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Wells Fargo, BofA accused of home loan delays

– New York’s attorney general Monday accused Wells Fargo and Bank of America of violating the terms of last year’s national mortgage settlement by failing to process hundreds of refinancing requests promptly.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has notified the national monitoring committee, citing complaints of 210 prompt-processing violations by Wells Fargo and 129 by Bank of America. If the committee defers taking action, Schneiderman said he will sue for compliance.

Under the settlement, the banks are required to respond to mortgage modification requests within 30 days. Schneiderman said delays put homeowners further into debt from missed payments and penalties, pushing them closer to foreclosure.

“The five mortgage services that signed the national mortgage settlement are legally required to take specific, rigorous and enforceable steps to protect homeowners,” Schneiderman said. “Wells Fargo and Bank of America have flagrantly violated those obligations.”

Bank of America spokesman Richard Simon said through March it provided mortgage relief for more than 10,000 New York homeowners totaling more than $1 billion and the bank will work to quickly address the 129 customer servicing problems Schneiderman cited.

“This agreement has been good for New York, and we continue using these beneficial programs to assist troubled homeowners in New York and nationally,” he said.

Wells Fargo said it was committed to full compliance with the settlement and its standards, adding it has helped more than 70,000 homeowners nationally.

The settlement set servicing standards and up to $25 billion in financial relief to homeowners. The standards bar the lenders from pursuing foreclosure while negotiating a loan modification.

They require the banks to acknowledge in writing a refinancing application within three business days, notify the borrower of any missing documents within five days and make a decision on a complete application within 30 days.

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