Video - Jan. 4 (Bloomberg) - The five largest loan servicers, including Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, may be the first to settle with all 50 state attorneys general probing foreclosure fraud, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said.
The five largest loan servicers, including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., may be the first to settle with the 50 state attorneys general probing foreclosure practices, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said.
No settlements have been reached yet, Miller said yesterday in a phone interview. The other three are Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Financial Inc., said Miller, the leader of the 50-state investigation. The five have 59 percent of the U.S. market, Miller said.
“What we’re looking at is five separate agreements with the five largest servicers,” Miller said. “We’re still a ways away” from reaching agreements, he said. “We’re working very hard to figure out what should be in the settlement.”
All 50 U.S. states are investigating whether banks and loan servicers used false documents and signatures to justify hundreds of thousands of foreclosures. The probe, announced Oct. 13, came after JPMorgan and Ally Financial’s GMAC mortgage unit said they would stop repossessions in 23 states where courts supervise home seizures, and Bank of America, the largest U.S. lender, froze foreclosures nationwide.
The group isn’t pursuing a criminal investigation, Miller said. “Our focus is to reform the servicing process and that’s inherently civil, not criminal,” he said.
In an interview last week, Miller said the group might consider matters including whether servicers are charging borrowers appropriate fees.
“We hear stories far too often of it taking months before servicers get back to people, or they lose documents and that they don’t modify a loan when it makes sense,” Miller said last week.