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Inside Washington (12/14/2011)
  • WASHINGTON (12/15/11)--Lawmakers questioned Julie Williams, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's (OCC) deputy comptroller and chief counsel, about the relationship between the 14 largest mortgage servicers and the consultants that were hired to review their practices (American Banker Dec. 14). The consultants were supposed to be independent but lawmakers noted they were chosen by the servicers, casting doubt on the fairness of the OCC's process to homeowners. In April, federal bank regulators ordered the 14 largest servicers to complete a foreclosure review process, including identifying and assisting homeowners that were harmed by improper foreclosures and other illicit practices …
  • WASHINGTON (12/15/11)--House Republicans and Senate Democrats have proposed legislation that would raise the guarantee fees that banks pay Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to cover the risk of defaulting mortgages. The fee increases could help bring private investors back into the mortgage market, according to industry observers (American Banker Dec. 14). Private investors cannot compete with the government's low prices for mortgage-default guarantees, the Banker said. But if guarantee fees were raised significantly, private investors may be enticed to buy loans from lenders. Large banks have long paid volume discounts to Fannie and Freddie, a sore point with community banks and smaller lenders that pay higher fees, according to the Banker
  • WASHINGTON (12/15/11)--New Jersey credit union advocates met with three of the state's U.S. House delegation during New Jersey at Credit Union House on Tuesday in Washington D.C. Participants heard from U.S. Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R), Scott Garrett (R) and Bill Pascrell (D). They also received political, legislative, and regulatory briefings from Credit Union National Association staff and insights from CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney. "This was a special opportunity to showcase credit unions and talk about our latest political initiatives, namely the need to get the member business lending cap increased," New Jersey Credit Union League President/CEO Paul Gentile said. Gentile, left, speaks with Cheney …

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