Lead AG on foreclosure investigation says inquiry will continue post-election
Iowa Attorney General Thomas Miller said the 50-state investigation into foreclosure processes at major banks will continue as planned after 17 new AGs won elections Tuesday. The Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group launched its effort with an executive committee of 13 state AGs and three state banking regulators on Oct. 13. Even though some members of the group will be moving out of office, Miller said there is no foreseeable change in direction. "While some members of the multistate group, including a few executive committee members, will change political leadership in January, these changes do not affect the work we are now doing at the staff and leadership levels," Miller said in a statement released after winning his re-election bid. Bank of America (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Ally Financial and other servicers have suspended foreclosures to review affidavits signed by employees without checking documentation or having a notary present. Each, including Wells Fargo (WFC), has begun or announced a refiling of affidavits. "As the leader of this multistate effort, my goal is to conduct this entire effort methodically and quickly," Miller said. "I am confident that, regardless of some future leadership changes within this group, we will continue to work together to carry out this significant effort." The trade group Association of Mortgage Investors congratulated the new AGs on their wins and said the investigation will show investors had nothing to do with the faulty affidavits. "This election was about the future of the U.S. economy, and a core and significant part of the U.S. economy is the housing industry," AMI Executive Director Chris Katopis said. "Now the newly elected state AGs must continue the hard work of investigating and sorting out the housing finance market in an equitable fashion for responsible borrowers, distressed homeowners, mortgage servicers and the mortgage investors, who include state, county and local pension systems, each having an enormous stake in the settlement." Write to Jon Prior.