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 ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: States pull National Guard troops over family separation policy | Senators question pick for Afghan commander | US leaves UN Human Rights Council Senators question Afghanistan commander nominee on turning around 17-year war Reed: ‘Preposterous’ for Trump to say North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat MORE (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter JohnsonSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit MORE (D-S.D.), Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyFBI has no excuse to hide future scandals from American public Live coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report Student rips DeVos at school safety commission for failure to take on guns MORE (D-Vt.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseLive coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report GAO to look into Trump's reduction of carbon social costs Overnight Energy: Pruitt used security detail to run errands | Dems want probe into Pruitt's Chick-fil-A dealings | Yellowstone superintendent says he was forced out MORE (D-R.I.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSchumer: Obama 'very amenable' to helping Senate Dems in midterms The Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo MORE (D-N.J.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats' education agenda would jeopardize state-level success Overnight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges — Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare health plans | 'Zero tolerance' policy stirs fears in health community | New ObamaCare repeal plan Selling government assets would be a responsible move in infrastructure deal MORE (D-N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Warren to put hold on Trump consumer bureau nominee Stop labeling babies as 'born addicted' — it stigmatizes them and is inaccurate MORE (D-Ohio), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinDemocrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Live coverage: FBI chief, Justice IG testify on critical report Hugh Hewitt to Trump: 'It is 100 percent wrong to separate border-crossing families' MORE (D-Ill.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Richard Painter puts out 'dumpster fire' in first campaign ad Bill Clinton says 'norms have changed' in society for what 'you can do to somebody against their will' MORE (D-Minn.), and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDemocrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Lawmakers banned from talking to detained migrant kids Fourth Senate Dem calls for Nielsen to resign over family separation policy 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."