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Bair says more regulation needed to restore integrity of mortgage servicing

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has not found evidence of robo-signing of mortgage documents at banks under its supervision, said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair. However, she called for more regulation to "restore integrity to the mortgage servicing system." Bair spoke Wednesday during the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affiars' second hearing on problems in mortgage servicing. During her testimony, Bair said the robo-signing scandal spawned from misaligned incentives in the servicing industry, and called on the Financial Stability Oversight Council to fill in the regulatory gaps left by the Dodd-Frank Act. Regulation is needed to track the title of a loan and to properly document the foreclosure process, she said. "We remain concerned about the ramifications of deficiencies in foreclosure documentation among the largest servicers, most of which we insure," Bair said. "While we do not see immediate systemic risk, the clear potential is there. The FSOC was established under the Dodd-Frank Act to deal with just this type of emerging risk." The FDIC took several actions of its own to address the robo-signing issues in the weeks after the news broke, including conducting interagency reviews of servicing practices and encouraging structural changes to those processes. But Bair said the FDIC cannot fix the problem alone. "This is the time for all parties to come together and arrive at broad agreement that will reduce uncertainty and lay the foundation for long-term stability in our mortgage and housing markets." Write to Christine Ricciardi.

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