A Summary of Writing on the “Independent” Foreclosure Reviews and the AG Mortgage Settlement

I will continue to add to this page as I write more.  And I will be writing more.

Banks Hire Friendlies for ‘Independent’ Foreclosure Reviews American Banker 10/6/2011

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

Closing In On The Fix For Mortgage Servicer Abuses re: The Auditors 10/7/2011

Mortgage Bankers And The Futures Industry – Two Big Conferences In Chicago This Week re: The Auditors 10/9/2011

Servicing The Mortgage Industry: An Update re: The Auditors 11/25/2011

OCC Foreclosure Review Disclosures Still Disappoint American Banker 12/6/2011

Doing something — anything — quickly but poorly is no substitute for taking the time to do what needs to be done well.

Update: Mortgage Servicer Foreclosure Review Process re: The Auditors 12/27/2011

To Right Foreclosure Wrongs, Go With the Bird in the Hand American Banker 1/12/2012

I can understand if you’ve forgotten, for a moment, about last April’s federal consent orders mandating independent foreclosure reviews at the big mortgage servicers.

AG Settlement Gives OCC Foreclosure Reviews New Urgency American Banker 2/21/12

In a perfect world, state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice would have worked hand in hand with bank regulators to fix foreclosure wrongs. But that’s not how the world works.

The Little We Know About Foreclosure Reviews Is Troubling American Banker 3/5/2012

The good news: regulators are pulling back the curtain on the consultants that the big mortgage servicers hired, under orders from the agencies, to review their foreclosure processes.

I’m In Congress: Foreclosure Review Work Cited By Congressman re: The Auditors 4/13/2012

How $25B Settlement Monitor Can Keep Banks at Arm’s Length American Banker 4/16/2012

Joe Smith, the court appointed monitor for the $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement, can learn something from the recent experience of the federal banking regulators.

Megabanks Extend and Pretend They Won’t Pay for Foreclosure Fouls American Banker 9/24/2012

It’s in consultants’ best interests to extend the foreclosure review engagements as long as possible without coming up with an estimate for each servicer of its total liability to borrowers.

What Mortgage Settlement Lacks in Substance, It Makes Up in Execution American Banker 10/1/2012

A practical, well-executed plan, even one with disappointingly modest goals, will deliver more than an overly ambitious plan, easily subverted, that, in hindsight probably had no hope of ever succeeding.

Sheila Bair Called It – Foreclosure Lookback Reviews Are A “Ruse”, Forbes, 10/24/2012

Bair knows, and I know, the “independent” foreclosure reviews are anything but.

Former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair On Foreclosure Lookback Reviews, re: The Auditors, 10/27/2012

Settling The Foreclosure Reviews: Winners And Losers, Forbes, 1/8/2013

Monday’s announcement of an “agreement in principle” to end the foreclosure reviews at ten of the fourteen mortgage servicing companies provided a neat recovery for the banks, and their ‘independent” consultants, who’ve been mired in an expensive, seemingly unending project from hell. The “independent” consultants assisted the banks in “extending and pretending” long enough to figure a way out. Now no one will ever have to admit how much the banks really owed borrowers and institutional investors for financial damage from foreclosure abuses.

Foreclosure Settlement Shuts Down Reviews; Banks Will Continue Business As Usual, re: The Auditors 1/13/2013

That column was about 1500 words in total, many more than Forbes prefers I use online but many less than needed to tell all I know about this settlement.

No other report looked into how the borrowers who were either in foreclosure or were foreclosed on by these banks in 2009 and 2010 – that was the limited scope of this regulatory action – were going to be paid now.

I did.

12 replies
  1. Michael Wallace
    Michael Wallace says:

    Hi Francine, Thank you for your informative articles and information on the conflicts of interests between the major banks and the “Independent” auditors that are suppose to be overseeing them. Unfortunately the lack of interest of the servicers to really address this problem has left millions of distressed homeowners in limbo, and held back a true recovery in our housing markets and economy. You are right in saying that it is not in their ecomomic interests to allocate the resources to truly improve the loss mitigation process. I’ve writen a white paper titled “The Great Real Estate Stall, the Misalignment of Interests in Loss Mitigation Today” which can be accessed through my website. I would love your professional feedback as you seem to truly understand the issues.
    Thank you, Mike Wallace

  2. Joy Bosworth
    Joy Bosworth says:

    I can show you what the bank did to my Mother’s house and I have all the backup paperwork to prove it. Everything from Breaking the Laws governing the foreclosure process to Conflict of Interest.

    I have sent MOST of this to the “Independent Foreclosure Review”, and have had it submitted since July 2012. No one is saying anything about where they are. It is starting to look more and more like a Bank Cover-Up.

    Please contact me ~ I can give you a story that would embarrass the “Hell” out of the Banking system, County Auditor’s Offices, Court Systems, etc., and hopefully make people stand up and take notice.

  3. Mary
    Mary says:

    we were vicitims of country wide then Bank of America. i had an attorney review my papers from country wide and bank of america. i was told that my loan is “Dirty”. Unfortunetly before we could proceed he had to stop working due to illness. I have had 2 loan mods one from BOA and a new one from our new lender SLS. i need help. I am upsde down on my mortgage by $150,000. I can’t find an attorney to help us. I saw an add for Independent Forclosue review. Are these places scams.? Is there any help out there? Do you know of an attorney in NJ who can help me go up against these people?

    Pleae help.
    Thank you

  4. Michael Wallace
    Michael Wallace says:

    Hi Francine, Thank you for your excellent coverage of this topic.It is amazing that no one is willing to address the conflict of interest in these “independent” reviews. The New York State Department of Financial Services posted a request for an independent monitor to monitor Ocwen’s servicing practices in New York. I submitted a proposal by the December 20th deadline but have not heard anything back or been able to get an answer form the Department. My proposal was very different from anything that has been done so far which we know doesn’t work. Have you heard anything about who might be hired?
    Thank you, Mike

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] intransigence. Banks like Citi have been aware of these faulty systems and processes for years. The Fed/OCC foreclosure review at Citi performed by PwC didn’t solve these problems and they continue to cause severe hardship […]

  2. […] intransigence. Banks like Citi have been aware of these faulty systems and processes for years. The Fed/OCC foreclosure review at Citi performed by PwC didn’t solve these problems and they continue to cause severe hardship […]

  3. […] of the fundamental tenets of the “independent” foreclosure reviews of mortgage servicers ordered by the OCC and Federal Reserve B… was the independence and objectivity of the consultants who were supposed to determine how much […]

  4. […] The GAO’s mandate is to scrutinize federal agencies and regulators not third party vendors. These excuses from both sides, however, deflect attention from the whole sordid story – one that I’ve reported throughout this process. […]

  5. […] did the OCC and Fed suddenly decide to stop the runaway train? Many, including me, have been writing about the deeply flawed process for a while, seemingly in vain. In a brilliant […]

  6. […] Banker columns on the subject – consumer advocates, the GAO and congressional members have – or this compilation of all the writing I’ve done on the […]

  7. […] partners are looking at a $1 billion dollar plus payday from consulting to the big banks on the independent OCC/Fed foreclosure reviews. I wonder how they feel knowing their profits will be used to pay three big settlements for audit […]

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