Bernanke: We take foreclosure problems seriously

By Aaron Smith, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday that a federal agency review of foreclosure procedures at the nation's largest mortgage servicers should be completed next month.

"We take violations of proper procedures seriously," Bernanke said in remarks prepared for delivery at a joint conference in Arlington, Va., with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Wall Street's foreclosure procedures.

"I would like to note that we have been concerned about reported irregularities in foreclosure practices at a number of large financial institutions," Bernanke said. "The federal banking agencies are working together to complete an in-depth review of practices at the largest mortgaging servicing operations."

"We are looking intensively at the firms' policies, procedures and internal controls related to foreclosures and seeking to determine whether systematic weaknesses are leading to improper foreclosures," he said.

Bernanke also highlighted the precarious state of the housing market.

"Now, more than 20% of borrowers owe more than their home is worth and an additional 33% have equity cushions of 10% or less, putting them at risk should house prices decline much further," he said. "With housing markets still weak, high levels of mortgage distress may well persist for some time to come."

Bernanke said the conference will also focus on results from the ongoing program by the Federal Reserve Bank called the Mortgage Outreach and Research Effort, or MORE.

The Federal Reserve chairman detailed various efforts by the MORE program to help beleaguered homeowners. These include an online tool allowing homeowners to file unemployment insurance benefits as income to quality for federal mortgage modification programs.

Bernanke said that more details of the MORE program can be accessed at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's website. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,678.70 6.10 0.03%
Nasdaq 4,771.76 13.88 0.29%
S&P 500 2,057.09 5.27 0.26%
Treasuries 1.83 0.01 0.61%
Data as of 6:01am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.85 0.12 0.76%
Apple Inc 113.10 0.12 0.11%
Microsoft Corp 47.01 -0.17 -0.36%
Safeway Inc 35.10 -0.19 -0.54%
General Electric Co 24.59 0.11 0.45%
Data as of Jan 26

Sections

The league announced on Monday that fans will be able to watch official NFL highlights on YouTube. More

Millions of Americans who lost their homes in the recession may become eligible to buy a new home beginning this year, according to a report. More

On demand delivery startup WunWun is expecting its order volume to double by the time they close up shop on Monday. All thanks to a blizzard. More

Identity thieves are stealing people's Social Security numbers and other key pieces of personal information in order to file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund, the IRS warned Monday. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2015 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2015. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2015 and/or its affiliates.