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SunTrust Cooperating with Foreclosure Fee Investigation

In a quarterly filing released Wednesday, SunTrust Banks, Inc. announced that it was cooperating with a government probe into fees and expenses charged by law firms for services related to foreclosing upon delinquent loans guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The matter is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In the filing, SunTrust, Georgia’s largest bank, indicated that it had attempted to reach an agreement with the government to end the investigation, which is still in the early stages, but that it had so far been unable to do so.

The investigation comes on the heels of an agreement the bank reached in June with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Justice Department, HUD, and attorneys general in 49 states and the District of Columbia to provide relief to consumers and payments to the government totaling a combined value of $968 million stemming from allegations of misconduct in both its lending and servicing practices.

The following month, the bank announced another settlement, to the tune of $320 million to resolve a criminal investigation into whether it had dealt inappropriately with homeowners who were looking to take advantage of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

Despite the setbacks, Suntrust posted a healthy second quarter earnings report.

Requests for comment on the investigation were not immediately returned.

About Author: Derek Templeton

Derek Templeton is an attorney based in Dallas, Texas. He practices in the areas of real estate, financial services, and general corporate transactional law. His experience includes time as an Attorney Adviser for the U.S. Small Business Administration and as General Counsel for a nonprofit organization in Dallas. A self-avowed "policy junkie," he has a keen interest in the effect that evolving federal policy has on the mortgage, default servicing, and greater housing industries.

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