OCC Releases Report on Servicers Repairing Weak Foreclosure Practices
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued a report on the actions by 12 national bank and federal savings association mortgage servicers to comply with consent orders issued in April 2011 to correct deficient and unsafe or unsound foreclosure practices. “Interim Status Report: Foreclosure-Related Consent Orders,” summarizes progress on activities related to the independent foreclosure review announced Nov. 1, 2011, as well as other activities to enhance mortgage servicing operations, strengthen oversight of third-party service providers and activities related to the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), improve management information systems, assess and manage risk, and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. While much of the work to correct identified weaknesses in policies, operating procedures, control functions, and audit processes will be substantially complete in the first part of 2012, other longer term initiatives will continue through the balance of 2012. In addition to the interim report, the OCC also released engagement letters that describe how the independent consultants, retained by the servicers, will conduct their file reviews and claims processes to identify borrowers who suffered financial injury as a result of deficiencies identified in the OCC’s consent orders. The letters identify the names of the independent consultants conducting the reviews and include language stipulating that consultants would take direction from the OCC throughout the reviews. This language specifically prohibits servicers from overseeing, directing, or supervising any of the reviews. Limited proprietary and personal information has been redacted. The review process being implemented at some companies may differ from that described in the engagement letters because of subsequent coordination with the OCC to ensure a consistent process among the servicers. The OCC took action against eight servicers: Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, PNC, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo. The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) also took action against four federal savings association servicers and two holding companies: Aurora Bank FSB, EverBank and its thrift holding company, EverBank Financial Corporation, OneWest Bank FSB and its holding company IMB HoldCo LLC, and Sovereign Bank.