Dems want to know why Fannie/Freddie fined mortgage servicers for foreclosure delays (that cost taxpayers $), widespread problems with foreclosure mills


Dems want to know why Fannie/Freddie fined mortgage servicers for foreclosure delays (that cost taxpayers $), widespread problems with foreclosure mills

Dems want to know why Fannie/Freddie fined mortgage servicers for foreclosure delays (that cost taxpayers $), widespread problems with foreclosure mills

Mr. Edward DeMarco
Acting Director
Federal Housing Finance Agency
1700 G Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20551

Dear Acting Director DeMarco:

I am writing to request additional information about $150 million in fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charged mortgage servicing companies in 2010 for failing to conduct foreclosures quickly enough to meet federally imposed timelines. I am concerned that these penalties, at least some of which were ordered by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), may have contributed to widespread abuses by mortgage servicing companies and law firms attempting to meet arbitrary deadlines to expedite foreclosures.

Evidence of Abuses Prior to 2010

On February 25, 2011,1 launched a major investigation into abuses and illegal activities
by mortgage servicing companies, including wrongful foreclosures, deficient recordkeeping,
inflated fees, and fraud in lending. As part of this investigation, I wrote to the FHFA Inspector
General requesting an investigation into “widespread allegations of abuse by private attorneys
and law firms hired to process foreclosures as part of the ‘Retained Attorney Network’
established by Fannie Mae.”1

On September 30, 2011, the Inspector General issued a report in response to my request
concluding that “there were multiple indicators of foreclosure abuse risk prior to 2010 that could
have led FHFA to identify and act earlier on the issue.” According to the Inspector General,
these warnings included “consumer complaints alleging improper foreclosures; contemporaneous
media reports about foreclosure abuses by Fannie Mae’s law firms; and public court filings in
Florida and elsewhere highlighting such abuses.”2

In one instance, a review commissioned by Fannie Mae found that “foreclosure attorneys
in Florida are routinely filing false pleadings and affidavits.” Similarly, in June 2010, officials
from FHFA’s Office of Conservatorship Operations performed a two-day field visit to Florida,
after which they noted:

[Servicers, attorneys, and other supporting personnel were overloaded with the volume
of foreclosures, the average timeline for foreclosures had increased from 150 to 400 days,
documentation problems were evident, and law firms (referred to as “foreclosure mills”)
were not devoting the time necessary to their cases due to Fannie Mae’s flat fee structure
and volume-based processing model.3

Despite evidence of widespread problems among foreclosure law firms retained by
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Inspector General’s report concluded that FHFA “did not
begin to act on foreclosure abuse issues involving Fannie Mae’s RAN until mid-2010.” The
Inspector General recommended that FHFA review why it failed to heed these warnings sooner,
implement comprehensive procedures to prevent these abuses in the future, and address “poor
performance” by law firms that have contractual relationships with Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac. FHFA agreed with all of these recommendations.4

Penalties for Slow Foreclosures

In addition to finding that there were multiple indicators of foreclosure abuse prior to
2010, the Inspector General reported that during this same timeframe in 2010, FHFA “directed
Fannie Mae to impose compensatory fees against the servicers for violating foreclosure timeline

In fact, FHFA General Counsel Alfred M. Pollard disclosed in a letter to me on
November 1, 2011, that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assessed penalties totaling approximately
$150 million in 2010. He wrote:

To date, the top ten servicers account for the bulk of the fees due; the total amount for all
servicers, after approving appeals and corrections, is approximately $150 million dollars
for 2010.6

Mr. Pollard also described the methodology for calculating these penalties. He

Fees are assessed based on each Enterprise’s specific allowable foreclosure timelines for
individual states as published in their Seller/Servicer Guides. Each Enterprise assesses
the servicers a per day fee—approximately $30 a day—for each day that the servicer
exceeds the established timeline.7

The size and timing of these penalties raise serious questions about whether FHFA may
be more interested in expediting foreclosures to clear its books than protecting the rights of

Request for Information

On October 3, 2011,1 wrote to you to inquire about the extent of penalties imposed
against mortgage servicers that failed to meet federally imposed timelines to conduct
foreclosures. Specifically, I requested that you “provide a list of all servicers that have been
assessed compensatory fees, identify the total amount of fees assessed against each servicer,
identify the reasons these fees were assessed, and identify whether the fees have been paid in
f u l l . ” 8

Although the letter from Mr. Pollard disclosed that the total amount of these penalties for
2010 was $150 million, it did not provide the specific information I requested, including the
amount of fees charged to each mortgage servicing company. For these reasons, I request that
you provide the following information:

(1) a list of all servicers that have been assessed compensatory fees;
(2) the total amount of fees assessed against each servicer;
(3) the reasons these fees were assessed against each servicer;
(4) whether each servicer assessed compensatory fees has paid the assessed fees in
full; and
(5) if a servicer has not yet paid the assessed fees in full, the expected date by which
the fees will be paid in full.

I request that you provide this information by November 30, 2011. I also request that you
provide the information requested above regarding compensatory fees assessed against mortgage
servicers in 2011 when that information becomes available. Thank you for your consideration of
this request.


Elihah E. Cummings

Ranking Member


cc: The Honorable Darrell E. Issa, Chairman
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

[ipaper docId=72950263 access_key=key-2orczwc3685gig4t9m02 height=600 width=600 /]


© 2010-19 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



This post was written by:

- who has written 9242 posts on FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA.

CONTROL FRAUD | ‘If you don’t look; you don’t find, Wherever you look; you will find’ -William Black

Contact the author

Leave a Reply

Advertise your business on