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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 13, 2011
Maryland's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation has hired a former Baltimore prosecutor to oversee the enforcement of financial regulations, the state said Wednesday. Cynthia H. Jones, the new assistant commissioner of enforcement and consumer services, will also direct staff who handle consumer questions and complaints within the department's financial regulation office. She worked for the Baltimore state's attorney's office for 15 years. She was deputy state's attorney for the past five years, with duties that included managing investigations.
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BUSINESS
November 11, 2009
WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee unveiled Tuesday his version of legislation to overhaul the nation's financial regulations, which sharply differs from the Obama administration's plan by proposing the creation of a single federal banking regulatory agency and stripping significant power from the Federal Reserve. The 1,136-page proposal by Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., is likely to be strongly opposed by the Fed and the three other bank regulatory agencies. Dodd's legislation also further complicates White House efforts to pass an overhaul by the end of the year because it differs significantly from legislation moving through the House.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2010
Sarah Bloom Raskin is deeply interested in the economy's effect on everyday life, a driving force in her work to keep Marylanders from being scammed, foreclosed on or caught up in a bank failure. That consumer focus caught White House attention. Raskin, Maryland's top financial regulator, is one of three nominated Thursday by President Barack Obama to fill empty seats on the powerful Federal Reserve Board of Governors. She would join at a fraught time for the Fed, which has been criticized for paying too little attention to consumer issues.
BUSINESS
By Hanah Cho, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2011
Maryland's financial regulators have been busy for several years now, sorting through the fallout from the financial crisis and the real estate collapse. The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation oversees state-chartered banks and is responsible for ensuring that other financial companies — such as mortgage lenders, brokers and debt-collection agencies — operate properly in the state. Most recently, the office has been pursuing unlicensed debt collectors and ramping up efforts to make sure that licensed collectors have enough documentation when trying to win court judgments.
NEWS
April 27, 2010
Immigration reform is the right issue — at the wrong time. It's the right issue because, now that substantial health care reform has been achieved, perhaps this nation's greatest remaining travesty is that more than 10 million people live among us in a shadow world of fear and hardship. The vast majority of illegal immigrants stay out of trouble and work hard to support their families, yet most endure poverty, hostility and constant anxiety about being torn from their loved ones and deported.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2014
In a surprising reversal, last week's losing bidder for 1st Mariner Bank got approval Tuesday to buy it — preserving the city's largest independent bank as a Baltimore-based institution. The group of investors, a mix of locals and out-of-state investment firms led by Priam Capital of New York, won over creditors with a last-minute offer to sweeten their deal. They agreed to pay about $17.7 million, $3 million of that up front as a deposit. That bid was roughly $4 million more than the value of competitor National Penn Bank's best offer.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2013
State regulators have ordered a South Dakota-based payday lender to stop making consumer loans in Maryland after finding the company used predatory tactics and charged excessive interest rates. Western Sky Financial, located on a reservation in Timber Lake, S.D., has said it was not required to follow Maryland law because of tribal immunity, according to the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The labor department's Division of Financial Regulation said Thursday it has issued a final cease and desist order against Western Sky, its owner Martin Webb and other related parties.
BUSINESS
By Tricia Bishop, Andrea K. Walker and Jamie Smith Hopkins and Baltimore Sun reporters | January 15, 2010
Tens of thousands of lawsuits against Maryland debtors over unpaid bills are being tossed out of court because the law firm pursuing the debt-collection cases has abruptly shut down. The move gives a temporary reprieve to Marylanders in default on a variety of bills, particularly credit card payments, and burdens the already strained District Court system, which now has to sort through the legal morass left behind. It is unclear whether the creditors will refile the lawsuits seeking payment.
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 Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | June 21, 2010
A leader in foreclosure-prevention efforts in Maryland is moving to the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to oversee mortgage lenders, brokers, debt-management firms and check cashers. Anne Balcer Norton, who just stepped down as head of foreclosure prevention at the nonprofit St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center in Baltimore, starts in July as an assistant commissioner in the state's financial regulation office. Norton, an attorney, worked as general counsel for a mortgage lender before heading up St. Ambrose's foreclosure prevention team, the largest in the Baltimore area.
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