News United States
Pressure intensifies on mortgage lenders, Oct 11,
two-thirds of U.S. state attorneys general plan this
week to launch
a joint probe into charges some banks used
fraudulent paperwork to kick struggling borrowers
out of their homes, a source familiar with the
effort told Reuters on Sunday.
America, the nation's largest mortgage servicer, an
industry term for a firm that collects mortgage
payments, said on Friday it would temporarily halt
foreclosures nationwide as it looks into reports of
America is the first bank to halt foreclosures in
all 50 states. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co
and Ally Financial Inc's GMAC Mortgage had earlier
announced plans to suspend foreclosures in 23 states
pending a review of foreclosure procedures.
unit of Ally Financial, which is 56.3 percent owned
by the U.S. government after a $17 billion bailout,
has said employees preparing foreclosures had
submitted affidavits to judges containing
information they did not personally verify.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is facing a tough
re-election November 2 in Nevada, where foreclosure
rates are the highest in the nation, called for a
national moratorium on foreclosures after Bank of
who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
deadline for attorneys general to sign on to the
investigation effort led by Iowa's Tom Miller was at
the end of the day Monday, so a formal announcement
could be made on Tuesday.
half a dozen attorneys general have already
announced individual investigations into the
number of attorneys general calling for an
investigation is not precisely known but it is
expected to be at least three dozen and possibly
stage, the joint effort is not expected to include a
call for a moratorium, the source said, though some
attorneys general have already done so in their
including Miller, are running for re-election or
election to other offices.
Attorney General Eric Holder said last week the
Justice Department is looking into the widespread
reports of bogus paperwork. It is not clear if the
matter is under the jurisdiction of the states or
the federal government but federal officials are
looking into it, the source said.
Barack Obama, however, opposes a national
foreclosure moratorium, though he wants a quick
resolution to any foreclosures that might have
questionable paperwork, top White House adviser
David Axelrod signaled on Sunday.
sure about a national moratorium," Axelrod told CBS
television. "Our hope is that this moves rapidly and
that this gets unwound very, very quickly."
Housing Administration Commissioner David Stevens
told Reuters the administration does not believe a
nationwide moratorium is the right action at this
"Any kind of
broad moratorium will simply stall home sales," he
expected to take over a record 1.2 million homes
this year, up from about 1 million last year and
just 100,000 as recently as 2005, real estate data
company RealtyTrac Inc. said last month.
Caribbean storm dumps rain, eyes Florida, Sep 29,
depression in the Caribbean Sea brought heavy rains
early Wednesday to southern Florida after soaking
Cuba, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
had top sustained winds near 35 mph and was expected
to strengthen into Tropical Storm Nicole later on
Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
depression is very near becoming a tropical storm,"
the center said in a 5 a.m. ET advisory.
cyclones become named storms when their sustained
winds reach 39 mph (63 km per hour).
was centered about 190 miles south of Miami and was
moving north-northeast at 14 mph/22 kph, the
Miami-based hurricane center said. It was expected
to move over the Florida Straits later in the
was projected to stay well clear of the Gulf of
Mexico, where U.S. oil and gas operations are
concentrated. The heaviest rains were on the east
side of the system, which would reduce the threat to
the central Florida orange groves.
was not expected to strengthen beyond a minimal
tropical storm and forecasters predicted it would
dissipate into a wide blob of thunderstorms by the
threat was from flash flooding and mudslides. The
depression was expected to dump 5 to 10 inches of
rain in its path, including over the Cayman Islands,
Jamaica and Cuba.
storm warning was in effect along the Florida
eastern coast, the Cayman Islands and parts of Cuba
and the Bahamas. A warning means tropical storm
conditions were expected between 12 to 24 hours.