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Home | Tag Archives: GAO

Tag Archives: GAO

GAO: Dodd-Frank Provisions Coming Along Slowly

The last few weeks have seen a deluge of new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and other regulatory agencies, but a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the reform process is still coming along slowly. As of the end of 2012, GAO estimates regulators have issued rules for approximately 48 percent of the Dodd-Frank provisions that call for them. Most of the effective deadlines for those rules have not yet been reached, the agency says.

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Bulk of Mortgage-Related TARP Funds Remain Untouched

When Treasury issued the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in October 2008, it designated $45.6 billion for mortgage-related programs. However, a little more than four years later, when a few of the non-mortgage TARP programs have drawn to a close, more than $40 billion in mortgage relief remains unspent, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GOA).

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GAO Points Out Flaws in Regulator, Servicer Outreach Materials

Regulators and servicers are missing opportunities to enhance communication with consumers, the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report. The report, released June 29, examined the efforts of servicers to communicate with customers who may be eligible for an independent foreclosure review. One major problem identified with current communication materials is that they are too difficult for the general public to understand.

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GAO: Foreclosure Mitigation Efforts Need Improvement

With high foreclosure rates still presenting a major hurdle to housing and economic recovery, GAO conducted a study to evaluate and find opportunities to enhance foreclosure mitigation efforts. The report asserts that government agencies participating in foreclosure mitigation programs need improve their existing strategies to help borrowers. The report specifically addressed loans modified by the Treasury (through HAMP), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), FHA, and the GSEs.

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Senator Criticizes OCC’s Guidance on Foreclosed Properties

One Ohio congressman is taking the plight of homeowners in his foreclosure-ravaged state straight to federal regulators. Sen. Sherrod Brown says guidance issued to mortgage servicers last month by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) amounts to ""a free pass"" for banks to abandon foreclosed homes, a practice Brown says undermines neighborhoods and property values and leaves local taxpayers on the hook for maintenance and cleanup costs.

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Vacant Foreclosures Saddle Local Communities With High Costs

A study from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that vacant properties rose 51 percent over the span of a decade, from nearly 7 million in 2000 to 10 million in April 2010. Ten states saw vacancies go up by 70 percent or more as a result of high foreclosure rates. The elevated number of vacant homes carries a hefty price tag for lenders that must resume ownership after foreclosure, but GAO says it's local governments that are feeling ""significant"" pressure from the rise in vacant properties.

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Survey: Housing Counselors Describe HAMP Experience as ‘Negative’

More than three-quarters of foreclosure counselors say the borrower experience when turning to the government's flagship modification program for relief is sub-par. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says counselors it polled cited concerns about HAMP trial denials, including long waiting periods and documentation issues. Some 39 percent said paperwork had been lost or needed to be resubmitted, while 46 percent said it typically takes seven months or more to receive a decision on a trial mod application.

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Government Accountability Office Pushes for Servicing Accountability

In the wake of the industry's robo-signing issues, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report urging the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make mortgage servicing standards a priority. After examining applicable laws and interviewing mortgage investors and other industry participants, the agency concluded that federal laws do not specifically address the foreclosure process, and as a result, oversight of servicers has been ""limited and fragmented.""

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Government Study Finds Banks Rarely Walk Away from a Foreclosure

The Government Accountability Office just completed a study of what is called ""bank walkaways"" - when a lender initiates foreclosure but then doesn't complete the process because the cost outweighs expected proceeds from the property's sale. Officials argue the practice intensifies market deterioration and complicates stabilization efforts. But the agency found that abandoned foreclosures are rare - representing less than 1 percent of vacant homes between January 2008 and March 2010 - but concentrated in specific areas of the country.

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