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FHFA Audit of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Consumer Complaints Process

FHFA Audit of the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Consumer Complaints Process


BACKGROUND

On July 30, 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) established FHFA as regulator of the three housing-related government-sponsored enterprises: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBanks). FHFA’s mission is to promote their safety and soundness, support housing finance and affordable housing goals, and facilitate a stable and liquid mortgage market.

On September 6, 2008, just five weeks after its creation, FHFA became conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) began providing the Enterprises substantial financial support. As conservator, FHFA preserves and conserves the assets and property of the Enterprises, ensures they focus on their housing mission, and facilitates their financial stability and emergence from conservatorship. As of March 31, 2011,
Treasury had invested almost $154 billion in the Enterprises in an effort to stabilize their operations and the mortgage market generally. The Federal Reserve also took steps to support the Enterprises, such as committing to purchase up to $1.25 trillion of their securities.

On October 12, 2010, FHFA’s first Inspector General was sworn in, and FHFA-OIG commenced operations. In November 2010, FHFA-OIG initiated this audit to assess how FHFA processed consumer complaints. For purposes of this report, consumer complaints include, but are not limited to, those involving allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse. These complaints run the gamut from difficulties obtaining information from the Enterprises to allegations of potential criminal activity. The time period covered by this audit begins with the creation of the Agency on July 30, 2008, and continues for two years and three months, through October 31, 2010, when FHFAOIG’s operations began.

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Oversight Group Did Not Refer Housing Complaints – Gretchen Morgenson

Oversight Group Did Not Refer Housing Complaints – Gretchen Morgenson


New York Times-

The federal agency overseeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-owned mortgage finance giants, failed to refer to criminal investigators and other authorities almost 100 complaints about possible foreclosure abuse and mortgage fraud at the companies over a recent two-year period, according to a report issued late Tuesday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Continue reading [NEW YORK TIMES]

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The Florida Bar’s Director of Lawyer Regulation, “sometimes lawyers make mistakes that are not worthy of discipline”

The Florida Bar’s Director of Lawyer Regulation, “sometimes lawyers make mistakes that are not worthy of discipline”


Foreclosure lawyers’ misdeeds ignored in Florida?

Despite complaints, ethics breaches slip past discipline system

Florida courthouses are rife with evidence of errors and fabrications made by attorneys handling foreclosure cases, and yet so far no lawyers have been disciplined.

With pressure mounting to police its own members, the Florida Bar established a special category of complaints listed as “foreclosure fraud.”

But in 20 complaints investigated in that category, the Bar has not found cause to discipline anyone — even lawyers who admitted to breaking ethical rules.

Some observers say that early track record of ignoring misdeeds by its members raises questions about whether the system of self-policing for lawyers can handle the depth of wrongdoing in the foreclosure crisis.

The complaints have been filed by judges, lawyers, homeowners and the Florida Bar itself, and reflect the issues seen in courtrooms almost daily for the past two years, including forged signatures and backdated documents used to improperly seize homes in foreclosures.


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