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Inside Washington (09/20/2011)
* WASHINGTON (9/21/11)--Foreclosed borrowers will be able to have their cases reviewed for errors and misrepresentations on the part of servicers and may be eligible for restitution, John Walsh, the acting comptroller of the currency said Monday (American Banker Sept. 20). The review process is part of consent orders issued against the 14 top mortgage servicers. Cases will be reviewed by an independent consultant who may require servicers to develop a remediation plans, said Walsh, speaking at American Banker’s regulatory symposium. Borrowers with a foreclosure either pending or completed between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010 will be contacted through direct mailings, Walsh said. Individuals seeking a review will be able to go to a website and either file a request for review online or ask for a form that can be filled out and submitted by mail. “As we explored the best means of ensuring that injured homeowners had the opportunity to seek relief, it became clear that what was needed was a robust, transparent and accessible complaint process that will give borrowers the opportunity to request an independent foreclosure review,” Walsh was reported to have said … * WASHINGTON (9/21/11)--The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act did not address many of significant problems created by the financial crisis, Robert G. Wilmers, chairman and chief executive officer of M&T Bank Corp. said Monday (American Banker Sept. 20). Wilmers, in remarks to American Banker’s regulatory symposium, specifically cited credit rating agencies, government-sponsored enterprises Freddie Mac and Frannie Mae and large bank holding companies as entities that continue to operate with government protection. Credit rating agency assessments were inaccurate leading up to the financial crisis, creating a false sense of confidence on the part of investors, Wilmer said. Wilmer called for new entrants to the credit ratings market and a more competitive, accurate ratings system. Despite the losses that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac subjected American taxpayers to during the crisis, the percentage of American households owning homes did not, on net, increase as the housing bubble inflated, and eventually burst, between 2000 and 2009. Still, no action has been taken to resolve the question of how to restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Wilmer said. Also, Dodd-Frank did not address the increased concentration of financial service providers that deal in speculative investments rather than traditional banking practices. “The major bank holding companies who engage in and rely on trading revenue can continue to do so with the protection of the FDIC system--established to protect depositors, not speculators,” Wilmer said. “It is a system in which a number took refuge in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and in which they remain” ...

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