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 ReedDems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination Dem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls Senate Dems press Trump on legal justification for potential Syria strike 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 LeahyCongress should build on the momentum from spending bill Overnight Tech: Zuckerberg grilled by lawmakers over data scandal | What we learned from marathon hearing | Facebook hit with class action lawsuit | Twitter endorses political ad disclosure bill | Uber buys bike share Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg faces grilling in marathon hearing | What we learned from Facebook chief | Dems press Ryan to help get Russia hacking records | Top Trump security adviser resigning MORE (D-Vt.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseEPA security chief worked for tabloid owner linked to Trump: report Overnight Energy: Pruitt proposes rule targeting 'secret science' | Dems probe Pruitt's security chief | FAA bill provisions could strip endangered species protections Dems say Pruitt security chief’s authorization for side job is invalid MORE (D-R.I.), Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSenate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Poll: Menendez has 17-point lead over GOP challenger Russian attacks on America require bipartisan response from Congress MORE (D-N.J.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerCan Mueller be more honest than his colleagues? Throwing some cold water on all of the Korean summit optimism House Republicans push Mulvaney, Trump to rescind Gateway funds MORE (D-N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOvernight Finance: Mulvaney remark on lobbyists stuns Washington | Macron takes swipe at Trump tariffs | Conservatives eye tax cut on capital gains | Gillibrand unveils post office banking bill | GOP chairman pushes banks on gun policies Top banking Dem calls for Mulvaney to resign after lobbyist remarks Senator offers new details on allegations against VA nominee MORE (D-Ohio), Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGOP moves to cut debate time for Trump nominees Senators to Trump: Let Mueller finish Russia probe Democrats fret over GOP changes to Mueller bill MORE (D-Ill.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken to make first public appearance since resignation Overnight Cybersecurity: Fallout from Comey memos | IG reportedly investigating memos over classified info | DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign | GOP chair blasts FDIC over data security Why Smokin' Joe leads the pack of 2020 Democratic hopefuls MORE (D-Minn.), and Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules Duckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd 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."