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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Attorney General Gansler, Commissioner of Financial Regulation Join Multi-State Foreclosure Group to Review Foreclosure Practices

BALTIMORE, MD ( October 13, 2010) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Commissioner of Financial Regulation Mark A. Kaufman today announced that they will join with 48 other state Attorneys General and financial regulatory agencies in 30 states to review improper foreclosure practices, including the “robo-signing” of affidavits and other required documents.

“Over the last few weeks, serious concerns have been raised over the issue of robo-signing, potentially affecting thousands of consumers,” said Attorney General Gansler. “It is imperative that these large companies slow down, fully and openly examine their practices, and admit where the process is failing. Working together as a group and with one voice, we can help ensure that homeowners facing foreclosure are treated fairly and according to the law.”

It has recently come to light that a number of large mortgage-loan servicers have submitted defective affidavits and notices required in the foreclosure process. In particular, it appears that certain servicers filed affidavits and notices signed by persons who did not have personal knowledge of the facts asserted in the documents. Recently, Attorney General Gansler, Governor O'Malley and Congressman Elijah Cummings asked several national bank servicers to halt foreclosure proceedings in Maryland while they examined their practices in this State. Commissioner Kaufman, whose office is part of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR), made a similar request of the six largest non-bank servicers under his jurisdiction.

“In Maryland, we have consistently been on the side of Maryland families who are facing the loss of their homes,” Governor Martin O'Malley said. “We have worked with federal and state law enforcement to punish those who have perpetrated foreclosure rescue scams and other forms of mortgage fraud in our State. We have a similar responsibility to Marylanders to investigate whether these robo-signings and other practices by bankers and loan servicers trampled upon laws that were designed to protect homeowners in default.”

The task force will examine the practices of the largest servicers nationwide on a coordinated and unified basis, and enable the states to speak with a unified voice to the maximum extent possible.

“These are national companies with multi-state servicing operations, including here in Maryland. The shoddy practices that have been reported raise concerns nationwide,” Commissioner Kaufman said. “We look forward to working with our colleagues around the country to ensure that the law is obeyed and that homeowners, including those in Maryland, are treated fairly.”

The Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the State. The Attorney General's Office has general charge, supervision and direction of the legal business of the State, acting as legal advisors and representatives of the major departments, various boards, commissions, officials and institutions of State Government. Attorney General Gansler and his Consumer Protection Division have taken action against dozens of operators of foreclosure rescue schemes seeking to exploit individuals facing foreclosure.

The Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation is the primary regulator for financial institutions chartered in Maryland, including State-chartered banks, credit unions, and trust companies, and non-depository mortgage brokers, servicers, and lenders. Commissioner Kaufman serves on Multi-State Mortgage Committee, a group of regulators from 10 states that coordinates the efforts of all 50 states and will coordinate involvement in this initiative. Commissioner Kaufman also serves on the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, a national task force made up of Attorneys General and banking regulators.

View the Joint Statement here.

   

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