Financial Services Roundtable CEO tells state AGs to "get a grip"
Everyone is overreacting about the current foreclosure moratorium, according the Steve Barlett, president and chief executive officer of the financial firm lobby group, the Financial Services Roundtable. Barlett told Bloomberg in an interview this is a classic case of process over substance, where people are looking past the facts of the case: people who were not paying their mortgage and couldn't qualify for reduced mortgages programs were being foreclosed on. The focus on how mortgage servicing firms were handling those affidavits overlooks that fact, he said. He added, that "there's no instance of fraud" involved in the current robo-signing crisis that caused some of the largest lenders in the U.S. to stop foreclosures. After Ally Financial, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America announced they would halt foreclosure sales, 49 attorneys general around the country started to investigate the foreclosure process. Barlett said the AGs are making "blunt accusations that are totally unsupportable," and that their "frantic attempt to get in on the action" is just delaying the economic recovery. "The process can be handled," Barlett told Bloomberg. "But these calls for moratorium just make things worse, put more houses vacant on market as an overhang and make it longer for the recovery to start. So, I think the state AGs need to take a breath, kind of step back a little and get a grip." Write to Christine Ricciardi.