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California Democrats ask federal regulators to investigate foreclosures

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California House Democrats sent a letter to federal regulators Monday urging them to investigate how banks are handling troubled loans, modifications and foreclosures. The letter was sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh. It was signed by members of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). The letter cites recent reports of faulty affidavits signed by employees at Ally Financial (GJM), JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC). According to the letter, the "thousands of unwarranted foreclosures only amplify our concerns that systemic problems exist in the ways many financial institutions have dealt with homeowners who are seeking to avoid foreclosures." Lawmakers also asked regulators to investigate complaints about lenders not cooperating with homeowners seeking a loan modification. Constituents complained of late responses, misplaced documents, and poor communication, particularly for the Home Affordable Modification Program. According to HAMP guidelines, however, the program is voluntary. The OCC has contacted seven of its largest mortgage servicers and ordered a review internal procedures. A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said the U.S. AG office is reviewing the letter. The Federal Reserve declined to comment. Another lawmaker, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has also asked for an investigation. Write to Jon Prior. The author holds no relevant investments.

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