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Inside Washington (06/15/2011)
* WASHINGTON (6/16/11)--Senate Democrats are calling on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to take a tougher approach with bank foreclosure practices. Twelve senators sent a letter to Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh Tuesday urging him to enact strict regulations for mortgage servicers. The letter called on the OCC to work with other federal and state officials to develop a comprehensive fix to problems in banks’ home-foreclosure practices. “We urge you to take every opportunity to ensure that servicers not only account for past harms, but also take steps to prevent future servicing deficiencies so that homeowners going forward are treated fairly,” the letter said. The lawmakers also asked the OCC to consider servicing standards proposed by state attorneys general and to incorporate legislation that will improve the foreclosure process and help more homeowners avoid foreclosure… * WASHINGTON (6/16/11)—The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has hired Christopher C. Haspel, director of the monitoring division at the Government National Mortgage Association, though Haspel’s role at the bureau has not been defined (American Banker June 15). At Ginnie Mae, Haspel was responsible for servicing and securitization. He previously worked at BlackRock Inc., General Electric Co., Capital One Financial Corp. and Fannie Mae. The CFPB has hired about 220 people, with plans to double that number within two months … * WASHINGTON (6/16/11)--Whether the Dodd-Frank Act adequately addressed the “too big to fail” issue will not likely be determined until the next financial crisis. During a house Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday, lawmakers argued over several issues that have yet to be determined by the market, such as which institutions are systemically significant and how regulators will supervise such firms (American Banker June 15). Success will depend on the market’s perception of how effective the Treasury Department is in handling systemically significant institutions, said Christy Romero, the acting special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Mandatory living wills for the biggest institutions and new powers granted to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., will stop the government from bailing out large banks again, Democrats said. But by identifying systemically important firms, Dodd-Frank has made “too big to fail” more clear, rather than eliminating it, Republicans countered …


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