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Big Banks Erred Widely on Troubled Mortgages, U.S. Regulator Confirms

"A federal regulator confirmed on Wednesday that the country’s biggest banks committed widespread errors in dealing with homeowners who faced foreclosures at the height of the mortgage crisis, but the findings are unlikely to put to rest questions from lawmakers and others about the extent of the problems.

"The report released by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is a post-mortem of the Independent Foreclosure Review, a costly but ultimately limited examination of how banks mistreated homeowners.

"The latest analysis found that at least 9 percent of the errors discovered in the review involved banks improperly denying loan modifications that would have prevented foreclosures. The report also found that more than half of the errors related to administrative flaws and improper fees charged to homeowners during the foreclosures process.

"Last year, 15 financial institutions settled with banking regulators, making payments that totaled $3.9 billion to more than four million homeowners. The settlements ended the independent reviews, which had been costly and lengthy. As part of the deals, the banks agreed to pay the homeowners, regardless of whether they had been harmed."

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