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Wells Fargo pays $70M for failures in foreclosure accord

charlotteobserver.com | May 28, 2016

By Jesse Hamilton

Wells Fargo & Co. agreed to pay a $70 million penalty in ending the bank’s five-year fight to settle legal claims over foreclosure missteps after the 2008 credit crisis.

U.S. regulators announced the fine for the San Francisco- based bank on Wednesday as part of an agreement that also frees the nation’s biggest mortgage lender from loan-servicing restrictions imposed last year.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency had accused Wells Fargo of failing to move fast enough in fixing deficiencies outlined in a series of settlements overimproper activity including so-called robo-signing of foreclosure documents. The agency, which said the bank is now in compliance, had also identified more recent problems, including faulty payment-change notices filed in bankruptcy courts and faulty escrow calculations.

Wells Fargo said it was pleased that the regulator accepted its work on the settlement. The bank neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in the OCC agreement.

Five years ago, Wells Fargo and most of the other largest U.S. mortgage servicers agreed to resolve allegations that they mishandled loan papers and fraudulently endorsed legal papers used in foreclosures after the crisis. Regulators amended that accord in 2013 after deciding the original plan failed to help affected borrowers.

Last June, the OCC lifted its consent orders against Charlotte-based Bank of America, Citibank and PNC Bank. But it took additional actions against Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and four other banks for failing to make required fixes in their mortgage servicing businesses.

The regulator blocked the six companies from buying mortgage-servicing rights because they hadn’t yet met the demands of that most recent foreclosure settlement. They were also banned from appointing senior mortgage-servicing officers until they finished the work.

JPMorgan agreed to a $48 million fine in January to resolve the deficiencies identified by regulators and free it from the servicing restrictions. Further settlements in February left only Wells Fargo and HSBC Holdings Plc still facing the OCC’s limits.

Wells is based in San Francisco but has its largest employment hub in Charlotte. Its mortgage operations are headquartered in Iowa but the business has a presence in Charlotte and Fort Mill, S.C. The Observer contributed.




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CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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