April 11, 2013

Huffington Post: Foreclosure Review Program's Regulators Take Pounding From Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown

Two prominent Democratic senators levied a withering attack on federal bank regulators on Thursday, accusing them at a Senate hearing of putting the interests of banks ahead of consumers in refusing to disclose what they know about the failed foreclosure review program that ended abruptly earlier this year.

Most aggressive was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and longtime consumer advocate who is quickly developing a reputation as perhaps the Senate's most effective cross-examiner. Following a series of probing questions that would not have been out of place in a court room, Warren excoriated the regulators for not immediately turning over case records of borrowers who may be considering private legal action against their bank.

"You have made a decision to protect the banks but not to help the families who were illegally foreclosed on," Warren said. "Families get pennies on the dollar for being the victims of illegal activities."

She continued: "You know of cases where the banks broke the laws, but you are not going to tell the homeowners. People want to know that their regulators are watching out for the American public, not the banks. Without transparency, [we] cannot have any confidence in your oversight or that markets are functioning correctly."

Over the past few months Warren and other legislators have repeatedly asked bank regulators at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve for more information about the case-by-case review of homeowner loans that was dropped in January in favor of a blanket $9.3 billion settlement.

Read the full story here.