As part of the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) nationwide effort to review the foreclosure practices of the five largest Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage servicers (Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, CitiMortgage, JP Morgan Chase, and Ally Financial, Incorporated) we reviewed Wells Fargo’s foreclosure and claims processes. In addition to this memorandum, OIG issued separate memorandums for each of the other four reviews. OIG performed these reviews due to reported allegations made in the fall of 2010 that national mortgage servicers were engaged in widespread questionable foreclosure practices involving the use of foreclosure “mills” and a practice known as “robosigning” of sworn documents in thousands of foreclosures throughout the United States.
DOJ used our review and analysis in negotiating a settlement agreement with Wells Fargo. On February 9, 2012, DOJ and 49 State attorneys general announced a proposed settlement of $25 billion with Wells Fargo and four other mortgage servicers for their reported violations of foreclosure requirements. As part of the proposed settlement agreement, each of the five servicers will pay a portion of the settlement to the United States and also must undertake certain consumer relief activities. The proposed settlement agreement described tentative credits that each mortgage servicer will receive for modifying loans, including principal reduction and refinancing, and established a monitoring committee and a monitor to ensure compliance with agreed-upon servicing standards and the consumer relief provisions. Once the final settlement agreement has been approved by the court, OIG will issue a separate summary memorandum detailing each of the five servicers’ allocated share of payment due as a result of the settlement agreement and recommendations to correct weaknesses discussed in this and the other four memorandums.