Monday Morning Cup of Coffee: Bankruptcy at ResCap

A look at stories across HousingWire’s weekend desk, with more coverage to come on bigger issues:

Residential Capital, the mortgage subsidiary of Ally Financial is now in bankruptcy. Both The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported this weekend bankruptcy was near, citing sources close to the situation, said ResCap’s board of directors was set to vote on the matter late Sunday.

Ally, 74% owned by the Treasury, has long sought to resolve troubles at ResCap. Bank executives said late last month that the full range of options, from sale to staying with Ally, was still possible, though ResCap’s board has the final say on bankruptcy.

Nationstar Mortgage Holdings (NSM) announced its place as the definitive buyer for Residential Capital mortgage servicing assets Monday morning. () Tuesday morning to discuss the latest events at the finance firm.

The Detroit bank still owes the government roughly $12 billion in bailout funds, and Ally hopes to pay that back in part through an initial public offering of its common stock. Those plans have been held back for nearly a year, due mostly to the beleaguered ResCap.

The fallout from JPMorgan Chase’s (JPM) $2 billion blunder continued over the weekend. CEO Jaime Dimon, in an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said the derivatives trades were “sloppy” and “stupid,” according to The New York Times.

Those decisions, it seems, cost at least a few people their jobs. Multiple outlets reported the resignation of JPMorgan Chief Investment Officer Ina Drew, who pulled in $14 million last year, according to the Times. Two traders linked to the botched deals left their posts as well, according to reports.

Financial regulation advocates jumped on the incident, citing a need for heightened standards. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. and namesake of the Dodd-Frank Act, said on ABC’s “This Week” that he hoped the final version of the Volcker Rule “will prevent this.”

The monthly barrage of housing data starts Wednesday with the release of April housing starts from the Commerce and Housing and Urban Development departments.

March’s totals came in below expectations, falling 5.8% from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual total of 654,000. Permits, however, increased 4.5% from February to 747,000, also up more than 30% from a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Econoday are keener on April starts, predicting an increase to 690,000, but expect permits to taper off a bit to 725,000.

The Federal Open Market Committee releases minutes from its April 24-25 policy meeting Wednesday. Committee members maintained their next-to-zero policy for the federal funds rate, and continued to expect exceptionally low rates through late 2014.

The Wednesday report will give more detail on members’ talks during the meeting, including their outlook on the U.S. economy. Last time around, during the March 12-13 meeting, members made another round of quantitative easing sound even less likely, with only a couple saying it could happen if the economy loses momentum.

Of course, stocks have taken a mixed turn as of late. The S&P 500 closed at 1,353.39 Friday after topping 1,400 in mid-March.

The House Financial Services Committee and its subcommittees hold a number of hearings this week, including a full committee hearing Thursday on the settlement practices of financial regulators. The hearing, according to, will focus on settlements wherein defendants neither admit nor deny wrongdoing.

Subcommittees convene for four meetings, including two on the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported no bank failures Friday for the first time in four weeks. Twenty-three FDIC-insured banks have shuttered so far in 2012, compared with 40 failures at this point last year.

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