COP Hearing: More Testimony Excerpts

Julia Gordon with the Center for Responsible Lending stated:

HAMP would have been much more successful if the government had implemented othermeasures, such as changes to the bankruptcy code, to provide a “stick” to complement the HAMP “carrot” and to give homeowners an alternative to relying on servicers who act in their own interest first. Instead, the system is still entirely at the mercy of those servicers,who frequently have not acted in the best interest of either investors or homeowners, andwho have demonstrated a complete disregard for the legal requirements of the foreclosure process. It is also evident that the servicing industry, despite being aware of the oncoming wave of foreclosures for several years now, has failed to develop the capacity and quality control systems to ensure the integrity of the process.  Along with their failure to adhere to HAMP guidelines, servicers also are engaging in shoddy, abusive, and even illegal practices related to the foreclosure process itself. The recent media revelations about “robo-signing” highlight just one of the many ways in which servicers or their contractors elevate profits over customer service or duties to their clients, the investors. Other abuses include misapplying payments, force-placing insurance improperly, disregarding requirements to evaluate homeowners for nonforeclosure options, and fabricating documents related to the mortgage’s ownership or account status. While we agree that the housing market is not likely to recover fully until foreclosures level off and the swollen REO inventory is absorbed, recovery is unlikely until participants regain confidence in the process. One key reason that buyers have become skittish about REO purchases is that they believe the title to the home may not be good.

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