New York to Sue Wells Fargo over National Mortgage Settlement

Fielding complaints from borrowers struggling to save their homes, New York’s top prosecutor is preparing a lawsuit against Wells Fargo, accusing the bank, the nation’s largest home lender, of flouting the terms of a multibillion-dollar settlement aimed at stanching foreclosure abuses.
October 2, 2013

Fielding complaints from borrowers struggling to save their homes, New York’s top prosecutor is preparing a lawsuit against Wells Fargo, accusing the bank, the nation’s largest home lender, of flouting the terms of a multibillion-dollar settlement aimed at stanching foreclosure abuses.

The lawsuit, which is expected to be filed as early as Wednesday, accuses Wells Fargo of violating the guidelines of a broad agreement reached last year between five of the nation’s largest banks and 49 state attorneys general.

Under that deal, the banks must comply with 304 servicing standards. The guidelines map out how banks should field and process requests from distressed homeowners.

Vickee J. Adams, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo, said the bank had not been served with a copy of the lawsuit. But, she added, “if true, it is very disappointing that the New York attorney general continues to pursue his course, given our commitment to the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement and ongoing engagement.

“Wells Fargo has been a leader in preventing foreclosures, helping families maintain homeownership with more than 880,000 modifications nationwide and 26,000 in New York over the last four years,” she said.

The New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, sent a previous warning shot to Bank of America and Wells Fargo, announcing in May that he had found that both banks violated the terms of the mortgage settlement. That announcement prompted negotiations between the New York prosecutor’s office and the two banks.

The outcomes for the lenders are starkly different. While Wells Fargo is bracing for a lawsuit, Bank of America is poised to announce a series of additional protections that it has adopted after discussions with Mr. Schneiderman’s office.

View Full Story from the New York Times

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