Senators press federal agencies to hold mortgage servicers accountable for problems

On Monday, the OCC announced it was giving banks an additional 30 days to file “action plans” for how they will comply with new foreclosure requirements laid out in the OCC’s April 13 consent orders to allow for the coordination of actions with other agencies at the state and federal level.

Several federal agencies and state attorneys general opened investigations into foreclosure practices at major banks, including improperly prepared legal documents and the use of “robo-signers” who signed hundreds of unread foreclosure documents.

"It is clear that we need to stabilize our housing market, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has a pivotal role to play in utilizing the full scope of its authority to correct the weaknesses of servicers in terms of foreclosure governance and foreclosure document preparation and in their ability to vigorously oversee and monitor third-party vendors, including foreclosure attorneys," the letter said. 

Recently, several servicers under OCC's jurisdiction have agreed to submit, in a matter of days, action plans that are supposed to contain complete explanations of all the steps that will be taken, including efforts to strengthen foreclosure and foreclosure prevention controls and procedures. 

The plans are intended to clarify and improve the roles of mortgage servicers while helping homeowners.  

"In this regard, we urge you to consider the servicing standards proposed by the state attorneys general, and to incorporate appropriate provisions of introduced legislation that will support the work that must be done to improve the foreclosure process and help homeowners avoid foreclosure, they wrote.

"Taken together, these policies would be a better basis for a more fair and equitable system going forward."

Sens. Jack ReedJack ReedThe Hill's 12:30 Report Dem Sen. Reed to oppose Gorsuch Dems introduce MAR-A-LAGO Act to publish visitor logs MORE (D-R.I.), Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senators demand Pentagon action after nude photo scandal Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings MORE (D-Conn.), Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (D-S.D.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyPath to 60 narrows for Trump pick Overnight Regulation: Trump repeals 'blacklisting' rule Senators call for pay equity for US women's hockey team MORE (D-Vt.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseOvernight Cybersecurity: New questions for House Intel chair over WH visit | Cyber war debate heats up | Firm finds security flaws in 'panic buttons' The Hill's 12:30 Report Dems introduce MAR-A-LAGO Act to publish visitor logs MORE (D-R.I.), Bob MenendezRobert MenendezCorruption trial could roil NJ Senate race Steve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order MORE (D-N.J.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chuck SchumerCharles SchumerNunes will not step down from Russia probe Top House Intel Dem: Nunes should recuse himself Overnight Cybersecurity: New questions for House Intel chair over WH visit | Cyber war debate heats up | Firm finds security flaws in 'panic buttons' MORE (D-N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownPath to 60 narrows for Trump pick Overnight Finance: Trump stock slump | GOP looks to tax bill for lifeline | Trump repeals 'blacklisting rule' | Dem wants ethics probe into Treasury secretary Dems question potential Kushner real estate deal with Chinese firm MORE (D-Ohio), Dick DurbinDick DurbinThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch rewrites playbook for confirmation hearings Gorsuch: I'm 'sorry' for ruling against autistic student MORE (D-Ill.), Al FrankenAl FrankenThe case against Gorsuch: It’s all about precedent The Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Friends, foes spar in fight on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee MORE (D-Minn.), and Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Dem senator accuses Trump of 'dangerous tilt towards authoritarianism' Overnight Regulation: Dems punch back in fight over CEO pay rule MORE (D-Ore.) wrote that "a persistently weak housing market represents one of the greatest threats to a sustained and lasting economic recovery." 

"We are at a critical moment to achieve a better sense of stability and confidence in the administration and processing of our nation’s mortgages," the senators wrote. "In short, your efforts are needed to help lay a foundation for our housing markets to firmly recover."