Federal Government Announces $25 Billion Agreement With Five Largest Mortgage Lenders

February 9, 2012 Updated Feb 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM EDT

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Federal Government Announces $25 Billion Agreement With Five Largest Mortgage Lenders

February 9, 2012 Updated Feb 9, 2012 at 2:39 PM EDT

Washington D.C. (DOJ news release) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers announced Thursday that the federal government and 49 state attorneys general have reached a landmark $25 billion agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers to address mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses.  The agreement provides substantial financial relief to homeowners and establishes significant new homeowner protections for the future.

The unprecedented joint agreement is the largest federal-state civil settlement ever obtained and is the result of extensive investigations by federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, HUD and the HUD Office of the Inspector General, and state attorneys general and state banking regulators across the country.  The joint federal-state group entered into the agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers: Bank of America Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC).

“This agreement – the largest joint federal-state settlement ever obtained – is the result of unprecedented coordination among enforcement agencies throughout the government,” said Attorney General Holder.  “It holds mortgage servicers accountable for abusive practices and requires them to commit more than $20 billion towards financial relief for consumers.  As a result, struggling homeowners throughout the country will benefit from reduced principals and refinancing of their loans.  The agreement also requires substantial changes in how servicers do business, which will help to ensure the abuses of the past are not repeated.”

The joint federal-state agreement requires servicers to implement comprehensive new mortgage loan servicing standards and to commit $25 billion to resolve violations of state and federal law.  These violations include servicers’ use of “robo-signed” affidavits in foreclosure proceedings; deceptive practices in the offering of loan modifications; failures to offer non-foreclosure alternatives before foreclosing on borrowers with federally insured mortgages; and filing improper documentation in federal bankruptcy court.

Read the entire Department of Justice news release HERE.