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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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Fannie Mae is adding fourteen jurisdictions to their attorney network

Fannie Mae is adding fourteen jurisdictions to their attorney network


Fannie Mae is adding the following fourteen jurisdictions (the new jurisdictions) to the mandatory retained attorney network:

Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, Oregon,
Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Utah
Delaware. Kentucky, New Mexico
District of Columbia, Maine, Nevada

[ipaper docId=49946117 access_key=key-1ecvxgr771j5ug8pn5wa height=600 width=600 /]

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Fannie Mae’s Announcing Miscellaneous Servicing Policy Changes

Fannie Mae’s Announcing Miscellaneous Servicing Policy Changes


Highlights:

Retirement of HomeSaver Advance
Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 609: HomeSaver Advance

Technology Usage and Electronic Invoice Submission Charges to Attorneys and Trustees
Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 501.03: Allowable Attorney Fees, and Part VIII, Section 104.04: Attorney (or Trustee) Fees

Prohibition Against Servicer-Specified Vendors for Fannie Mae Referrals
Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 501.03: Allowable Attorney Fees, and Part VIII, Section 104.04: Attorney (or Trustee) Fees

Prohibition on Outsourcing Fees, Referral Fees, Packaging Fees, and Similar Fees
Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 501.03: Allowable Attorney Fees, and Part VIII, Section 104.04: Attorney (or Trustee) Fees

Attorney or Trustee File Transfers
Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 501: Selection of Bankruptcy Attorneys and Avoiding Delays in Case Processing, and Part VIII, Section 104: Referral to Foreclosure Attorney/Trustee

New Documentation Aging Requirements Established for Loss Mitigation Options
Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 601.01: Requesting Preliminary Financial Information

Mandatory Nature of Retained Attorney Network
Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 501.01: Fannie Mae-Retained Attorneys, and Part VIII, Section 104.01: Fannie Mae-Retained Attorneys

Deeds-in-Lieu of Foreclosure
Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 606: Deeds-in-Lieu of Foreclosure

Clarification Regarding Foreclosure Actions in the Name of Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS)

Monitoring Pooled from Portfolio (PFP) Mortgage Loans

Announcement 08-31, Fannie Mae 2009 Single-Family Master Trust Agreement, the Amended and Restated 2007 Single-Family Master Trust Agreement, and Certain Servicing Clarifications and Changes, Including Expanded Loss Mitigation Flexibility, and Announcement 07-03R, Reissuance of the Instructions for the Fannie Mae Single-Family MBS Master Trust Agreement

Servicer Responsibilities for Non-Escrow Mortgage Loans
Servicing Guide, Part III, Section 103: Escrow Deposit Accounts

Audit Confirmation Request Process Changes
Servicing Guide, Part X, Section 106: Audit Confirmations

[ipaper docId=35369764 access_key=key-hwlb9q7zv7ait78hgtk height=600 width=600 /]

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