Wednesday, April 11, 2012

In a twist, Bank of America repeatedly sues itself

Welcome to the morning roundup. Here's a look at what's news in banking and finance this morning.

BofA suing itself. In an unusual twist, Bank of America has sued itself in foreclosure cases at least 11 times in just one Florida county since late March, the Huffington Post reports. The bank says this happens on properties with two mortgages, with Bank of America servicing one on behalf of an investor and owning the other. Experts call it "classic robo foreclosure."

Subprime lending returns. As banks and other lenders have mostly dug out from losses on bad loans, they're again beginning to lend to subprime borrowers, The New York Times reports. These mostly include credit cards and auto loans.

Broker bonuses back. Bonuses paid to recruit securities brokers are back near their all-time highs, Reuters reports. Morgan Stanley, UBS AG, Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America are offering top brokers as much as three times their previous year commissions and fees.

Smaller profits could drop markets. A drop in first-quarter profits at the largest U.S. banks could put a halt to the stock market rally that has boosted bank shares this year, Bloomberg reports. Earnings season begins Friday with JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.

Speedy short sales. Bank of America is set to try a program in which Florida short sales are approved within 20 days, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Currently, it can take as long as six months. The Charlotte bank services about a quarter-million delinquent mortgages in the beleaguered state.