National Mortgage Settlement Head Selects Secondary Professional Firms
Joseph A. Smith Jr., designated monitor of the national mortgage servicing settlement, has announced that he has engaged five companies to serve as secondary professional firms (SPFs) to oversee compliance by the five servicers that are subject to the settlement with its terms. BKD LLP, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, Crowe Horwath LLP, Grant Thornton LLP and McGladrey LLP will join Smith and his team for a period of three-and-a-half years as they oversee the implementation of the settlement involving 49 states, the United States government and five of the nation’s largest banks. The primary role of each SPF is to assist the primary professional firm—BDO Consulting, a division of BDO USA LLP—by conducting the evaluation of one servicer that is party to the settlement. “Each secondary professional firm has a high level of expertise that will bring the detailed, independent attention we need to monitor this settlement,” said Smith of the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight. “Over the past month I have worked closely with BDO to select the secondary professional firms, and these firms, working under BDO’s leadership, will help to ensure that the banks are reviewed thoroughly and effectively. I am confident that these six accounting firms make up the blend we need to fully implement the settlement.” The secondary professional firms will work with their assigned servicers, and the servicers’ internal review groups, to oversee execution of the settlement. As the Monitor’s primary professional firm, BDO will continue its role as the lead firm associated with the settlement.