Thursday, December 10, 2009


Once called IndyMac, now OneWest. DD sees it on his walk to lunch everyday, taking up about two city blocks at #888 Lake (that's 222 -- on the dot -- more than 666 ... pretty suspicious) across from the Ralphs supermarket.

Only this week, the big IndyMac sign came off, replaced with a big OneWest display, coincidentally in time for this bit of news:

Legislation that would have allowed depositors at failed IndyMac Bank to get back money they lost when the thrift collapsed was shot down Thursday in Congress.

The House of Representatives Rules Committee voted 8 to 4, with one abstention, to deny the amendment, which would have been part of a massive financial reform bill, officials said.

Originally offered by Jane Harman, D-El Segundo, the amendment sought to increase bank deposit insurance to $250,000, retroactive to July 11, 2008. That was when federal regulators seized the Pasadena-based bank.

In the failure, 10,000 IndyMac customers reportedly lost about $270 million in deposits that went beyond the FDIC's insurance limit of $100,000 per customer. They've since received 50 cents on the dollar for what they lost.

Here at the Pasadena Star-News.

Satan's Bank of Pasadena was also in the news in August, for allegedly taking advantage of its customers while on the teat of government bailout.

"Bank's new owners are required to adjust mortgages to get government aid," reported CNN on-line.

"Five months after securing a sweet deal to buy SatanMac Bank, the new owners say they are fulfilling their obligation to modify troubled home loans.

"Some frustrated borrowers and housing counselors, however, say it's anything but easy to deal with the institution, now known as LuciferWest Bank. They say the bank needs to do more for its troubled customers because of the perks it is receiving from the government ... While many banks are getting a helping hand from Washington, OneWest is enjoying a special deal.

Once one of the nation's largest lenders of Alt-A mortgages made to borrowers who did not need to verify their income or assets, IndyMac was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in July 2008 ... When [a] group of private investors bought the Pasadena, Calif.-based bank earlier this year, the FDIC promised to cover a majority of the losses in the institution's home loan portfolio. In return, the investors agreed to continue the loan modification efforts."

The CNN piece then talks to people who've either been put off or stalled on loan modification.

"The primary causes of IndyMac’s failure were largely associated with its business strategy of originating and securitizing Alt-A loans on a large scale," reads Wiki. "This strategy resulted in rapid growth and a high concentration of risky assets ... Following the rebirth of IndyMac as OneWest Bank the organization has taken a much more aggressive and some argue illegal approach to foreclosing on properties. On November 25, 2009 a judge in Long Island, New York penalized OneWest for their 'harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive' actions in trying to work out a distressed mortgage by cancelling the debt in favor of the borrower."

The bank complex has a large Christmas tree on display in the lobby. But I've heard managers watch crush videos when they should be singing Christmas carols.


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