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Cummings Commends FHFA Decision to Terminate Faulty Foreclosure Attorney Networks

Cummings Commends FHFA Decision to Terminate Faulty Foreclosure Attorney Networks


Washington, DC (Oct. 18, 2011) – Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, responded to an announcement by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that it has instructed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to begin “transitioning away” from their use of designated foreclosure attorney networks to a system under which “mortgage servicers select qualified law firms that meet certain minimum, uniform criteria.”

“Several of these law firms were able to engage in abusive and illegal behavior that violated the rights of borrowers, in part because of deficient oversight by FHFA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac,” said Cummings.  “In light of the extensive problems recently documented by the FHFA Inspector General, I urged FHFA to seriously consider terminating these attorney networks, and it appears they are implementing my request.”

“I remain concerned, however, that FHFA has not provided specific details about how mortgage servicers will select and oversee law firms to ensure that abusive behavior is prevented,” added Cummings.  “I will continue my oversight efforts to ensure that specific measures are in place to require mortgage servicers to properly oversee the actions of law firms conducting foreclosure proceedings, including those involving mortgages owned or backed by the government sponsored enterprises.”

On February 25, 2011, Ranking Member Cummings launched a major investigation into abuses and illegal activities by mortgage servicing companies, including wrongful foreclosures, inflated fees, and the filing of improperly executed legal documents during the foreclosure process.  As part of that investigation, Cummings sent a letter asking the FHFA Inspector General to examine “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.”

On September 23, 2011, the FHFA Inspector General issued a report concluding that Fannie Mae and its regulators, including FHFA, were alerted repeatedly to serious problems with the legal firms in Fannie Mae’s retained attorney network (RAN) beginning as early as 2003, but failed to take corrective action.  The Inspector General reported that “FHFA did not begin to act on foreclosure abuse issues involving Fannie Mae’s RAN until mid-2010,” despite “multiple indicators of foreclosure abuse risk prior to 2010 that could have led FHFA to identify and act earlier on the issue.”

On October 3, 2011, Cummings sent a letter to FHFA Acting Director Edward DeMarco requesting additional documents and information regarding these oversight failures.  Cummings requested that the agency “give serious consideration to terminating the existing Fannie Mae Retained Attorney Network program.”  He also requested that “FHFA take immediate and decisive action to remedy these failures and ensure that no additional borrowers suffer similar abuses.”

source: http://democrats.oversight.house.gov

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Fannie, Freddie Said to End Lawyer “Foreclosure Mill” Networks Amid Mortgage Woes

Fannie, Freddie Said to End Lawyer “Foreclosure Mill” Networks Amid Mortgage Woes


Nothing last forever… But now the servicers get to make the call on who they want to use… Already see the drama unfolding.

Bloomberg-

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will phase out their foreclosure attorney networks in the wake of the so-called robo-signing scandal, according to two people briefed on the plan.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates the mortgage companies, may make the announcement as soon as this week, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter isn’t public.

Fannie Mae has required the mortgage servicers handling its loans to use its Retained Attorney Network for foreclosures and bankruptcy cases. Some lawyers were accused by lawmakers, regulators and consumer groups of mishandling paperwork for evictions and foreclosures, including falsifying signatures on court affidavits. The dispute led many mortgage servicers to suspend foreclosure activity last year.

[BLOOMBERG]

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CA CONGRESS DELEGATES SEND LETTER TO BERNAKE, HOLDER and WALSH ON FORECLOSURE FRAUD

CA CONGRESS DELEGATES SEND LETTER TO BERNAKE, HOLDER and WALSH ON FORECLOSURE FRAUD


California Democratic Congressional Delegation Urges Bank Investigations

PDF Print
 
October 5, 2010
 
Washington, D.C. – Today, California Democratic Congressional Delegation (CDCD) members sent a letter to Attorney General Holder, Federal Reserve Chair Bernanke, and Comptroller of the Currency Walsh requesting investigations into systemic wrongdoing by financial institutions in their handling of delinquent mortgages, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures. Delegation members have received thousands of complaints from their constituents, which appear to outline a clear pattern of misconduct on the part of lenders and servicers. Recent press accounts have also reinforced the view that these institutions are routinely failing to respond in a timely manner, misplacing requested documents, and misleading both borrowers and the government about loan modifications, forbearances, and other housing related applications.  
 
“It’s clear that even after promising to work with borrowers, and receiving government incentives to do so, financial institutions are simply stringing the American people along,” noted Delegation Chair, Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “After reviewing thousands of complaints from our constituents, it appears that we aren’t dealing with isolated incidents and that a pattern of misconduct and obstruction is present.”  
 
 
 
Full Text of Letter:
 
Dear Attorney General Holder, Chairman Bernanke and Comptroller Dugan, As members of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation, we urge you and your respective agencies to investigate possible violations of law or regulations by financial institutions in their handling of delinquent mortgages, mortgage modifications, and foreclosures.
 
Over the last few years, thousands of our constituents have reported that many financial institutions, despite good faith efforts on the part of most homeowners to work out reasonable loan modifications or simply seek forbearance of foreclosure, routinely fail to respond in a timely manner, misplace requested documents, and send mixed signals about the requirements that need to be met to avoid foreclosures. We are particularly perplexed by this apparent pattern in light of the many incentives Congress and the Obama Administration have offered to servicers and lenders to avoid foreclosures where financially viable, including subsidies and loan guarantees from taxpayers. Avoidable foreclosures end up being unnecessarily costly for homeowners, lenders and servicers, and our housing market, whose health is essential to our economic recovery.  
 
The apparent pattern reported by our constituents leads us to conclude that their problems are not just personal anecdotes anymore. Recent reports that Ally Financial (formerly GMAC) and JP Morgan may have approved thousands of unwarranted foreclosures only amplify our concerns that systemic problems exist in the ways many financial institutions have dealt with homeowners who are seeking to avoid foreclosures.  
 
who are seeking to avoid foreclosures. We are now in the third year of the worst housing crisis we have seen in decades. Far too many families in California, and across the country, continue to lose their homes. While Congress and the Obama Administration have taken steps to help mitigate the housing problem, this devastation has persisted and, in fact, worsened as the country’s unemployment rate increased. We have heard numerous stories of financial institutions being uncooperative at best or misleading and acting in bad faith at worst. These heartbreaking stories are commonplace, persisting across the state and across lenders and servicers. As you can see from the attached document, which highlights examples of casework throughout California, it appears that banks have repeatedly misled and obstructed homeowners from receiving the help Congress and the Administration have sought to provide.
 
The excuses we have heard from financial institutions are simply not credible three years into this crisis. People in our districts are hurting. We have tried to help them in the face of the many challenges they have faced in their dealings with financial institutions. It is time that banks are held accountable for their practices that have left too many homeowners without real help.
 
Sincerely,  
Zoe Lofgren 
 
 

The California Democratic Congressional Delegation consists of 34 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California. This group outnumbers all other state House delegations – Republicans and Democrats combined.  

 [ipaper docId=38782438 access_key=key-1krlshwit8iqdv96ypqi height=600 width=600 /]

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FORECLOSURE ATTORNEYS | TRUSTEE NETWORK

FORECLOSURE ATTORNEYS | TRUSTEE NETWORK


Attorney / Trustee Network/ FORECLOSURE MILLS

NetDirector provides a centralized data exchange for a growing network of attorneys and trustees as they realize the value of this unique solution. The current network represents participants in 49 states with both judicial and non-judicial law practices. As critical mass builds, attorneys and trustees have more leverage over banks, service providers, and other trading partners to move toward standards and provide product/service enhancements. The following attorneys/trustees currently subscribe to the NetDirector Data Exchange:

Albertelli Law, P.L. (AL, GA & FL)
Baer, Timberlake, Coulson & Cates, P.C. (OK)
Barrett, Daffin, & Frappier, L.L.P. (GA)
Barrett, Daffin, Frappier, Treder & Weiss, L.L.P. (CA)
Barrett, Daffin, Frappier, Turner & Engel, L.L.P. (TX)
Bendett & McHugh, P.C. (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI & VT)
Ben-Ezra & Katz, P.A. (FL)
Buonassissi, Henning & Lash P.C. (DC, MD & VA)
Cal-Western Reconveyance (AZ, CA, HI, ID, NV, OR, TX, UT & WA)
Camner, Lipsitz & Poller (FL)
Castle, Meinhold & Stawiarski, L.L.C. (CO, NM, NV, UT & WY)
Clay Chapman Iwamura Pulice & Nervell (HI)
Codilis & Associates, P.C. (IL)
Codilis & Stawiarski, P.C. (TX)
Codilis, Stawiarski & Moody, P.C. (MO)
Cohn, Goldberg & Deutsch, L.L.C. (DC & MD)
Dale & Decker, L.L.C. (CO)
Davidson Fink, L.L.P. (NY)
Dean Morris, L.L.P. (LA)
Doyle Legal Corporation, P.C. (IN)
Dunakey & Klatt, P.C. (IA)
Fein, Such, & Crane, P.C. (NY)
Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, P.C. (NJ)
Feiwell & Hannoy, P.C. (IN)
Finkel Law Offices, L.L.C. (SC)
Fisher & Shapiro, L.L.P. (IL)
Florida Default Law Group, P.L. (FL)
Freedman, Anselmo, Lindberg & Rappe, L.L.C. (IL)
Friedman & MacFadyen, P.A. (DC, MD, & VA)
Gilbert McGrotty Group, P.A. (FL)
Goldbeck, McCafferty & McKeever (NJ & PA)
Gray & Associates, L.L.P. (WI)
Greenspoon Marder, P.A. (FL)
Harmon Law Offices, P.C. (MA, RI, & NH)
Hellerstein & Shore, L.L.C. (CO)
Hudnall, Cohn, Fyvolent & Shaver, P.C. (GA)
Johnson & Freedman, L.L.C. (GA)
Kass, Shuler, Solomon, Spector, Foyle & Singer, P.A. (FL)
Kivell, Rayment & Francis, P.C. (OK)
Korn Law Firm, P.A. (SC)
Law Office of Patrick D. Hendershott, L.L.C. (OH)
Law Office of Ira T. Nevel, L.L.C. (IL)
Law Offices of Daniel C. Consuegra (FL)
Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson, P.C. (FL)
LOGS Network (AR, DC, FL, GA, IN, IL, KY, MD, MN, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN & VA)
Lundberg & Associates (UT)
Mackoff Kellogg Law Firm (MT, ND & SD)
Martin & Brunavs (GA)
McCabe, Weisberg & Conway, P.C. (CT, DC, MD, NJ, NY, PA & VA)
McCalla, Raymer, L.L.C. (AL, GA, TN & TX)
Morris & Associates (MS)
National Default Exchange, L.P. (CA, GA, IN, MI, MN & TX)
Nectar Projects, Inc. (VA)
Northwest Trustee Services, Inc. (CA, OR, WA, HI, ID, & MT)
O’Kelley & Sorohan, L.L.C. (GA)
Partridge Snow & Hahn, L.L.P. (MA, RI)
Pendergast & Jones, P.C. (GA)
Pierce & Associates, P.C. (IL)
Pite Duncan, L.L.P. (AZ, CA, HI, ID, NV, OR, TX, UT & WA)
Potestivo & Associates, P.C. (MI)
Powers Kirn, L.L.C. (NJ)
Powers, Kirn & Javardian, L.L.C. (PA)
Prommis Solutions, L.L.C. (All)
Regional Trustee Service Corporation (AK, AZ, CA, ID, MT, NV, OR & WA)
Reimer, Arnovitz, Chernek & Jeffrey, Co. L.P.A. (OH)
Richard M. Squire & Associates, L.L.C. (PA)
Robert J. Hopp & Associates, L.L.C. (CO)
Rogers Townsend & Thomas, P.C. (NC)
Routh Crabtree Olsen, P.S. (CA, OR, WA, HI, ID, & MT)
Routh Cooper Castle Olsen, L.L.C. (AZ)
Routh Crabtree, A.P.C. (AK)
Rutherford Mulhall, P.A. (FL)
Samuel I. White, P.C. (DC, MD, VA & WV)
Scott Law Firm, P.A. (SC)
Shapiro & Burson, L.P.P. (DC, MD & VA))
Shapiro & DeNardo, L.L.C. (PA)
Shapiro, DiCaro & Barak, L.P.P. (NY)
Shapiro & Fishman, L.P.P. (FL)
Shapiro & Kirsch, L.P.P. (AR & TN)
Shapiro & Sutherland, L.L.C. (OR)
Shapiro & Swertfeger, L.P.P. (GA)
Shapiro, Van Ess, Phillips & Barragate, L.P.P. (IN, KY & OH)
Shapiro & Zielke, L.P.P. (MN)
Shechtman Halperin Savage, L.L.P. (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI & VT)
Sirote & Permutt, P.C. (AL)
Smith, Hiatt & Diaz, P.A. (FL)
South & Associates, P.C. (MO, KS & NE)
Spear & Hoffman, P.A. (FL)
Stein, Weiner & Roth, L.L.P. (NY)
The Cooper Castle Firm, L.L.P. (NV)
The Law Offices of Hutchens, Senter & Britton, P.A. (NC)
Tiffany & Bosco, P.A. (AZ)
Trott & Trott, P.C. (MI)
Weiss Spicer Cash, P.L.L.C. (TN)
Weltman, Weinberg & Reis CO. L.P.A. (IL, IN, KY, MI, NJ, OH & PA)
Wilford & Geske, P.A. (MN)
Wilson & Associates P.L.L.C. (AR & TN)

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