Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Still Waiting for Cleanup in Foreclosure Mess

If last year was the year in which faulty foreclosures and bank errors became a full-blown scandal, this has been the year of waiting for something to be done about it.

First, there's the still-to-come multi-state settlement over alleged fraud on the part of the country's five largest mortgage servicers. That's the settlement being brokered by a coalition of state attorneys general and once touted as homeowners' best bet for redressing banks' flaws in foreclosure and mortgage documentation. Over the past year, one story after another declared such a deal was imminent, but the details -- the total price tag, the deal's framework, and the expected date -- have continually been changing.

Earlier this month, the Des Moines Register reported Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller -- a point man for the attorneys' general probe -- as saying that the final deal should be complete before Christmas and would include a measure to reduce the total debt owed by underwater homeowners. No deal has yet been announced. Miller wouldn't disclose a dollar figure on the size of the settlement -- or whether California, one of the hardest-hit states, would participate.