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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) Raymond ReedFBI chief: Trump hasn't specifically directed me to stop Russian meddling in midterms Live coverage: FBI director testifies to Senate Intelligence Committee Senate Dems demand answers on cost of Trump's military parade proposal MORE (D-R.I.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Banking Committee Chairman Tim JohnsonTimothy (Tim) Peter 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 Joseph LeahyGrassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees Popular bill to fight drug prices left out of budget deal Judiciary Dems want public hearings with Kushner, Trump Jr. MORE (D-Vt.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseCommittee chairman aims for House vote on opioid bills by Memorial Day Regulators seek to remove barriers to electric grid storage Prison sentencing bill advances over Sessions objections MORE (D-R.I.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezJustice Dept intends to re-try Menendez in corruption case DACA is neither bipartisan nor in America's interest Senate DACA deal picks up GOP supporters MORE (D-N.J.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats now attack internet rules they once embraced Schumer: Trump budget would ‘cripple’ gun background checks Schumer: Senate Republicans' silence 'deafening' on guns, Russia MORE (D-N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownLawmaker interest in NAFTA intensifies amid Trump moves Dem senator shares photo praising LeBron James after Laura Ingraham attacks Trump gets recommendation for steep curbs on imported steel, risking trade war MORE (D-Ohio), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinAmerica’s waning commitment to the promise of the First Amendment Senate rejects Trump immigration plan What to watch for in the Senate immigration votes MORE (D-Ill.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard? Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees Sen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats MORE (D-Minn.), and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyGrassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees 2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states Mulvaney remarks on Trump budget plan spark confusion 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."