February , 2019

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Archive for December 20th, 2013

Madigan: $2.1 Billion Settlement with sixth mortgage servicer over foreclosure abuses

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Ocwen Financial must provide principal reductions, cash payments to borrowers & ensure fundamental reforms

CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined with 49 attorneys general and the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to announce a $2.1 billion settlement with Ocwen Financial Corporation to address allegations of “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices while servicing loans of struggling homeowners.

The settlement addresses mortgage servicing misconduct by Atlanta-based Ocwen and two companies it acquired – Homeward Residential Inc. and Litton Home Servicing LP. Ocwen specializes in servicing high-risk mortgage loans. According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the misconduct resulted in premature and unauthorized foreclosures, violations of homeowners’ rights and protections and the use of false and deceptive documents and affidavits.

“Today’s settlement is part of my ongoing work to hold banks and servicers accountable for fraudulent conduct that affected many Illinois homeowners struggling to save their homes,” Madigan said. “Similar to the national mortgage settlement, this settlement will provide loan refinancing and direct payments to harmed borrowers.”

Under the agreement, Ocwen must provide $2 billion in first-lien principal reduction loan modifications and $125 million for cash payments to borrowers on more than 183,000 foreclosed loans. In Illinois, Ocwen will provide troubled borrowers with more than $91 million in first lien principal reductions and more than 7,900 borrowers will be eligible for a direct cash payment.

The settlement is an extension of the landmark $25 billion national mortgage settlement reached in 2012 by Madigan, her counterparts and the federal government with Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank, formerly GMAC, which addressed similar allegations of misconduct and overhauled the country’s mortgage servicing standards to prevent future abuses during the foreclosure process. It has provided nearly $2 billion in total relief to Illinois homeowners and organizations working with homeowners and communities impacted by the foreclosure crisis.

The Ocwen settlement does not grant immunity from criminal offenses and would not affect criminal prosecutions. The agreement does not prevent homeowners or investors from pursuing individual, institutional or class action civil cases.  The agreement also preserves the authority of state attorneys general and federal agencies to investigate and pursue other aspects of the mortgage crisis, including securities cases.

Ocwen Financial will contact affected borrowers directly. Borrowers can also contact Ocwen directly at 1 (800) 337-6695 to obtain more information or contact Madigan’s Homeowner’s Helpline, 1 (866) 544-7151 or visit her website.

The monitor of the national mortgage settlement, Joseph A. Smith, Jr., will also oversee Ocwen’s settlement implementation and compliance.

Long before today’s settlement announcement, Attorney General Madigan has led the country in taking legal action against banks, lenders and other financial institutions for unlawful financial misconduct that contributed to the country’s economic collapse.

Madigan became the first attorney general in the nation to sue a national bank for fair lending violations. Madigan and the U.S. Department of Justice secured a $175 million national settlement to resolve allegations that Wells Fargo illegally targeted African American and Latino borrowers for sales of the lender’s poorest quality and most expensive mortgages during the height of the subprime mortgage lending spree. Madigan and the Civil Rights Division of DOJ also reached a $335 million national settlement with Countrywide, once the nation’s largest mortgage lender, to resolve similar allegations of fair lending violations. The settlement has provided restitution to harmed Illinois borrowers and is the largest settlement of a fair lending lawsuit ever obtained by a state attorney general.

Madigan also reached a landmark $8.7 billion national settlement in 2008 against Countrywide for deceptively placing thousands of Illinois homeowners into risky, toxic and unaffordable subprime mortgages. The settlement with Countrywide’s new owner, Bank of America, established the nation’s first mandatory loan modification program.

Currently, Madigan is litigating against the national credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, alleging that the company compromised its independence as a rating agency by doling out high ratings to unworthy, risky investments as a corporate strategy to increase its revenue and market share.

President Obama announces his intent to nominate Senator Max Baucus as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Senator Max Baucus as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.

President Obama said, “For more than two decades Max Baucus has worked to deepen the relationship between the United States and China.  The economic agreements he helped forge have created millions of American jobs and added billions of dollars to our economy, and he’s perfectly suited to build on that progress in his new role.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate Senator Max Baucus as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China:

Senator Max Sieben Baucus, Nominee for Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Department of State

Senator Max Sieben Baucus is the senior United States Senator from Montana.  He has served in the U.S. Senate since 1978.  He is Montana’s longest serving U.S. Senator and has the third longest tenure among those currently serving in the U.S. Senate.  Senator Baucus is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, and a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.  He is a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and chairs its Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.  Before his election to the U.S. Senate, Senator Baucus was a member of the U.S.  House of Representatives from 1975 to 1978.  He previously served in the Montana House of Representatives from 1973 to 1974.  He received both a B.A. and a J.D. from Stanford University.

The Legacy of Mandela and the Unfinished Freedom Struggle in South Africa will be discussed at a public forum in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

The Institute of the Black World 21st Century(IBW) in conjunction with Bus Boys and Poets presents the legacy of Mandela. The event will be held Friday, December 20, at Bus Boys and Poets, 2021  14th Street, N.W. at V., Washington, D.C. at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

(From the IBW)

On Dec. 5, the world lost its greatest leader and statesman and South Africa lost the father of its nation. With the passing of Nelson Mandela, the questions on the minds of many people is what does the future hold for South Africa in the wake of Mandela’s passing. Is there an “unfinished” freedom struggle there and why is South Africa today the most economically unequal country in the world, 20 years after Mandela became the country’s first democratically elected President?

To address these and related questions, The Institute of the Black World 21st Century(IBW) has assembled an outstanding panel of intellectuals and activists to engage in a free, public discussion on Friday, Dec. 20th at Washington’s famed Busboys & Poets on the corner of 14th and V Streets in Northwest DC. The program begins at 7 pm in the Langston Room and will be Webcast on the IBW site.

For those who cannot attend this important forum in person, can view IBW’s Webcast by clicking on this link. You can also spend some time browsing the many articles, commentaries and videos from around the world in IBW’s special Web tribute to the “Life & Legacy of Nelson Mandela”. Click here.

New America Media Spins Off Legacy Youth Programs — The Beat Within and Silicon Valley De-Bug

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific News Service, dba New America Media, a pioneer in diversifying American journalism through youth media and ethnic media initiatives, as well as multilingual polls, announced that two of its legacy youth programs are launching as their own independent, nonprofit entities as of 2014.

PNS founded The Beat Within in 1996 as a writing workshop for detainees in San Francisco’s juvenile hall. Today The Beat oversees volunteers who run workshops in 25 detention facilities in 12 states from Hawaii to Washington, DC and prints a weekly publication of writing and art by over 800 detainees.

Silicon Valley De-Bug began in 2001 as a print ‘zine by, for and about young assembly line workers in San Jose’s then-burgeoning tech industry. Today, it has evolved into a national model for engaging community voices in civic affairs, including video profiles of indigent defendants that give family members and friends a formal platform to advocate on their behalf.

“We started these programs as journalists hungry to connect with youth cultures that were largely inaccessible to the media,” said PNS Executive Director Sandy Close. “Over the years, they outgrew their journalism mission and developed their own communication programs for connecting isolated populations to the broader community. We are proud that each is nationally recognized as a community based organization in its own right.”

“The Beat will be housed under the Youth Law Center as we transition to a national nonprofit organization,” said Beat Executive Director David Inocencio, “We will always see ourselves as part of the PNS-NAM family.”  Inocencio, who won the Jefferson Award for Public Service for his work with young people caught in the juvenile justice system, has overseen The Beat Within since its pilot workshop.

“De-Bug is excited to transition from being a NAM project to a partner with our own nonprofit status,” said De-Bug Executive Director Raj Jayadev. De-Bug is based in San Jose, where Jayadev worked as a labor organizer and assembly line worker before joining PNS. He won a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2010 and is recognized as one of the most influential emerging leaders in Silicon Valley.

“PNS-NAM has a tradition of cofounding and incubating projects, such as the nationally renowned Youth Radio and the award winning Chauncey Baily Project,” said PNS Board Director Lawrence Wilkinson. “Each reflects PNS’s continuing mission to diversify American journalism and communications in our increasingly fragmented society, to amplify the voices of America.”

NAACP calls progress on Budget Deal an important step; implores action on unemployment benefits

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Washington, DC – In response to the Senate moving forward on a long-term budget deal, the NAACP released the following statement:

“Congress is taking a positive step in the right direction by moving forward on a budget deal,” stated Lorraine C. Miller, Interim President and CEO of the NAACP. “However, we are still deeply concerned that the emerging deal fails to extend long-term unemployment insurance. Millions of out-of-work Americans depend on the safety net of unemployment insurance, especially in this season of giving.”

“We applaud Congress for rising above partisan politics and averting a government shutdown,” stated Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, Sr. Director of NAACP Economic Department. “However, this deal’s failure to include legislation that extends long term unemployment only further weakens our country’s most economically vulnerable. I urge Congress to advance legislation that places the ‘opportunities deficit” ahead of the ‘fiscal deficit’ and that includes creating – not blocking – pathways to economic security and a growing diverse middle class.”

Twenty-Six Senators introduce the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013 Proposes Prospective Sanctions on Iran if the regime breaches the Joint Plan of Action or fails to conclude a final agreement, Provides Flexibility to Pursue a Diplomatic Track

Senators Call for a Final Agreement that Verifiably Results in the Termination of Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program, Prevents Iran from Achieving a Nuclear Weapon Capability

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), joined by 24 U.S. Senators, introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act, bipartisan legislation proposing prospective sanctions on Iran should the regime violate the interim Joint Plan of Action agreed to in Geneva or should Iran fail to reach a final agreement.

The legislation was co-sponsored by twenty-six senators, including: Senators Kirk, Menendez, Schumer, Graham, Cardin, McCain, Casey, Rubio, Coons, Cornyn, Blumenthal, Ayotte, Begich, Corker, Pryor, Collins, Landrieu, Moran, Gillibrand, Roberts, Warner, Johanns, Hagan, Cruz, Donnelly, and Blunt.

The prospective sanctions legislation requires further reductions in purchases of Iranian petroleum and applies additional penalties to strategic elements of the Iranian economy, to include the engineering, mining and construction sectors.

Simultaneously, it gives the Administration continued flexibility and up to one year from the conclusion of an implementing agreement to pursue a diplomatic track resulting in the complete and verifiable termination of Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program.

“The American people rightfully distrust Iran’s true intentions and they deserve an insurance policy to defend against Iranian deception during negotiations,” Sen. Kirk said. “This is a responsible, bipartisan bill to protect the American people from Iranian deception and I urge the Majority Leader to give the American people an up or down vote.”

“Current sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table and a credible threat of future sanctions will require Iran to cooperate and act in good faith at the negotiating table,” said Sen. Menendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “The Iranians last week blamed the Administration for enforcing sanctions; now, they criticize Congress. The burden rests with Iran to negotiate in good faith and verifiably terminate its nuclear weapons program. Prospective sanctions will influence Iran’s calculus and accelerate that process toward achieving a meaningful diplomatic resolution.”

State Board recognizes Exemplary Educators

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Board presents the Illinois Teacher of the Year and the Milken National Educator with Resolutions

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois State Board of Education honored the 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year, Pam Reilly, and the 2013 Illinois Milken National Educator, Melissa Leisner, with resolutions and accolades at their regular monthly meeting today (Wednesday)  in Springfield.

“The Board and I are very pleased to have this opportunity to meet and recognize these outstanding teachers,” said State Board Chairman Gery J. Chico. “Pam and Melissa are excellent examples of the great teachers across Illinois who are committed to helping students succeed. We are glad to get the chance to thank them personally for their tremendous dedication and achievements.”

Pam Reilly is a second-grade teacher at Woodbury Elementary School in Sandwich CUSD 430. She was named the 2014 Illinois Teacher of the Year in October.  Now in her 12th year of teaching, Ms. Reilly is recognized as a collaborator and a leader by her colleagues in the Sandwich district, home of six schools serving more than 2,300 students.

Colleagues and parents said Ms. Reilly’s enthusiasm, advocacy and dedication inspire them to go the extra distance in providing students with the tools they need to be successful learners. Students concurred that Ms. Reilly keeps them focused and motivated to learn.

The 2013 Illinois Milken National Educator, Melissa Leisner, is a seventh-grade English and language arts teacher at Prairie Knolls Middle School in Central Community Unit District 301, Elgin. Ms. Leisner was told of her selection as a Milken National Educator during a school assembly in November.

Currently in her 15th year of teaching, Ms. Leisner is described as an outstanding role model for her students and colleagues. Leisner never gives up and never stops working on improving her teaching to help students improve their learning. She builds relationships with students and encourages them to provide feedback so that she can better support them.

Nomination packets for the 2014 Those Who Excel/Illinois Teacher of the Year Program will be available in January. More than 180 nominations were reviewed and scored for the 2013 program.

For the latest news from the Illinois State Board of Education, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education/136022251779 or Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ISBEnews. Visit the official ISBE website at http://www.isbe.net.

“The Secret Princess” – A must see family film featuring Black animated characters

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

In early 2014, TransTales Entertainment will release a feature animation film like no other

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) – Set for an early release in 2014, “The Secret Princess” – a feature animation film by TransTales Entertainment, is a captivating romantic love story full of adventure, drama, music, a fantasy animal jungle and so many twists. The film is an amazing story with simple narratives for kids and for everyone that loves family movies.

The story, uniquely told with captivating animation and dramatic narration, is about a princess named Sade who does not know that she is a princess because her parents are very poor. Those who love “Cinderella”, were inspired by “Brave”, were moved by “A Little Princess” and love any kind of princess stories, should brace themselves for a very unique princess story – one like no other out there!

Here’s the synopsis:

Two babies are exchanged at child birth, a boy born to a poor farmer and a girl born to the king’s third wife. The king already has 5 daughters and no son. He is in the dark about the baby switch. Following the mysterious disappearance of the farmer, the wife is accused of been a witch and to escape any consequences she runs away with the baby girl. Talking animals – A parrot that witness the baby switch in the Palace spreads the word in the jungle, and all the animals plan to help the girl and her mother who live alone in the jungle and often sad about their loneliness. Along the line, the prince meets the girl, and they fall in love. He fights a wrestling match to become the one who gets to marry her. In the last few scenes, a lot of amazing twists are revealed about many characters including the princess, the prince, the farmer and her wife, the queen and the king and of course – Mr Tortoise.

“The Secret Princess” will premiere at a major film festival in 2014, but the exact one has yet to be announced. London-based TransTales Entertainmen, the company behind the film, is currently in talks with a nationwide film distribution company for it’s theatrical release. The 3D animation film can also be seen in IMAX which really brings out the colorful African Scenery and jungle scenes throughout the film.

For more information, visit www.TheSecretPrincess.com or www.TransTales.com

November Adds +10,300 Private Sector Jobs in Illinois as rate falls to 8.7 Percent

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Seven Consecutive Months of Job Growth

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois added +10,300 private sector jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent, according to preliminary data released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The September to November three-month gain of +36,900 in total jobs is the largest since October 2010.

“Seven consecutive months of job growth shows that our steady economic progress continues. It shows that real progress has been made while reminding us that we have more work to do,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “The nearly 300,000 jobs that have been created in the past three years show the resiliency of our workers and small business owners as our economy improves.”

The independent Conference Board reports nearly 211,000 Help Wanted OnLine job ads in Illinois for November. Nearly 84 percent sought full-time work. Workers can apply at illinoisjoblink.com, where they can customize resumes to reflect different opportunities. Doing so also helps qualify for benefits.

Illinois has added +281,400 private sector jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned following nearly two years of consecutive monthly declines. Leading growth sectors are Professional and Business Services (+116,400); Education and Health Services (+61,000); and Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+58,700). Government has lost the most jobs since January 2010, down -28,600.

November growth leaders were Trade, Transportation and Utilities, (+6,700), Construction (+6,100) and Education and Health Care (+3,400). Although manufacturing jobs have grown since 2010, a temporary global slowdown in mining continues to impact manufacturing jobs in Illinois.

Since January 2010, when compared to the previous month, Illinois recorded job growth in 35 months and job loss in 12. The unemployment rate fell in 27 months, increased in nine and was unchanged in 11.

The number of unemployed fell for the fourth consecutive month, down ‑11,800 to 567,500. Unemployment has fallen -184,700 (-24.6 percent) since early 2010 when it peaked at 11.3 percent.

The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work. Historically, the national unemployment rate is lower than the state rate. The state rate has been lower than the national rate only six times since January 2000.

Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates




Moving Avg.




8.7% *





7.8% *


* Revised


Illinois monthly labor force, unemployed and unemployment rates for years 2008-2012 have been revised as required by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In February of each year, monthly labor force data for all states are revised to reflect updated sum-of-states controls, Census population controls, seasonal factors, non-farm jobs and unemployment insurance claims inputs. Data were also smoothed to eliminate large monthly changes as a result of volatility in the monthly household (CPS) survey. Comments and tables distributed in prior Illinois unemployment rate news release materials should be discarded because any analysis, including records, previously cited might no longer be valid.

Seasonally adjusted employment data for subsectors within industries are not available. For not seasonally adjusted jobs data with greater industry detail, go to http://www.ides.illinois.gov/Custom/Library/Statistic/CES/I_NSA_CES_Illinois_MSAs_Jobs_2000_to_Current.XLS .

“Other Services” includes a wide range of activities in three broad categories: Personal and laundry; repair and maintenance; and religious, grant making, civic and professional organizations.

Monthly seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for Illinois and the Chicago-Naperville-Joliet Metropolitan Division are available at: http://www.ides.illinois.gov/page.aspx?item=2509 .

Jesse White’s 49th Annual Holiday Turkey/Ham Distribution today

Posted by Admin On December - 20 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White will be distributing over 13,000 hams and turkeys to senior citizens and needy families Friday, December 20, for this holiday season. The effort will provide food for those living on the near north, near west and near south sides of Chicago.

“Many people think that this time of year is all about gift giving. We often forget that there are many people who can’t afford to put food on their tables during the holidays– much less a gift,” said White. “That’s why the Emergency Fund program is so important. It provides food for those in need and I’m proud to a part of this vital program.”

This is the 49th year White has coordinated the effort and the 33th year White has worked with the “The Emergency Fund,” a not-for-profit organization.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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