What the election means for foreclosures and robo-signing

By Charles Riley, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The state attorneys general have been pressing the banks hard over the past month, questioning them over foreclosures and falsified legal paperwork. But Tuesday's election could impact that effort.

All 50 state attorneys general agreed to jointly pursue the issue, but half of their 12-member executive committee now find themselves in their last months of service. Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, New York and Ohio will all have new attorneys general come January.

richard_cordray.03.jpg
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray.

Most prominent in that group is Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, who had filed suit against Ally Financial, alleging that the bank and its employees had signed and filed false affidavits in foreclosure cases, a practice commonly known as robo-signing.

Cordray lost his reelection bid to Republican Mike DeWine, who has not yet declared whether he intends to pursue the issue.

"After [Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller], Cordray was the single most visible attorney general in this effort," said Peter Swire, a law professor at Ohio State and former special assistant for economic policy at the White House.

Despite the loss of Cordray and other AGs, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said the investigation will continue.

"While some members of the multistate group, including a few executive committee members, will change political leadership in January, these changes do not affect the work we are now doing at the staff and leadership levels," Miller said in a statement. "This is a bipartisan and united effort with a clear mandate to put a stop to improper mortgage practices."

Miller added that it is his job to conduct the investigation "methodically and quickly," but it is unclear how much the group can accomplish in the next two months with membership in flux and the new AGs trying to get briefed on all aspects of their new jobs.

Cordray, however, expects the new group will continue moving forward.

"It will change in the sense that new people will replace former people," Cordray said. "But I would be surprised if that changed anything material. We already had 50 [attorneys general] signed on across the aisle, and every last one merited it important."

James Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia University, agrees.

"It means nothing. AGs come and go all the time," Tierney said. "That's just the nature of the beast. ... If a new attorney general says 'I'd rather go after meth labs, and not foreclosures,' that's O.K."

But it may make Miller's role more pronounced. "Miller will be a key decision maker. He has already been convening meetings with lenders," said Swire. "He is still in office, and with the other changes to the executive committee, he is the center of attention." 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
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.97%3.98%
15 yr fixed3.11%3.05%
5/1 ARM3.40%3.32%
30 yr refi4.05%4.05%
15 yr refi3.19%3.12%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
  • Find Homes for sale
    Real estate and homes for sale on Trulia

  • Property Type
  • Find a home in: New York | Atlanta | Chicago | Los Angeles
  • Washington D.C | Houston | Philadelphia | More options
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,390.52 195.10 1.13%
Nasdaq 4,630.74 64.60 1.41%
S&P 500 2,018.05 23.40 1.17%
Treasuries 2.34 0.03 1.30%
Data as of 1:38am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 17.16 0.13 0.76%
Intel Corp 34.01 1.43 4.39%
Apple Inc 108.00 1.02 0.95%
Facebook Inc 74.99 0.88 1.19%
General Electric Co 25.81 0.14 0.55%
Data as of Oct 31

Sections

AT&T adds two new 'value plans' with more data in response to similar deals from rival carriers. More

When it comes to Internet speeds, the U.S. lags behind much of the developed world. More

Instead of flocking to sunny beach havens or downsizing to a condo in the city during their retirement years, a majority of Baby Boomers say they're just going to stay put in their current home. 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: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. 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 2014 and/or its affiliates.