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Where's Watt?

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OCC orders seven large servicers to review foreclosures

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Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh asked the nations' seven largest lenders to review its foreclosure processes for any sign of faulty documents. The banks in question are Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C), HSBC Financial Corp. (HTB), PNC Bank (PNC) and U.S. Bank (USB). Kevin Mukri, a spokesman for the OCC, said the regulator directed these banks to start reviewing processes when Ally Financial admitted employees were signing affidavits without reviewing them or having a notary present, known as robo-signing. Ally, formerly known as GMAC Mortgage, is not under the OCC umbrella. JPMorgan Chase, which has admitted to the same problem, is under the auspice of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. But as state attorneys general offices press both Ally and JPMorgan Chase on the issue, a source at one of the seven banks said the government is misusing greater powers under recent regulation to take political advantage of the robo-signing issue. "The OCC is looking to attack the big names in order to flex its regulatory muscle," the source said. "It's a classic example of government unevenly enforcing regulation." Nevertheless, regulators are still pressing that issue. "As with Ally Bank, if I determine JP Morgan was recklessly signing off on foreclosure filings in our courts, I will hold them accountable," said the Illinois AG Lisa Madigan in a statement Thursday demanding a meeting with JPMorgan Chase. Write to Jon Prior.

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