OCC to announce foreclosure settlement early next week
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency will announce a settlement it struck with major mortgage servicers over recent foreclosure problems early next week, a spokesman said. Reports vary widely over what the settlement will entail from multi-billion dollar fines to forced principal reduction and stricter emphasis on pursuing modifications. The OCC has pursued its own settlement outside of the national investigation between the 50 state attorneys general and a coalition of other federal agencies, namely the Treasury Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Trade Commission. A spokesman for the lead investigator in for the AGs, Iowa AG Tom Miller, said Thursday that their separate mortgage servicer settlement would likely take months of negotiations. All of the agencies jumped on the news that major servicers were processing foreclosures with faulty affidavits, signed en masse by employees and without proper notarization. The servicers since said they've resubmitted — or are in the final stages of resubmitting — corrected affidavits. But the penalty for such a practice is approaching. Going forward, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairwoman Sheila Bair said in January she wanted to see a foreclosure fund, similar to the one set up for the BP Gulf Oil spill, that would be supported by the servicers and would pay out to homeowners victimized by wrongful foreclosures. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.