. - New York's attorney general yesterday 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 established to enforce the five-bank agreement, 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 that through March the bank provided mortgage relief for more than 10,000 New York homeowners totaling more than $1 billion, and that 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 that it has helped more than 70,000 homeowners nationally and will continue to do what it can to help borrowers.