Closing In On The Fix For Mortgage Servicer Abuses

That was my suggested title for my latest column at American Banker.

Not sexy enough, I guess.

Then they asked me for a catchy lede. That’s journalism-speak for the part at the beginning that grabs your attention, summarizes the gist of the story, and pulls you in.

I’m not good at titles and I have to be in the zone – read: highly caffeinated – to make plays on words.

I suggested:

The OCC says they’re close, but that claim only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

The media and the lawyers lob plenty of grenades at regulators and the banks for foreclosure abuses. It’s been an especially contentious issue since these improper practices in foreclosure processing and mortgage servicing hit people where they live. Literally.
Now the OCC says they’re close to fixing what’s wrong with the mortgage servicers and making them pay for any harm inflicted on borrowers.

The column, with a different title, “Banks Hire Friendlies for ‘Independent’ Foreclosure Reviews”, and lede is on line now at American Banker’s BankThink. Everything but that first line is mine, of course. 🙂

Can you count on the emperor’s handpicked ministers to tell him when he’s naked? Banking regulators seem to think so.

The April consent orders against mortgage servicers let the companies pick one or more professional-services firms to review their foreclosure actions for abuses and report the findings to the agencies.

Allowing the banks to choose their own judge, jury, and jailer presents almost untenable conflicts of interest. All of the consulting firms that were initially being considered to do the work serve the banks already. The banks, and their mortgage servicing operations, are existing or prospective clients…

I guess American Banker prefers to picture their readers naked rather than lobbing grenades.

I’m happy to have a patient editor with a sense of humor. 🙂

Please read the rest at American Banker.