governor scheduled a news conference today on the Penn State campus to announce the filing in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa. A person associated with the university and knowledgeable about the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the lawsuit had not been filed, told The Associated Press that it is an antitrust action. The NCAA sanctions, which were agreed to by the university in July, included a $60 million fine that would be used nationally to finance child abuse prevention grants. The sanctions also included a four-year bowl game ban for the university’s marquee football program, reduced football scholarships and the forfeiture of 112 wins but didn’t include a suspension of the football program, the so-called death penalty.
Texas can cut off funding to Planned Parenthood’s family planning programs for poor women, a state judge ruled Monday, requiring thousands to find new state-approved doctors for their annual exams, cancer screenings and birth control. Judge Gary Harger said that Texas may exclude otherwise qualified doctors and clinics from receiving state funding if they advocate for abortion rights. Texas has long banned the use of state funds for abortion, but had continued to reimburse Planned Parenthood clinics for providing basic health care to poor women through the state’s Women’s Health Program. The program provides preventive care to 110,000 poor women a year, and Planned Parenthood clinics were treating 48,000 of them. Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit to stop the rule will still go forward, but the judge decided Monday that the ban may go into effect for now. In seeking a temporary restraining order, Planned Parenthood wanted its patients to be able to see their current doctors until a final decision was made.
A federal judge will soon decide whether your next tank of gas or bottle of soda comes with a prominent apology from the Marlboro man and Joe Camel. A recent ruling ordering a multimedia blitz stating that the nation’s largest tobacco companies lied about the dangers of smoking left open the possibility that retailers could be required to post large displays with the mea culpas. Retail trade groups are upset about the possibility the displays would commandeer their most valuable selling space and imply their own guilt-by-association. As part of a case the government brought in 1999, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler last month ordered the tobacco companies to pay for corrective statements on cigarette packs, in print and on TV, radio and the Internet. The statements also must disclose smoking’s health effects, including the death on average of 1,200 people a day. While the cigarette makers and the Justice Department this month began discussing how to carry out the corrective statements, a footnote in the ruling said the issue of whether retailers that have agreements with tobacco companies to sell their products – which most sellers do – will have to place the placards front and center in their stores “will be resolved in the near future.”