Utah to get $1.4M for mortgage processor's wrongful acts
Utah will get $1.4 million from one of the biggest U.S. mortgage processing companies as part of a $121 million settlement to resolve states' claims that it wrongfully foreclosed on owners who should have been allowed to stay in their homes.
The agreements between Lender Processing Services Inc., based in Jacksonville, Fla., and 46 states and the District of Columbia were announced Thursday.
"Mortgage companies better take note that the state of Utah and our citizens demand fairness and accuracy when handling their transactions," Traci Gundersen, director of the Utah Division of Consumer Protection, said in a statement.
The settlement requires, the company to reform its business practices by providing proper notarization of documents and preventing signatures of those without first-hand knowledge of the facts laid out in documents to sign them, according to the Utah Attorney General's Office.
The settlement follows similar agreements totaling $6 million that Lender Processing signed previously with Colorado, Delaware and Missouri. The company says that leaves Nevada's complaint as the only unresolved state case.
Lender Processing said it also has continued to resolve civil lawsuits against the company.
"Today's settlements are another major step toward putting issues related to past business practices behind us," company President and CEO Hugh Harris said in a statement. He said Lender Processing remains committed to improved compliance with regulations and strong operations.
The federal government and 49 states struck a $25 billion settlement last February over foreclosure practices with five major banks, Ally Financial, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
In January, federal regulators signed settlements with 13 big banks that ended a review of mortgage loan files required under a 2011 federal action. Combined, the banks will pay $9.3 billion. They are Aurora, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC Financial Services, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.