Econintersect: Rebecca Mairone’s public LinkedIn page says that she is “Home Lending Executive, Managing Director at JP Morgan Chase. Previous: Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, PP Morgan Chase.” Apparently earlier this year Ms. Mairone moved from Bank of America back to JP Morgan Chase, where she had worked before joining Countrywide Financial in 2006. The move was of little news interest until late October.
It was reported by GEI News on October 24 that the Department of Justice had filed suit against the Bank of New York to recover $1 billion of gains fraudulently obtained from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by Bank of America and Countrywide Financial, which was acquired by Bank of America in July 2008.
No individuals were charged, but complicity of two Bank of America/Countrywide employees, Greg Lumsden (President of Countrywide’s FSL [Full Spectrum Lending] Division) and Rebecca Mairone, Chief Operating Officer of FSL, were specifically documented in the complaint.
The specific activity highlighted in the suit had a program name within Countrywide and Bank of America of “Hustle.” It was essentially a program to relax underwriting review and expedite securitization of mortgages without regard to their credit quality. The complaint charges that the program was operative from August 2007 through 2009.
The following is from the complaint filed October 24, page 19-20:
Paul Kiel has an exposè at Propublica covering the details of Mairone’s responsibilities at JP Morgan Chase. The former “hustler” took control of an operation for her new employer responsible for review of compensation for victims of mortgage holders for harm inflicted on them by the bank. Keil wrote:
Victims can receive up to $125,000 in cash  or, in some cases, get their homes back. But the review has already been marred by evidence  that the banks themselves play a major role in identifying the victims of their own abuses , raising the question of whether the review is compromised by a central conflict of interest.
Mairone’s role raises additional questions about the Independent Foreclosure Review.
The review “never seemed designed to place first the interests of those who were supposed to be helped — victimized homeowners,” said Neil Barofsky, the former federal prosecutor who served as the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, better known as the bank bailout .
“Finding out that the person running it for JPMorgan Chase is a person whose conduct in the run-up to financial crisis was allegedly so egregious that she somehow managed to be one of the only people actually named in a case brought by the Department of Justice goes beyond irony,” he continued. “It speaks volumes to the banks’ true intent and lack of concern for homeowners when addressing the harm that they caused during the foreclosure crisis.”
In a statement to Propublica Chase said:
Mairone is a managing director who is “working on the Independent Foreclosure Review process.” The statement added, “It would not be appropriate for us to discuss another firm’s litigation.”
Propublica indicated that Mairone was not available for comment.
- Bank of America: Sued for Defrauding Government (GEI News, 24 October 2012)
- United States of America vs. Bank of America (Complaint filed 24 October 2012)