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Waters Requests Hearing on Termination of Independent Foreclosure Review Process

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, today sent the attached letter to Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the committee, requesting that he hold a hearing about the abrupt end of the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) process.

On Jan. 7, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board announced a settlement in which 14 mortgage servicing companies agreed to replace the process with an $8.5 billion settlement, effectively terminating the IFR.

Ranking Member Waters has been a leading advocate for foreclosure prevention. Early last month, she issued a statement expressing concern about the abrupt announcement of the blanket settlement, questioning how the settlement amount was determined and how recovery amounts will be distributed to eligible households. On Jan. 31, Waters sent a letter sent to Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Thomas Curry, comptroller of the currency, requesting greater transparency in the IFR termination process. She also called for inclusion of provisions in the final settlement identifying a minimum amount for principal reductions, an escalation process for homeowners, and the prevention of foreclosures for the 4.4 million borrowers still in their homes.

Congresswoman Waters has closely monitored the IFR since the inception of the program in early 2011, and she has raised numerous questions about the design, execution, efficacy and fairness of the process.  In 2012 she requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study and issue a report to Congress detailing its findings about the complexity of IFR materials sent to borrowers, the lack of independence of consultants selected to review homeowner files, and other issues impacting the treatment of homeowners threatened with foreclosure.




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