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House panel to investigate foreclosure issues
WASHINGTON (10/21/10)--Potentially “improper and illegal foreclosures” will be investigated by the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity on Nov. 18, Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said this week. In a release, Waters said that federal regulators should “initiate a full review of Bank of America, GMAC and other servicers because we cannot leave it to the banks to review and police themselves.” A witness list for the hearing had not been released at press time. “In America, every family at risk of losing its home deserves fair consideration of the facts as well as an opportunity for alternative action,” she added. Waters this week also spoke in favor H.R. 3451, the Foreclosure Prevention and Sound Mortgage Servicing Act, a bill that would prohibit banks from initiating foreclosure proceedings without offering loss mitigation options to homeowners. That bill was introduced by Waters in July of 2009. A number of larger mortgage lenders have curtailed foreclosures or evictions in several states, and state officials nationwide are investigating claims of false mortgage documentation and verification that may have been used to justify hundreds of thousands of foreclosures. Credit Union National Association Chief Economist Bill Hampel said that this temporary stall in foreclosure processing may aid credit unions by allowing them to get their own foreclosures off of their books quicker. Although credit unions have seen some increases in foreclosure-related activity due to the overall decline in the economy, the majority of credit unions were much more careful in their lending activities, and did not originate toxic mortgages nor engage in the subprime mortgage market.


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