Ben Lawsky

"hundreds of thousands may have been harmed"
2:12 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

NY regulators accuse top lender of repeated abuse

Bank regulators in New York are accusing the nation's largest subprime mortgage lender of errors that might have harmed hundreds of thousands of borrowers.

New York's Department of Financial Services accuses Ocwen Financial of backdating letters warning of foreclosure or unsuccessful loan modifications. This means that by the time a borrower receives a letter from Ocwen, it's already too late to do anything about it.

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Less stringent rules for startups
6:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Lawksy plans softer rules for Bitcoin

New York’s top banking regulator says he plans to relax pending rules set to govern Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The more startup-friendly requirements come after criticism that the state has moved too quickly to regulate the new technology.

Futurists see virtual currencies as revolutionizing the financial industry the same way the Internet has revolutionized nearly everything.

New York was the first jurisdiction to introduce rules on Bitcoin. Regulators hope to mark the path for other jurisdictions to follow.

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$65M in "kickbacks" annually
4:53 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

NY regulators investigate mortgage empire

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services.
Credit AP/Mike Groll

New York banking regulators are investigating one of the nation's largest non-bank mortgage servicing companies, Ocwen Financial, over worries the company is bilking $65 million a year in kickbacks from both struggling homeowners and investors.

Watchdogs are scrutinizing the controversial, but common, practice of forcing homeowners to buy overpriced property insurance once they fall behind in their mortgage payments.

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New York cashes $4.6B in penalties
5:04 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

NY nets more in bank fees

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of New York Department of Financial Services, speaks to business leaders on Long Island. Lawsky has so far collected $4.6 billion in bank fines.
Credit Charles Lane

The amount of money New York State is receiving in penalties levied against banks is increasing. In the last three months, state coffers have added more than $4.6 billion in bank fines.

The bulk of the money comes from a record settlement against BNP Paribas, a French bank that admitted to violating US sanctions against Iran, Sudan, and Cuba. It was first reported that New York would receive $2.2 billion, but that number ticks up by another billion because New York City will be giving a portion of its penalty to the state.

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Ma & pop pushed to individual market
2:51 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Small businesses want insurance law changed

Ben Lawsky, Superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, speaking at the Long Island Association
Credit Charles Lane

A group of small businesses on Long Island is urging lawmakers to change a state law that forbids trade associations from joining together to buy group health plans. Business owners complain they are paying about 30% more for health insurance than larger businesses.

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