OCC’s Walsh Offers Assurance Of Foreclosure Review Independence

Acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh said Monday that federal regulators' oversight of the third-party consultants tasked with reviewing major servicers' foreclosure actions will ensure that the reviews are done in an ‘independent and responsible manner.’

The 14 servicers covered by April's consent orders began mailing letters this week to borrowers whose loan files are eligible for review. Independent firms are responsible for evaluating whether borrowers suffered financial injury through deficient foreclosure practices and determining appropriate remediation for affected customers.

‘The independent foreclosure review is a significant component of the mortgage servicers' compliance with our enforcement actions,’ Walsh said. ‘These requirements help ensure that the servicers provide appropriate compensation to borrowers who suffered financial harm as a result of improper practices identified in our enforcement actions.’

A borrower-facing website that provides consumers with information about the review and claim process – www.IndependentForeclosureReview.com – has also been launched.

As previously reported, borrowers' requests for review must be received by April 30, 2012. According to Walsh, the reviews will take several months to complete. In addition to the claims program, the independent consultants will also review a variety of sample cases from each servicer. Where they identify issues, they will conduct additional secondary reviews to identify as many affected borrowers as possible, the OCC said.

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