The Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow: A First Step Toward Fixing the Mortgage Crisis

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Lead attorney for Kramer and Kaslow comments on the latest The Financial Times article on the foreclosure crisis

Kramer & Kaslow

Philip Kramer, lead attorney at the Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow, recently commented on an article from British newspaper The Financial Times reporting that JP Morgan's “Frank Bisignano, a top lieutenant to Jamie Dimon, has been charged with reshaping the bank’s troubled home lending business.”

The Financial Times reports that, “Mr. Bisignano has been adding personnel, beefing up compliance and rolling out better procedures to deal with the record numbers of homeowners who have fallen behind on mortgage payments.”

The article also claims that to speed up loan modifications for struggling borrowers, JP Morgan will soon be stationing underwriters in its home ownership centers, of which there will be 81 by year end.

“We want to provide a place where customers can get help on the spot, rather than having to mail in their paperwork,” Mr. Bisignano said in the article. Compliance and regulatory issues are also taking up a growing amount of time. JP Morgan and other large banks are in the process of finalizing a settlement with the Justice Department and the attorneys-general of all 50 states over foreclosure violations.”

Attorney Philip A. Kramer, a senior partner at the law firm of Kramer & Kaslow which represents hundreds of homeowners who are suing several of the world’s largest banks, feels that this may be an indication banks are finally acknowledging the severity of the situation.

“I think,” says Kramer, “That for a long time, the banks thought this problem would simply go away. They were in complete denial. Now, they are engaged in discussions with the attorneys general of all 50 states, they have agreed to a settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and finally, they have begun to address their problems internally on a high level. Mr. Bisignano is regarded as a top troubleshooter inside JP Morgan. It looks to me like they are beginning to acknowledge the severity problem and are preparing to make some much-needed changes. It remains to be seen whether they will make fair and equitable settlements with homeowners, or if Mr. Bisignano’s reforms will be directed solely to internal procedures going forward.”

According to The Financial Times, “Analysts said that the mortgage business as a whole is unlikely to return to its pre-crisis growth rate any time soon. They added that the management changes announced by JPMorgan on Tuesday – including the resignation of David Lowman, the former mortgage head, and the move of retail bank chief Charles Scharf into private equity – are a recognition of that new reality.

“Mortgage banking will be more about dotting the ‘i’s’ and crossing the “t’s” than generating huge volumes going forward,” said Nancy Busch of NAB Research in the article.

Philip Kramer is pretty certain that things will change going forward – at least for a while. “Look,” says Kramer, “It seems clear that the banks are getting a lot of heat right now and they are reacting to that. Short term, there are definitely going to be some changes – we’re seeing that here. Will they go back to business as usual? I think it’s too early to tell. My main concern right now is for my clients, for the people who have been wronged by the banks. What Is JP Morgan going to do redress the harm they have caused? What are all the banks going to do about the homeowners they have wronged? That’s the sixty four thousand dollar question.”

More of Philip Kramer’s observations can be found at the Kramer Kaslow blog.

ABOUT PHILIP KRAMER
PHILIP A. KRAMER is the senior partner of the Law Office of Kramer & Kaslow, in Calabasas, California. Kramer & Kaslow is Martindale Hubbell “AV” rated. Mr. Kramer is a perennial recipient of the prestigious “Southern California Super Lawyer” award.

Mr. Kramer received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and his Juris Doctorate from the Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC. His practice emphasizes commercial litigation and trial advocacy, with a concentration on business litigation, and real property matters. He has prosecuted and defended cases for over twenty five years.

Mr. Kramer is a licensed real estate broker and has spent considerable time providing legal services in connection with real estate issues relating to loan modification and loss mitigation, land use and zoning, environmental issues, easements, construction and development, finance, and landlord tenant matters.

Mr. Kramer is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California, the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Military Appeals. Mr. Kramer has tried in excess of 200 cases. He has appeared on nationally televised programs regarding pre-trial procedure and trial strategy and has appeared as a guest lecturer on topics ranging from constitutional law to trial practice, and Mr. Kramer frequently lectures on a broad spectrum of various legal and business issues.

Mr. Kramer also serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court and as a Mediator.

Mr. Kramer is also a past president of the Los Angeles West Inns of Court, a national organization dedicated to bringing professionalism and civility back into the legal profession. He also serves on numerous Boards of Directors and serves as an officer in many companies. For more information call (818) 224-3900 or visit http://kramer-kaslow.com

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Stuart R. Simone, Esquire
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