OCC to release foreclosure review results without naming banks
Federal regulators will release findings from the upcoming mortgage servicer reviews along with the amount of financial remediation needed, leaving bank-specific information under wraps. When 14 major mortgage servicers signed consent orders to settle an investigation into their foreclosure practices, the companies were required to hire third-party auditors to conduct a review. The goal is to find how widespread the robo-signing and other mishandled foreclosure practices had become and determine the amount of remediation needed. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency previously said the report would not be made public. But Julie Williams, the first senior deputy comptroller and chief counsel to the OCC told the House Finance Services Committee Thursday at least some of the reports will be released. "What we anticipate is two public-type reports," Williams said. "One, an interim report to describe the structures and the details of how the whole process will be conducted, then a report at the end of the process that will be similar to the interagency horizontal report. The agencies would put out reports about the look back process, describing the findings, describing the financial remediation that would be provided. What we would not anticipate doing is disclosing bank-specific information because that is confidential bank supervisory information." The agencies included the OCC, the Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. studied a sample of 2,800 foreclosure cases at the 14 servicers – 200 per servicer – and found possibilities of widespread problems. Mark Pearce, director of the consumer protection division at the FDIC, said it will be important how these third-party firms establish which files to sample and suggested a more encompassing review of more high-risk loan files. "The sampling approach won't go all the way in high-risk situations such as borrowers who asked for a modification," Pearce said. "Having a full review of those files seems pretty fundamental in our view." Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.