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OCC, Fed actions will not impact AG investigation: Miller

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Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said actions taken Wednesday by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve against mortgage servicers found to be improperly foreclosing on homeowners will not impact the 50 state AG investigation he is leading. "We are reviewing the actions of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and related agencies," Miller said. "However, their actions will not impact our investigation of the nation’s largest servicers and pursuit of a joint settlement." After lenders and some third-party vendors were found to be mishandling foreclosure affidavits and filing against homeowners while in the modification process, the 50 AGs, led by Miller, launched their investigation. Federal regulators hopped aboard, too. But at some point in the negotiation process, the OCC and the Fed split off and pursued their own actions, announced Wednesday. Meanwhile, Miller and a central band of state AGs are working to find a consensus among their own ranks during their settlement talks with the banks. The U.S. Department of Justice, the Treasury Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will continue to work with the AGs as they pursue a settlement. Even Elizabeth Warren, the special adviser to the Treasury, who is putting together the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has been pulled in for her input. The Fed and the OCC signed consent forms with lenders requiring these companies to comply with state law and retool their loss mitigation processes to give homeowners a chance at modification before foreclosure. Regulators made room for monetary sanctions as well, but have yet to release an exact amount. "Today’s actions by the OCC will not limit our pursuit of remedies and reforms," Miller said. "We will continue our own efforts to ensure that the nation’s servicing and foreclosure system is fair to homeowners, banks, and investors.” Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.

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