Schneiderman to Wells Fargo: Reverse Policy that Denies Foreclosure Relief in Wake of Hurricane Sandy

By WBNG News

Schneiderman to Wells Fargo: Reverse Policy that Denies Foreclosure Relief in Wake of Hurricane Sandy

November 16, 2012 Updated Nov 16, 2012 at 4:04 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) New York Attorney General Eric T Schneiderman on Friday warned Wells Fargo to reverse a new policy that temporarily suspends review of mortgage relief applications from New York homeowners, many of whom are still struggling to recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

According to a news release from Schneiderman's office:

In a letter to Wells Fargo, Attorney General Schneiderman warned the bank that its directive to suspend “all home preservation reviews and decisions” across the Northeast “in order to await further instructions from FEMA” likely violates the terms of the National Mortgage Settlement. That historic agreement, reached in March between 49 State Attorneys General, the Department of Justice, and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicing companies including Wells Fargo, mandates lender compliance with a number of servicing reforms, including swift review and response timelines for borrowers seeking mortgage modifications and other forms of relief.
Attorney General Schneiderman informed Wells Fargo that his office will not allow the bank to use the devastation inflicted by Sandy to evade their obligations under the settlement. The Attorney General’s letter to the Chairman, President and CEO of Wells Fargo today demands the bank immediately rescind this policy and comply with its obligations without interruption.
“Wells Fargo is not excused from any of its obligations under the National Mortgage Settlement or under New York law as a result of Hurricane Sandy,” wrote Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will aggressively pursue any loan servicing company that uses this tragic event as an excuse to violate loss mitigation decision timelines.”
“Countless families in New York have suffered tremendously because of this natural disaster. As we work to help those affected rebuild their lives, my office expects Wells Fargo’s full cooperation in ensuring that no additional and unwarranted damage is inflicted on those who were victims of this tragic event,” the Attorney General continued.

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