Mortgage Foreclosures: Documentation Problems Reveal Need for Ongoing Regulatory Oversight

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses our work on mortgage servicing issues. With record numbers of borrowers in default and delinquent on their loans, mortgage servicers--entities that manage home mortgage loans--are initiating large numbers of foreclosures throughout the country. As of December 2010, an estimated 4.6 percent of the about 50 million first-lien mortgages outstanding were in foreclosure--an increase of more than 370 percent since the first quarter of 2006, when 1 percent were in foreclosure. Beginning in September 2010, several servicers announced that they were halting or reviewing their foreclosure ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 12, 2011.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses our work on mortgage servicing issues. With record numbers of borrowers in default and delinquent on their loans, mortgage servicers--entities that manage home mortgage loans--are initiating large numbers of foreclosures throughout the country. As of December 2010, an estimated 4.6 percent of the about 50 million first-lien mortgages outstanding were in foreclosure--an increase of more than 370 percent since the first quarter of 2006, when 1 percent were in foreclosure. Beginning in September 2010, several servicers announced that they were halting or reviewing their foreclosure proceedings throughout the country after allegations that the documents accompanying judicial foreclosures may have been inappropriately signed or notarized. The servicers subsequently resumed some foreclosure actions after reviewing their processes and procedures. However, following these allegations, some homeowners challenged the validity of foreclosure proceedings against them. Questions about whether documents for loans that were sold and packaged into mortgage-backed securities were properly handled prompted additional challenges. This statement focuses on (1) the extent to which federal laws address mortgage servicers' foreclosure procedures and federal agencies' authority to oversee servicers' activities and the extent of past oversight; (2) federal agencies' current oversight activities and future oversight plans; and (3) the potential impact of foreclosure documentation issues on homeowners, servicers, regulators, and investors in mortgage-backed securities. It is based on the report we issued on May 2, 2011, on foreclosure documentation problems that Congress requested."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 12, 2011

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Mortgage Foreclosures: Documentation Problems Reveal Need for Ongoing Regulatory Oversight, text, May 12, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc293092/: accessed May 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.