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U.S. Watchdog Cracks Down on Mortgage Servicers

Worried about foreclosures, the federal bureau is reviewing mortgage servicers’ compliance with pandemic relief programs and how they’re handling forbearance requests.

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is scrutinizing mortgage servicers' compliance with pandemic relief programs amid concerns struggling homeowners are not getting the help they need to avoid foreclosures or are being discriminated against, according to sources.

The CFPB has sent data requests to mortgage servicers that process mortgage repayments and have asked for data on how they are handling mortgage holiday or "forbearance" programs and whether the temporary debt relief is likely to get borrowers back on their feet. The agency has opened probes into mortgage servicers over their handling of forbearance requests.

According to the six sources, the agency is examining a range of issues: how many and which borrowers are in forbearance; whether loan modifications will succeed in getting borrowers repaying; if servicers have been obstructing or delaying forbearance requests or granting only partial relief; and if some servicers have been discriminating against borrowers based on race or ethnicity, whether deliberately or inadvertently.

Reuters (04/19/21) Qing, Koh; Johnson, Katanga; Prentice, Chris

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