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Robo-Signing Settlement Disputes Continue After Wednesday’s Meeting

Few reports have surfaced of details discussed in Wednesday's meeting between servicers and lawmakers to try to come to a mutual agreement on the robo-signing settlement.

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Though both parties have submitted their own version of what they believe a settlement should look like, Wednesday's meeting was the first in what will likely be a long period of negotiations.

And though this was the first formal meeting, there has been commentary from both sides on the proposed terms in the settlement released by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.

Banks have repeatedly spoken out against what they believe to be settlement terms that are too harsh and may even encourage moral hazard, while the majority of the 50 attorneys general seem to be standing behind the settlement.

The ""Association of Mortgage Investors"":http://www.the-ami.org (AMI) said they urge lawmakers to make sure the final settlement punishes the

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parties who behaved irresponsibly but does not result in measures that are detrimental to the market in the long run.

""An incorrectly structured settlement could have devastating effects on the already depressed housing market, America's middle class, and the parties invested in the market, such as state pension and retirement systems, unions, and university and charitable endowments,"" said Chris Katopis, AMI executive director.

On the other side of the spectrum, Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito have released a letter to Elizabeth Warren, the Obama Administration official charged with setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The letter asks her to explain her role in helping the attorneys general determine provisions in the settlement.

Warren submitted an extensive presentation to Attorney General Miller in order to provide what she referred to as ""advice"" in helping to determine the terms of the settlement. Among other things, the presentation suggests servicers saved more than $20 billion through improper servicing, and says a $5 billion fine is just not enough.

According to a statement released by the two offices, ""It is plain that the CFPB has done more than provide ‘advice' on the proposed servicing settlement. Accordingly, we respectfully request that you carefully review … your testimony at the March 16 hearing and advise the Subcommittee by April 1 if there are any aspects of that testimony relating to the CFPB's role in the mortgage servicer settlement negotiations that you wish to clarify or correct.""

About Author: Joy Leopold

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