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BUSINESS
By William Patalon III and William Patalon III,SUN STAFF | July 3, 2003
A Baltimore man who is a longtime veteran of the financial services industry has been appointed as the state's next commissioner of financial regulation, replacing the soon-to-retire Mary Louise Preis. The new commissioner, Charles W. Turnbaugh, 58, is a first vice president and counsel with MBNA America NA. "He has senior-level experience and knowledge of the [financial services] industry, its operations and the operation of financial institutions, as well as a strong working knowledge of the policy issues facing financial institutions," said James D. Fielder Jr., secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the agency within which the commissioner of financial regulation works.
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BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | June 23, 2014
A South Dakota-based payday lender and its California partner are to pay about $2 million under the terms of a settlement designed to address "abusive" lending and collection activities, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said Monday. Regulators first placed a cease-and-desist order on Western Sky Financial, owner Martin Webb and related entities in 2011, after complaints from consumers about interest rates of up to 1,825 percent, well above the state cap, which ranges from 24 percent to 33 percent based on the size of the loan.
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NEWS
By Michael Greenberger | October 8, 2012
Corporate-sponsored groups have launched a campaign of litigation in the lower federal courts challenging the legality of the second major piece of President Barack Obama's legislative program, one that received a lot of attention in last week's first presidential debate: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. When these cases reach the Supreme Court, we could very well see a reprise of the drama surrounding its decision on the Affordable Care Act at the end of this past term.
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella | April 29, 2014
State officials are warning consumers to pay attention to their e-wallets. Virtual currency such as Bitcoin is becoming more popular but is largely unregulated, and it comes without federally backed insurance. The warning from Maryland's attorney general and financial regulation commissioner reminded consumers and investors to be cautious when dealing with digital and crypto-currency. "It pays to know what's in your e-Wallet and the many ways your money can disappear if you're not careful," Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said in today's announcement with Mark Kaufman, commissioner of financial regulation at the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
NEWS
By John B. O'Donnell and John B. O'Donnell,SUN STAFF | November 23, 2000
A controversial Timonium lender accused of fueling property flipping in Baltimore has been barred from issuing mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration and fined $220,000. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took the action after finding that American Skycorp Inc. had used "falsified documents" to issue FHA-insured loans, had failed to assure that borrowers were qualified for the mortgages and had not followed FHA guidelines. The five-year ban from the FHA program is a severe blow to a 3-year-old company that has built itself into one of the nation's top FHA lenders.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2009
Ocwen Loan Servicing gives penalty fee refunds Ocwen Loan Servicing has refunded nearly $675,000 to borrowers in Maryland after charging them prepayment penalties that violated state law, Maryland's Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation said Wednesday. After the financial regulation office found some violations, Ocwen checked all its Maryland mortgages and sent refund checks to more than 180 borrowers at the end of last month, the state said. - Jamie Smith Hopkins Senior housing complex in Middle River almost done The first phase of the 196-home, $43 million Renaissance Square development in Middle River is nearing completion, with a senior housing apartment building expected to open to residents in December, developer Enterprise Homes said Wednesday.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | November 18, 2013
Baltimore County's Fairmount Bancorp Inc. said Monday its bank, Fairmount Bank, is now a state-chartered commercial bank, after converting from a federally chartered savings bank last week. "We believe the Maryland commercial bank charter will be a better fit as we continue to transform our balance sheet and product mix to more effectively pursue our banking strategies," CEO and president Joseph M. Solomon said in a statement. Fairmount Bank had $78.7 million in assets at the end of June, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2011
Maryland's Commissioner of Financial Regulation, along with regulators in other states, has agreed to cooperate with the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on supervising providers of consumer financial products, Maryland officials announced Tuesday. As part of this memorandum of understanding, state regulators and the new federal consumer bureau agree to consult each other on the procedures and practices used when conducting compliance examinations on businesses such as banks, mortgage lenders and money transmitters.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2010
Cecil Bancorp Inc. and its subsidiary, Cecil Bank, have reached an agreement with state and federal regulators to take steps to ensure financial soundness. The agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation sets up a timeline for the bank and its parent to come up with a series of written plans for maintaining sufficient capital, improving earnings, beefing up board oversight, and other steps. The bank also agreed not to extend further credit, without approval by the board, to borrowers whose loans were criticized by regulators last year.
BUSINESS
Lorraine Mirabella | April 29, 2014
State officials are warning consumers to pay attention to their e-wallets. Virtual currency such as Bitcoin is becoming more popular but is largely unregulated, and it comes without federally backed insurance. The warning from Maryland's attorney general and financial regulation commissioner reminded consumers and investors to be cautious when dealing with digital and crypto-currency. "It pays to know what's in your e-Wallet and the many ways your money can disappear if you're not careful," Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said in today's announcement with Mark Kaufman, commissioner of financial regulation at the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 25, 2014
State financial regulators and the attorney general issued a warning Friday about bitcoin and other virtual currencies, saying buyers - and sellers - should be careful. "For now, there is little to no regulation and no safety net for consumers or investors who lose their money dabbling in virtual currency such as Bitcoin," Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler said in a statement. Mark Kaufman, Maryland's commissioner of financial regulation, said in that statement that the state doesn't regulate virtual currencies but is examining issues related to them.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | November 18, 2013
Baltimore County's Fairmount Bancorp Inc. said Monday its bank, Fairmount Bank, is now a state-chartered commercial bank, after converting from a federally chartered savings bank last week. "We believe the Maryland commercial bank charter will be a better fit as we continue to transform our balance sheet and product mix to more effectively pursue our banking strategies," CEO and president Joseph M. Solomon said in a statement. Fairmount Bank had $78.7 million in assets at the end of June, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
NEWS
August 25, 2013
Fear not, boardwalk vacationers. Labor Day may be approaching, but one of summer's favorite pastimes, the Whac-A-Mole game, is getting an extended run. We speak, of course, of Maryland's unceasing efforts to protect consumers from unscrupulous payday lenders. Just like those varmints that pop up unpredictably - and must be hammered with authority - these modern-day Shylocks charging their 400 percent interest rates are not easily thwarted. Since 2005, every state in the union has adopted laws banning such loans, yet an estimated 12 million Americans are trapped in the payday lending cycle.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2013
President Barack Obama has appointed Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former top Maryland financial regulator, as deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, the White House announced late Wednesday. Raskin, 52, has served as a governor of the Federal Reserve since 2010. Previously she was appointed by Gov. Martin O'Malley as commissioner of financial regulation in 2007. If confirmed by the Senate, she would replace Deputy Secretary Neal Wolin, who has served since 2009. The Financial Times website reported that Raskin, a resident of Takoma Park, would become the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in the Treasury Department.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | May 22, 2013
Marylanders received more than $1.3 billion in relief from the National Mortgage Settlement during a 12-month period, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced Tuesday. That assistance went to nearly 17,000 mortgage borrowers between March 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013, Gansler said. The total amount allocated so far is $400 million more than the original estimate of the settlement's total financial relief. Plus, the relief amount announced Tuesday does not include one-time cash payments that will soon be made to borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure in the period from 2008 through 2011 and whose mortgages were serviced by one of the five settling banks, Gansler said.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2013
The Federal Reserve Board announced Thursday that it terminated an enforcement action against Baltimore-based Harbor Bankshares Corp. The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond issued the action in July 2010, reaching an agreement with the holding company to take steps to shore up its finances. The company, parent of The Harbor Bank of Maryland, agreed to comply with consent orders from other regulators as well as not to pay dividends, take on more debt or redeem shares without the approval of the Federal Reserve Bank first.
BUSINESS
By Trif Alatzas and Trif Alatzas,SUN STAFF | November 20, 2003
Maryland homeowners overcharged by mortgage servicing company Fairbanks Capital Corp. will receive refunds within three months under a settlement signed yesterday with state regulators. Under the consent agreement with Maryland's Office of Financial Regulation, Fairbanks no longer will charge fees that the state believes were excessive or unauthorized. The company, which manages about 500,000 mortgage payments nationally for homeowners with riskier credit histories, was accused of harassing scores of customers by adding hundreds of dollars in unjustified late charges and other costs to their accounts and threatening to foreclose on their homes.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose and Eileen Ambrose,SUN STAFF | April 13, 2005
An effort to allow for-profit companies to provide debt management services to Marylanders failed during the last hours of the General Assembly when the legislature passed a bill to increase consumer protections for those seeking help from credit counselors. Now, only nonprofits can provide credit counseling and debt management in Maryland. But state regulators are expected to study whether for-profits can do the same job, and the issue may come up again next year. Two years ago, scandals erupted in the credit counseling industry with some nonprofits accused of overcharging consumers and channeling money to for-profit affiliates.
NEWS
By Michael Greenberger | October 8, 2012
Corporate-sponsored groups have launched a campaign of litigation in the lower federal courts challenging the legality of the second major piece of President Barack Obama's legislative program, one that received a lot of attention in last week's first presidential debate: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. When these cases reach the Supreme Court, we could very well see a reprise of the drama surrounding its decision on the Affordable Care Act at the end of this past term.
BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | March 14, 2012
Maryland financial regulators will take part in the effort to make sure the big banks that recently settled allegations of widespread foreclosure misconduct live up to the agreement they signed. Anne Balcer Norton, deputy commissioner of financial regulation at the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, said the agency has been named to the monitoring committee for the nationwide settlement. It's the only state bank regulator on the committee, she said. "I'm pleased that we get a seat at the table," she said, adding that the agency has the "ground-level perspective" of what homeowners are going through.
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