"The five mortgage services that signed the National Mortgage Settlement are legally required to take specific, rigorous, and enforceable steps to protect homeowners," Attorney General Schneiderman said. "Wells Fargo and Bank of America have flagrantly violated those obligations, putting hundreds of homeowners across New York at greater risk of foreclosure. I intend to use every tool available to my office to hold these companies accountable under the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement."
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The settlement's monitor, former North Carolina Banking Commissioner Joseph A. Smith noted, "a significant increase," in consumer complaints in the second half of 2012.
In a February 2013 report he reported 5,700 consumer complaints submitted to his office, about half of which related to problems with loan modifications or customer service.
The banks have extended close to $46 billion in gross relief to more than 550,000 borrowers under the settlement so far, according to the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight. Thousands of borrowers have had their mortgage principal slashed under the settlement, which should reduce future delinquencies. Negative equity is a primary driver of new delinquencies, a fact all too clear in a new report Monday from Lender Processing Services.
"Looking at the March data, we see that borrowers with equity are actually outperforming the national average—at 0.6 percent, this group is quite close to pre-crisis norms," said Herb Blecher of LPS Applied Analytics, which released the delinquency report Monday.
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"The further underwater a borrower gets, the higher those problem rates rise. Borrowers with loan-to-value (LTV) ratios of just 100-110 percent are actually defaulting at more than twice the national average. For those 50 percent or more underwater, we see new problem rates of 4 percent."