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Audit says FHFA failed to address consumers' GSE complaints

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The Federal Housing Finance Agency mishandled consumer complaints about Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, including complaints about possible foreclosure actions, the FHFA Office of Inspector General said in a report this week. Late last year, the OIG launched an investigation into how FHFA — the  conservator of Fannie and Freddiehandled consumer complaints filed against the GSEs after noting an upswing in fraud, waste and abuse complaints within the mortgage segment. The OIG investigation concluded that 70% of all consumer complaints filed with the FHFA during the audit period were tied to the GSEs. In its report, OIG outlined several procedures for the FHFA to improve its oversight of GSE consumer complaints. The inspector general's report said the "FHFA would also benefit from establishing better oversight of the enterprises' complaint procedures, including conducting periodic substantive reviews of statistically sound random samples of complaints processed and following up on all complaints to help ensure appropriate disposition." The OIG discovered during its probe that FHFA regulators saw a need to improve oversight of GSE consumer complaints. But at the same time, the OIG concluded in its report that FHFA "debated the nature and scope of its role for two years and did not implement needed improvements." Write to: Kerri Panchuk.

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