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OCC: Servicers to Spend One Year or More Reviewing Foreclosures

It will be a long road ahead for the 14 servicers who received consent orders from federal regulators earlier this year. Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh says the servicers will spend the next year or more recompensing for past documentation errors related to foreclosure processing.

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""Unfortunately, such a complex process will take another year and more to complete,"" Walsh ""stated before the Institute for International Finance Friday."":http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/speeches/2011/pub-speech-2011-123.pdf

""I wish it could be completed more quickly,"" he added, ""but it's important that it be done correctly and in a way that assures fair treatment for homeowners who underwent foreclosure proceedings.""

Walsh believes this is the only way to restore confidence to the market.

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Under the direction of the OCC, the 14 servicers must hire an independent consultant to review cases in which foreclosed borrowers believe they suffered monetary damages due to wrongful actions by their servicers.

""This effort includes a massive campaign to get information out to affected borrowers,"" Walsh stated. The campaign will include mailings, tracing techniques, and advertising.

In addition, the servicers are to establish a single website and toll-free number through which borrowers can access necessary forms and information.

Walsh notes that this is a massive project, and ""[j]ust contacting all those eligible for review to provide necessary information will be a challenge."" In fact, about 4.5 million loans will be up for review.

Walsh is confident the process will bring fair treatment for borrowers, ensuring ""that at-risk borrowers get a fair chance to stay in their homes, while assuring that those who do find themselves in foreclosure receive appropriate protection and due process under the law,"" he said.

""The challenges before us are substantial, but so are the steps we have taken in our enforcement orders. I believe that we are on track to settle outstanding issues in a way that respects the needs of all who have truly suffered from flaws in the system and restores confidence in the system,"" Walsh stated. ""The sooner the better.""

About Author: Krista Franks Brock

Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia.
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