Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt reached his own settlement with top mortgage servicers.
Pruitt was the only AG not to sign the $26 billion multistate deal that included the Justice Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The negotiations launched in October 2010 after evidence surfaced of foreclosure documents signed en masse and filings on borrowers being considered for modifications.
As details emerged of a preliminary settlement in 2011, Pruitt and three other Republicans Florida AG Pam Bondi, Texas AG Greg Abbott, and Virginia AG Kenneth Cuccinelli sent a letter to lead AG Tom Miller of Iowa saying any deal that involved principal reduction would only promote strategic default.
"We had concerns that what started as an effort to correct specific practices harmful to consumers, morphed into an attempt by President Obama to establish an overarching regulatory scheme, which Congress had previously rejected, to fundamentally restructure the mortgage industry in the United States," Pruitt said Thursday.
Pruitt's $18.6 million settlement will resolve claims of any unfair and unlawful practices he found. His public protection unit will process relief applications from borrowers.
"Oklahoma is fortunate to have a stronger housing market and economy than many other states that are struggling. This settlement will provide damages to those Oklahomans who did fall victim to unfair and unlawful misconduct of mortgage servicing companies, while not exceeding the appropriate role and authority of state attorneys general," Pruitt said.