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July 22, 2014

CitiMortgage seeks $4.5 million in lawsuit against Chicago bankers

Filed under: Canada, mortgage — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 12:36 am

CitiMortgage is suing two Chicago bankers, Steve and John Calk, alleging a mortgage bank the brothers operated that dissolved in 2012 contained inaccuracies in residential loan underwriting documents.

CitiMortgage, which is based in O’Fallon, Mo., is seeking more than $4.5 million in damages in the breach of contract lawsuit filed in federal court in St. Louis Monday.  

Since 2004, CitiMortgage purchased 4,790 loans from Chicago Bancorp, once one of the largest privately held retail mortgage banks in the country, according to court documents. 

Steve Calk was president and co-owner of Chicago Bancorp, and John Calk was vice president and co-owner before Chicago Bancorp dissolved in late 2012. Steve Calk now is founder, chairman and CEO of The Federal Savings Bank in Chicago, which also is named a defendant in the lawsuit, and John Calk is vice chairman. 

Eighteen loans Chicago Bancorp sold CitiMortgage over the last decade contained inaccurate information or material misrepresentations that included misrepresenting a borrower’s income, employment or debt, according to the lawsuit. In one loan Chicago Bancorp sold CitiMortgage, the lawsuit alleges a borrower provided a false Social Security number belonging to another individual. “Chicago Bancorp sold (CitiMortgage) at least 18 loans … that were underwritten and/or originated based upon materially inaccurate information or on material misrepresentations,” CitiMortage’s lawsuit alleges. 

CitiMortgage alleges its contract with Chicago Bancorp required Chicago Bancorp to repurchase loans that CitiMortgage deemed did not meet the requirements set out in the contract instant payday loans. After Chicago Bancorp dissolved, CitiMortgage alleges that The Federal Savings Bank continued Chicago Bancorp’s business of originating mortgage loans with Chicago Bancorp’s employees, and Chicago Bancorp’s assets were transferred to The Federal Savings Bank and its holding company, National Bancorp Holdings. 

“Chicago Bancorp and the other defendants made the transfer of Chicago Bancorp’s assets with the actual intent to hinder, delay and prevent (CitiMortgage) from collecting amounts due to it in payment of repurchase claims against Chicago Bancorp,” CitiMortgage alleges in the lawsuit. 

A CitiMortgage spokesman and an attorney representing the Calks, The Federal Savings Bank and National Bancorp both declined to comment on the lawsuit. 

The new lawsuit isn’t the first time the parties have litigated over home loans. CitiMortgage sued Chicago Bancorp, the Calks, The Federal Savings Bank, and National Bancorp Holdings in February 2012 in federal court in St. Louis alleging 11 loans contained inaccuracies, and CitiMortgage sought more than $2 million in damages in that case. In a summary judgment this year, Judge Catherine Perry approved CitiMortgage’s motion for summary judgment in its favor on 9 of the 11 loans in dispute. 



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July 18, 2014

Paradowski names Edinger executive creative director

Filed under: small business, uk — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 5:56 pm

Marketing agency Paradowski has named Jake Edinger its new executive creative director. 

Edinger, who previously was group creative director at ad firm Hughes Leahy Karlovic in St. Louis, replaces Brad Hauck in the role. Hauck left Paradowski in June and now is creative director at 2e Creative in St. Louis. 

Edinger is one of 17 new hires to Webster Groves-based Paradowski’s account management, creative, production and digital teams since January. The agency has nearly doubled its employee roster in the past two years, the firm said in statement announcing the hires.  

The other new hires are: Julia Ahrens, Rashida Nebbitt, Stephanie Drucker, Colleen Ewell and Karen McKinley, who joined its account management team; Ryan Bennett, Jake Eshelman, Natasha Zerjav and Dan Rayfield, who joined the creative team; and Corey Welch, Luke Thomas, Tim Pickett, Kevin Olsen, Derek Yeager, Keith Walter and Henry Roberts, who joined its digital team Online payday loans

Paradowski’s clients include Brown Shoe, Monsanto and Central Bancompany.


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July 15, 2014

Authorities seize 67 giant African snails hidden in luggage at LAX

Filed under: marketing, technology — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 12:40 pm

LOS ANGELES —Two picnic baskets packed with 67 live giant African snails were seized by federal authorities at Los Angeles International Airport, authorities said Monday.

The shipment of snails, which weighed a total of more than 35 pounds and were reportedly intended for human consumption, was apparently the largest seizure at LAX of the mollusks, which are sometimes fried and served as a snack.

The snails were discovered in two picnic baskets, which weighed more than 35 pounds, said Lee Harty of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

They arrived from Lagos, Nigeria, she said.


$4 million worth of heroin seized at Pearson

Florida battles giant stucco-eating snails

In the past, federal inspectors have discovered one or two of the large snails hidden in luggage, but this marked “the first time this pest has been encountered in such large quantity and as a consumption entry” in Los Angeles, said Todd C. Owen, director of field operations for the customs agency.

Giant African snails, also known as land snails, can live as long as 10 years and grow as big as a rat. They can carry parasites harmful to humans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture deems the large snails as a damaging species because they consume more than 500 types of plants.

But when the snails can’t find fruits and vegetables to eat, they can gnaw through plaster and will “eat paint and stucco off of houses,” the customs agency said.

The incident remains under investigation.


July 12, 2014

Isle of Capri stock falls after company announces job changes

Filed under: Uncategorized, management — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 6:48 am

Stock in Isle of Capri took a beating Friday, a day after the Creve Coeur-based gaming company announced job shuffles in the executive suite.

Analysts interpreted the moves as a signal that a company sale, rumored for weeks, might be off.

Kim Noland, director of high yield research at Gimme Credit, an independent research service on corporate bonds, noted recent media reports that Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. was considering a bid for Isle.

But in a research note Friday, she said the departure of Dale Black, Isle’s chief financial officer, “to pursue other interests,” and the appointment of Eric Hausler, the chief strategic officer, as CFO, “suggests a sale may not be as close as reported.”

Isle stock fell Friday to $8.69, down nearly 14 percent from Thursday’s close of $10.05.

Among other job changes Isle announced Thursday was the appointment of Robert Goldstein, the board’s vice chairman, as the board’s non-executive chairman.

Noland said the Goldstein family, which owns 40 percent of Isle, has been reported to have solicited purchase bids through a banker.

GLPI is a real-estate investment trust spun off last year by Penn National Gaming. Noland pointed out that as a REIT, GLPI would need to find an operator for Isle’s portfolio of properties in different states in an outright sale agreement cash advance loan no fax.

Isle is a regional gaming company with 15 casino properties in seven states. Its Missouri casinos are in Boonville, Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville and Kansas City.

Isle’s spokeswoman declined to discuss the job shuffles but pointed out the statement from Virginia McDowell, Isle’s chief executive, that the changes will streamline company operations and save $2.5 million annually.

At least one analyst, Robert Shore of Union Gaming Group, indicated that too much could be made of Isle’s job shuffles.

“We do not view changes, namely the change at CFO, as a negative development,” Shore said in a report Friday.

Black is “amply succeeded” by Hausler, who has 15 years of relevant experience, Shore wrote.

“He is also a highly skilled communicator with the investment community and acutely focused on maximizing shareholder value,” Shore added. “Further, we would not speculate one way or another on the impact of these changes to the likelihood of whether or not the company will be sold.”


July 10, 2014

More ‘headline-grabbing’ corporate deals expected

Filed under: business, marketing — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 4:04 pm

LONDON (AP) — More “headline-grabbing” acquisitions are likely over the coming year as businesses take advantage of a period of improving economic growth and cheap financing.

That’s the conclusion of a survey by business consulting firm EY, which says the value of takeover deals announced in the first half of 2014 struck its highest level since the end of the boom years in 2007.

In its half-yearly update of corporate activity, EY said Thursday that the value of deals rose by 50 percent from the same period the year before to $1.7 trillion. Not since the global financial crisis first erupted, prompting companies to batten down the hatches, has the value of deals been that high.

For years, big mergers and acquisitions have been notable for their absence as companies stocked up on cash reserves to weather the global economic storms. Pursuing M&A was very much a secondary consideration for boards round the world.

The latest EY figures confirm change is afoot. From the planned $67 billion tie-up between Comcast and Time Warner, and AT&T’s $67 billion deal with DirecTV to Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ $55 billion hostile approach for botox maker Allergan, the last few months have seen a flurry of high-value corporate activity. Facebook even announced its biggest ever acquisition with a proposed $19 billion takeover of WhatsApp.

EY, which sourced data from Dealogic, said the next 6 to 12 months should continue to provide the “ideal window of opportunity” for businesses to pursue more deals. It said high equity valuations, low interest rates and cheap debt, as well as high cash levels built up during the years of retrenchment, have provided a favorable environment for deal-making low fee payday loans.

Those favorable conditions may fade as major central banks start raising interest rates as the global recovery gathers pace. In the U.S., expectations are for rates to start rising in 2015, potentially increasing the cost of financing deals.

“Leading companies will look to do smart and strategic M&A before the current deal climate changes, so we can expect more large, headline-grabbing acquisitions to come,” said Pip McCrostie, EY’s global head of M&A.

Though high in value, EY said the number of mergers and acquisitions remains low, with businesses seemingly looking for big, transformative deals.

Most of the M&A deal-making is happening in developed economies, such as the U.S., Britain and France, as executives think they are less risky options now that their economies are growing again. Though U.S. economic growth suffered a big setback in the first quarter due to bad weather, it’s poised to grow relatively strongly over the rest of the year. And the 18-country eurozone is growing consistently, albeit at a modest pace.

“Emerging high-growth and frontier markets will always be attractive in terms of investment, but safe and secure modest growth is attracting the most investment as the global economy moves into a new phase,” said McCrostie.


July 7, 2014


Filed under: finance, legal — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 9:37 am

Southern euro-region countries need debt relief to revive economic growth and creditors should pay the cost, said Hans-Werner Sinn, head of the German-based Ifo economic institute.

The Asian financial crisis that started in 1997 was resolved with debt forgiveness rather than by drawing on taxpayers

July 5, 2014


Filed under: small business, uk — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 7:17 pm

European Central Bank Governing Council member Christian Noyer warned euro-area governments against giving up on deficit reduction or looking to use a debt build-up to bolster growth.

July 4, 2014

World Cup overpass project collapses in Brazil

Filed under: money, small business — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 3:57 am

RIO DE JANEIRO—An overpass under construction collapsed Thursday in a Brazilian World Cup host city, killing at least one person and trapping a commuter bus, two construction trucks and one car, authorities said.

The incident took place on a main avenue, the expansion of which was part of the World Cup infrastructure plan but, like most urban mobility projects related to the Cup, it was not finished on time for the event.

A woman who was driving a commuter bus trapped by the overpass died, said Capt. Federico Pascual of the Belo Horizonte fire department.

The overpass collapsed about five kilometres from the Mineirao soccer stadium, which has hosted several World Cup matches in recent weeks and will see the semifinal match next Tuesday.

Pascual said another 10 people were injured in the collapse, all construction workers working on the project.

The overpass “arched over a really busy thoroughfare,” Pascual said.


June 26, 2014

Google shows off Android Auto, wearables

Filed under: business, technology — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 1:01 am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — There are now 1 billion people using Android devices, Google said as the company kicked off its two-day developer conference Wednesday in San Francisco.

As the Internet giant’s Android operating system stretches into cars, homes and smartwatches, this year’s annual confab will expand on its usual focus on smartphones and tablets. Google gave more details about Android Wear, a version of the operating system customized for wearable gadgets such as smartwatches and introduced Android Auto, which has been tailored to work with cars.

About 6,000 developers, bloggers and journalists flocked to the event. Following Google’s recent revelation that showed that just 30 percent of its employees are women, the company touted that the number of women attending its conference grew to 20 percent this year from 8 percent a year earlier.

The company also unveiled an initiative called Android One, designed to help manufacturers build low-cost smartphones for emerging markets such as India.

Google’s I/O event —a rally of sorts designed to get developers excited about creating apps and devices for Google’s ecosystem— comes at a time of transition for the company, which makes most of its money from advertising thanks to its status as the world’s leader in online search. The company is trying to adjust to an ongoing shift to smartphones and tablet computers from desktop and laptop PCs. Though mobile advertising is growing rapidly, advertising aimed at PC users still generates more money.

At the same time, Google is angling to stay at the forefront of innovation by taking gambles on new, sometimes unproven technologies that take years to pay off —if at all. Driverless cars, Google Glass, smartwatches and thinking thermostats are just some of its more far-off bets.

On the home front, Google’s Nest Labs —which makes network-connected thermostats and smoke detectors— announced earlier this week that it has created a program that allows outside developers, from tiny startups to large companies such as Whirlpool and Mercedes-Benz, to fashion software and “new experiences” for its products cash advance no faxing.

Integration with Mercedes-Benz, for example, might mean that a car can notify a Nest thermostat when it’s getting close to home, so the device can have the home’s temperature adjusted to the driver’s liking before he or she arrives.

Nest’s founder, Tony Fadell, is an Apple veteran who helped design the iPod and the iPhone. Google bought the company earlier this year for $3.2 billion.

Opening the Nest platform to outside developers will allow Google to move into the emerging market for connected, smart home devices. Experts expect that this so-called “Internet of Things” phenomenon will change the way people use technology in much the same way that smartphones have changed life since the introduction of Apple’s iPhone seven years ago.

In March, Google released “Android Wear,” a version of its operating system tailored to computerized wristwatches and other wearable devices. Although there are already several smartwatches on the market, the devices are more popular with gadget geeks and fitness fanatics than regular consumers. But Google could help change that with Android Wear. Android, after all, is already the world’s most popular smartphone operating system.

Google may also have news about Glass, including when the company might launch a new and perhaps less expensive version of the $1,500 Internet-connected eyewear. Google will likely have to lower the price if it wants Glass to reach a broader audience. But that’s just one hurdle. Convincing people that the gadget useful, rather than creepy, is another one.


June 21, 2014

Payrolls Increased in 36 U.S. States in May, Led by Texas - Bloomberg

Filed under: loans, marketing — Tags: , , , — ManInBlack @ 4:41 am

Payrolls climbed in 36 U.S. states in May and the unemployment rate fell in 20, showing the labor market continued to strengthen across the nation.

Texas led gainers with a 56,400 increase in employment, followed by Pennsylvania with 24,700 more jobs, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington.


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