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Tag Archives: OCC

Regulators Assure Public Fines Are Coming for Robo-Signing Offenses

The retrospective foreclosure reviews mandated in the consent orders issued to servicers this week will help regulators evaluate the extent of the problem and determine the amount of monetary fines that should be assessed, according to John Walsh, head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Walsh says in addition to these punitive penalties, servicers will have to absorb ""substantial expense"" to fix their problems and are obligated to provide restitution to borrowers who suffered financial harm ""with no dollar cap.""

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Regulators Hand Down Enforcement Actions to Servicers, Vendors

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve, and the Office of Thrift Supervision announced formal enforcement actions Wednesday against 14 mortgage servicers and two firms that provide foreclosure-related services to the industry - LPS and MERS. The consent orders are the result of regulators' investigations into robo-signing allegations and represent a settlement with the firms involved, at least in part. Both the OCC and Fed say they believe monetary sanctions in these cases are also warranted, and they plan to pursue such actions separately.

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Rifts Continue to Surface Around Robo-Signing Settlement

Federal regulators split from state attorneys general last week to cut their own deal with mortgage servicers as part of a settlement for the robo-signing mess that surfaced last fall. Critics of the side deal are calling for federal regulators to withdraw their agreements and work with the states to hold banks accountable. But even in the attorney general camp there has been dissension. A study released Tuesday by three economists says the original settlement proposal backed by state counsels could increase the foreclosure inventory by $297 billion.

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Let’s Make a Deal: Feds Move on Robo-Signing Settlement Without AGs

Mortgage servicers have reportedly reached an agreement with federal regulators to change their foreclosure procedures as part of a settlement for the robo-signing transgressions that were uncovered last fall. The arrangement includes no fines, but monetary penalties have not been completely ruled out. In early March, federal regulatory agencies and state attorneys general together crafted a 27-page settlement proposal, however, the states have not been part of this latest development.

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Completed Foreclosures Down by Nearly 50% Among Largest Servicers

The nation's largest mortgage servicers foreclosed on 95,067 homes during the fourth quarter of 2010, a 49 percent drop from the number of completed foreclosures during the previous quarter, according to a new report from two regulatory agencies. Newly initiated foreclosures also decreased but by a much smaller ratio of 8 percent. Because new foreclosures outpaced completed foreclosures, the inventory of foreclosures in process increased to 1,290,253, representing 3.9 percent of all serviced loans among the largest national firms.

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Regulators Propose Rule to Link Executive Pay to Risk

Federal regulators proposed a new rule Wednesday that would require certain financial institutions, including large mortgage lenders, to account for risk as they structure incentive compensation packages for executives and employees. New rules for risk-based pay are a mandate of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act and are aimed at stemming the type of risky lending and investment gambles that many economists say pushed the nation's financial system to the brink of collapse.

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OCC Issues Warning on Real Estate-Owned Exchange Programs

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued a notice to the chief executives of all the lenders it regulates warning them of the risks involved in real estate-owned exchange programs. Several companies have started marketing real estate-owned exchange programs to national banks as a means to reduce problem assets on their balance sheets, but the OCC says these programs ""can raise significant safety and soundness, legal, and accounting concerns.""

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Banks Receive Proposal That Could Make Write-Downs Mandatory

On Thursday banks received the much awaited proposal that many speculated would detail the potential ramifications for their part in the foreclosure and robo-signing mess. According to various reports, the proposal could force banks to reduce principal loan balances for borrowers who are delinquent or underwater, or pay a multi-billion dollar fine. Reports have surfaced that banks are pushing back against proposed mandatory write-downs, claiming that such a practice could invite fraud.

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HSBC Suspends All U.S. Foreclosures

HSBC Holdings has suspended all foreclosure actions in the United States, according to the company's annual regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). HSBC says it decided to temporarily halt foreclosure proceedings after examinations by federal regulators uncovered what the company described as ""deficiencies"" in its handling of legal paperwork related to foreclosure cases. HSBC is Europe's largest bank. It operates in the United States as HSBC Finance and HSBC Bank USA.

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Talks Continue over Servicer Penalties in Robo-Signing Settlement

Regulators and attorneys general say their investigations of servicing practices have uncovered critical deficiencies and shortcomings that have resulted in violations of foreclosure laws. They've made it clear that mortgage servicers will be required to make operational changes and will be hit with sanctions and penalties. It's been reported that the 14 servicers subject to the investigations will, as a group, face a hefty $20 billion in fines, but there is dissension even among the government agencies involved over the amount. Negotiations are ongoing.

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