Attorney General: Foreclosures need to be halted - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Chris Conte

Attorney General: Foreclosures need to be halted


ROCHESTER (KTTC-DT)-- Attorney Generals from all 50 U.S. States are now investigating mortgage lenders like Bank of America and CitiGroup. They're trying to find out if those companies signed hundreds of thousands of foreclosure notices without properly looking at each claim, and Attorney General Lori Swanson wants some banks in Minnesota to temporarily halt foreclosures until the problems are fixed.

"We're just in a real mess of a situation and a lot of people are getting hurt because of it," Swanson said in an interview with the NewsCenter's Chris Conte.

Swanson is looking into a number of national lenders for irresponsible lending practices but because of the on-going investigation can't comment on which banks those are.

"A home is most peoples major investment, it's where they live, there's an emotional attachment to it and it seems like these lenders are being pretty cavalier and callous," Swanson said.

According to Swanson, some banks will approve thousands of foreclosures in a day and affidavits are being signed in bulk and without proper review.

When asked if big banks should temporarily stop foreclosures, Swanson said, "I think so, I think the big national banks need to put a halt on them."

On Thursday afternoon, Harold Davis, a top executive from CitiMortage testified in a Congressional hearing saying in part, "we have devoted considerable resources to helping our customers...every delinquent loan is subject to multiple levels of review."

"If you're gong to take someone's home you better engage in proper due diligence," says Swanson.

While her state investigation is still underway, Swanson says she will hold banks accountable for their actions.

"Under Minnesota law, you've really gotta go through proper procedures before you do it (foreclosure)."

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