Barney Frank questions Fannie Mae on 'foreclosure mills'
Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to Fannie Mae, questioning the government-sponsored enterprise on its alleged use of "foreclosure mills." The letter was signed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), and Corrine Brown (D-Fla.). Both Frank and Grayson serve on the House Financial Services Committee. The lawmakers refer to "foreclosure mills" as law firms representing lenders that allegedly specialize in accelerating the foreclosure process. According to the letter, several of the busiest "mills" are members of the Fannie Mae Retained Attorney Network, which is a pool of lawyers that can represent the GSE in its pre-foreclosure filing mediation program some states have adopted. "We have received the letter and will respond to the questions raised," Amy Bonitatibus, a spokesperson for Fannie, said. Frank and the other lawmakers pressed Fannie Mae on why it is using these law firms. "Given that Fannie Mae is at this point a government entity, and it is the policy of the government that foreclosures are a costly situation best avoided if there are any lower cost alternatives, what steps is Fannie Mae taking to avoid the use of foreclosure mills?" the letter reads. Write to Jon Prior.