Kozeny & McCubbin Merges with Bonial & Associates, P.C. (BPC)

Bonial & Associates, P.C. (BPC) welcomes Kozeny & McCubbin and expands their legal services to mortgage loan servicers, automotive finance companies and consumer lending clients in six states.  States include Texas, California, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.  The combined firms will operate under the name Bonial & Associates, P.C. (BPC).

The move adds all 10 attorneys and 40 staff members from Kozeny & McCubbin to BPC. The new law firm will have 27 attorneys and 92 support staff, positioning it to serve our clients with even greater efficiencies and performance.  Combined the law firm now represents over half of the top twenty mortgage servicers and consumer finance companies with leading services related to handling of foreclosure, bankruptcy, litigation, eviction and other related legal services.

“We are excited to join the Bonial family.   We are a stronger team together bringing industry leading performance and greater strategic value to our clients.” stated Wes Kozeny.  Prior to the merger, Wes Kozeny practiced in various areas, including banking, finance and mortgage lending; bankruptcy; creditors' rights; real estate matters including residential and commercial leasing and sale transactions, title litigation, foreclosures, evictions, condemnation and mechanic's liens. Mr. Kozeny is licensed to practice in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Illinois, New York and Texas.

Hilary Bonial, Director of BPC stated, “We are excited to have Wes and team join our family.  Together, we can generate even greater benefits with the expanded state footprint.  We share the passion and goal of providing excellent service for our clients!”  Ms. Bonial is licensed to practice in Texas and Louisiana, and is admitted to numerous Federal Courts.

Bonial & Associates, P.C. represents creditors in foreclosure, bankruptcy and related litigation matters. We emphasize quality, compliance and risk management.
The firm provides national bankruptcy representation for all 50 states in association with a network of over 150 other law firms who perform services as local counsel. Bonial & Associates, P.C. also provides direct legal representation on a state-wide basis throughout Texas, California, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.   Bonial & Associates, P.C. delivers quality legal services with an emphasis on demonstrable subject matter expertise, domain knowledge and the highest levels of compliance and professional responsibility.

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Loan Limit Increases to More than $510,000 - ABI

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced yesterday that it is raising the conforming loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to more than $510,000, reported. In most of the U.S., the 2020 maximum conforming loan limit will be raised to $510,400, up from 2019’s level to $484,350. This marks the fourth straight year that the FHFA has increased the conforming loan limits after not increasing them for an entire decade from 2006 to 2016. In 2016, the FHFA increased the Fannie and Freddie conforming loan limit for the first time in 10 years, and since then, the loan limit has gone up by $93,400. Back in 2016, the FHFA increased the conforming loan limits from $417,000 to $424,100. Then, the next year, the FHFA raised the loan limits from $424,100 to $453,100 for 2018. And in 2018, the FHFA increased the loan limit from $453,100 to $484,350 for 2019. ABI

Proposed Low-Income Lending Overhaul Expected Next Month - ABI

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is gearing up to propose the first overhaul of a landmark anti-redlining law in decades, a plan expected to broaden the definition of the communities a bank serves in the digital age and to create new ways to measure lenders' compliance, Politico reported. The OCC plans to release its proposed rule on the Community Reinvestment Act on Dec. 13, though it could come a day earlier if the FDIC signs on at a board meeting, according to people familiar with the matter. FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams said last week that she would likely agree to the proposal this week. Both banks and community groups have long called for modernizing the CRA, a 1977 law that was written decades before the advent of digital banking. The law, aimed at combating redlining, or racial bias in lending, requires banks to meet the needs of local communities where their branches are based, including low- and moderate-income borrowers. Comptroller Joseph Otting said that it is his aim to “encourage banks to do billions more in lending and investment in communities that desperately need more capital and economic opportunity.” But some consumer groups worry that the end result will instead be to dilute the process so that banks can receive credit without doing much to help the law’s intended beneficiaries. ABI

CFPB considering changes to loan originator compensation rules - ABI

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed recently that it is considering making changes to the Loan Originator Compensation rule.  Late last week, the CFPB released its semiannual regulatory agenda, which stated that the bureau is considering a rulemaking to “address certain concerns” about the LO Comp rule.  According to the bureau, it has received feedback that parts of the LO Comp rule are “unnecessarily restrictive,” and is considering making some changes to address those concerns. ABI

Owner of the ‘Godfather’ Horse-Head Mansion Enters Chapter 11 Protection - ABI

A storied $125 million mansion in Beverly Hills that was featured in “The Godfather” is in bankruptcy protection, Bloomberg News reported. Real-estate investor and attorney Leonard Ross filed for chapter 11 protection for the business that holds title to the estate on Sunday, listing $75 million in liabilities. A hearing is scheduled today in Los Angeles Superior Court where creditors are seeking the appointment of a receiver for the property in a separate lawsuit. Ross has been embroiled in a dispute with private lenders who hold a mortgage on the property. He sued them in September, claiming he was manipulated into a loan agreement four years ago. According to his complaint, the lenders took advantage of Ross when he was going through a personal tragedy after the loss of his daughter. The lenders filed a cross-complaint and asked for the appointment of a receiver because, they said, the mansion is filled with period furnishings and artwork that is part of the collateral for the loan and is easily removed. The lawsuit will likely be put on hold as a result of the bankruptcy filing. Known as the Beverly House, the mansion was built in 1927 for Milton Getz, executive director of the Union Bank & Trust Co. In 1946, it was bought by William Randolph Hearst who lived there with Marion Davies until his death in 1951. It’s where John F. Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline spent their honeymoon. And in the 1972 Francis Ford Coppola movie, it’s where “consigliere” Tom Hagen visits a Hollywood studio mogul to persuade him to give a movie role to Don Corleone’s godson, Johnny Fontane. When reason doesn’t prevail, the studio boss wakes up in the morning with the severed head of his favorite stallion in his bed. ABI

Senators Try, Try Again to Fix Pension Funds - ABI

Senate Republicans unveiled a plan yesterday to stabilize the failing pensions of 1.3 million miners, truckers, and other workers and retirees, setting the stage for a battle with House Democrats, who approved their own version of a fix over the summer, the Wall Street Journal reported. The workers and retirees belong to what are known as multiemployer pension funds, which are governed by collective bargaining agreements between a group of employers and a union. The most troubled plans are an estimated $100 billion short of what they need to pay out promised benefits — and the government insurance plan that backstops them is expected to run out of money by 2025. The new proposal by Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lamar Alexander would pave the way for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the government’s pension insurer, to take over a portion of some troubled plans’ liabilities, according to documents shared by Sen. Grassley’s and Sen. Alexander’s offices. The plans eligible for takeover would include two plans serving truckers and mine workers that are on the verge of running out of money. Following the takeovers, retirees would continue to receive benefits, but they would be cut by 10 percent, the documents show. The bill passed by House Democrats differs in that it would offer direct aid to the troubled plans in the form of forgivable loans. The Congressional Budget Office pegged the total price tag for the package at $48.5 billion but said it was difficult to predict the cost because it wasn’t clear under what circumstances the loans could be forgiven. ABI

Millennials Most Likely to Outspend Other Generations This Holiday Season - Discover

Over a third of millennials plan to spend more money this holiday season compared to last year, and they will likely outspend other generations this gift-giving season, according to Discover’s annual Holiday Shopping Survey. Millennials say higher income and more people on their shopping list are two reasons for their boost in spending. And they also will overwhelmingly use their mobile devices to shop. Discover

Fed minutes show worries about economy had eased a bit - MarketWatch

Federal Reserve officials were more upbeat about the economy in late October than they had been only six weeks earlier, according to minutes of their policy discussion released Wednesday. Officials “generally viewed the economic outlook as positive,” the minutes said. “Uncertainties associated with trade tensions as well as geopolitical risks had eased somewhat, although they remained elevated,” the summary said. Officials talked about a “resilient” economy in the face of headwinds. At their meeting, the Fed voted 8 to 2 to trim rates by a quarter-point. It was the third straight meeting with a cut, bringing the benchmark fed funds rate to a range of 1.5%-1.75%. MarketWatch

Report: Farm Income Fell Across Rural States Despite Trade Aid, Higher Prices - ABI

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City reported that farm finances deteriorated across a swath of agricultural states during the summer and early fall, despite the Trump administration’s second round of trade aid payments and slightly higher prices, Bloomberg News reported. Farm income fell in the third quarter from a year ago in each of the seven rural states covered by the Kansas City Fed, according to its survey of agricultural credit conditions. The report cited the trade war, volatile crop prices and disruptions at a major beef processing facility. Bankers contacted by the Fed said the drop in farm income was sharper than they expected going into the summer. Respondents expect income to decline further and credit conditions to worsen in the coming months despite trade aid payments. The USDA started issuing payments from its 2019 trade aid program in August. ABI

Colleges Can Be Forced to Return Tuition When Parents Go Bankrupt - ABI

Colleges can be forced to return tuition payments made for students whose parents can’t cover their own debts, according to a federal appeals court ruling that opens up higher education institutions to more litigation in bankruptcy courts, WSJ Pro Bankruptcy reported. An appeals court in Boston said on Tuesday that tuition payments can be recovered when a student’s parents later declare bankruptcy, the first appellate decision to address squarely whether such expenses can be taken back and redistributed. Lawsuits targeting tuition payments have become popular among bankruptcy trustees tasked with digging up funds after parents file for bankruptcy. The results have been mixed in the nation’s bankruptcy courts, with some judges shielding colleges and sometimes the students themselves from having to return tuition money. Many schools have opted to settle with trustees rather than test the controversial lawsuits in the courts. Tuesday’s ruling sided with a bankruptcy trustee who sued Sacred Heart University of Fairfield, Conn., to claw back tuition paid on behalf of a student whose parents were involved in a multimillion-dollar fraud that sent her father to prison. The decision said that because parents don’t benefit economically for sending adult children to college, the tuition they paid can be unwound. The tuition payments “furnished nothing of direct value” to creditors of the parents, said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. ABI