Report: Schneiderman investigating military foreclosures

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Dec 1, 2011


ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is reportedly looking into what could be illegal mortgage foreclosure practices by banks on active-duty military members.

According to the Financial Times, the probe is part of Schneiderman's own investigation of mortgage servicers.

The attorney general is currently doing a comprehensive investigation into the industry after being removed from the committee negotiating a nationwide settlement with the nation's top servicers in August.

At the time, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is heading up the talks, said Schneiderman "actively worked to undermine" the group's effort.

State attorneys general, the U.S. Justice Department, Treasury Department and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are still trying to negotiate a deal with lenders Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc.

The probe began more than a year ago with inquiries into so-called "robosigning" practices by several mortgage companies, and has since broadened into identifying and addressing additional alleged improper foreclosure practices.

According to a report released last week by the U.S. Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, nearly a dozen major banks may have foreclosed on the homes of about 5,000 service members in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. The act protects those service members who are on active duty.

In a column published earlier this month on Politico, both Schneiderman and Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden said there has been "widespread failure to adhere to the requirements" of the SCRA.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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