With a second defendant pleading guilty to conspiracy, it was learned that a Watertown, N.Y., apartment complex is among dozens of rental properties in that state and several others that allegedly received $500 million in fraudulent bank loans.

Buffalo, N.Y., mortgage broker Patrick Ogiony became the second defendant to plead guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Ogiony conspired with codefendants Frank Giacobbe, Kevin Morgan, Todd Morgan and others to defraud financial institutions between March 2011 and June 2017, the U.S. attorney's office said.

They were charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud in a 62-count indictment handed up in September 2017. Autumn Ridge, in Watertown, is among 100 multifamily properties owned by Morgan Management LLC, a Rochester-area real estate management company.

Six years ago, Morgan Management built the 394-unit townhouse project on County Route 202 in reaction to the need for more rental housing for Fort Drum soldiers returning from deployment.

In the run-up to the financial crisis, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were more powerful than Congress, as they were able to keep it from enacting reform until July 2008, a mere two months before the government-sponsored enterprises were placed in conservatorship and received a massive taxpayer bailout. They were more powerful than the Federal Reserve, pushing back on former Chairman Alan Greenspan’s efforts to rein them in. And they were more powerful than the president, successfully fighting the Bush administration’s efforts to rein them in. In short, the GSEs placed themselves above the government that created them, making them a danger to democracy.

In a report the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (the GSEs' regulator from 1992-2008) sent to Congress on April 15, 2008, it noted a March 2008 pact under which "both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac agreed that a ‘world-class regulatory structure’ is needed and ‘renewed a shared commitment to work for comprehensive GSE reform legislation.' " As already mentioned, Congress passed such GSE reform legislation a few months later in July.

Notwithstanding a new “world-class regulatory structure” under the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the GSEs are once again growing in power and continue to be the biggest of the “too big to fail” companies.

When Facebook announced a new set of rules for advertisements related to housing, employment and credit, they largely weren't directed at banks, which have to be careful about how they advertise given their own set of regulations.

But the restrictions and the overall blow to Facebook's reputation over the past year are giving banks' marketing and compliance departments extra reasons for caution.

“This will just force marketers to do something they probably should be doing anyway, which is think more deeply about the traits they really want to target in their customers,” said Brandon Verblow, an analyst for Forrester Marketing and Strategy. “That’s going to produce better results for advertisers than using these more blunt targeting measures.”

Washington, D.C.  — Today, the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Modified Loan Application Registers (LARs) data were published for approximately 5,400 financial institutions. This is the first year in which additional data reported by certain institutions under the 2015 HMDA rule will be available. The Modified LARs contains loan level information for 2018 on individual HMDA filers, modified to protect privacy. For guidance as to how submitted data is modified to protect privacy, please see https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/consumer-financial-protection-bureau-announces-policy-guidance-disclosure-home-mortgage-data/.

Later this year, additional information will be published related to HMDA, including: a complete loan level dataset and HMDA aggregate and disclosure reports. These data products will be accompanied by a Data Point article highlighting key trends. The information to be released this year will include certain new data points, which can provide more insights into the mortgage lending practices of institutions. The CFPB anticipates applying particular rigor and analysis to address data anomalies, including in the new data points and describing the context in which the data may be best understood.      

The HMDA statute requires that the Modified LARs be available by March 31st. The 2015 HMDA rule eliminated the need for individual financial institutions to make their Modified LARs available to members of the public who may request them. This is the second year that all Modified LARs have been publicly available on ffiec.cfpb.gov. The 2018 HMDA Modified LARs are available here: here: https://ffiec.cfpb.gov/data-publication/modified-lar