(Adds background on settlements, comment from SunTrust
By Jonathan Stempel
Aug 6 SunTrust Banks Inc said on
Wednesday it is cooperating with the office of U.S. Attorney
Preet Bharara in New York on a broader industry investigation
into expenses charged by law firms in connection with
In a regulatory filing, the Atlanta-based regional bank said
the expenses relate to foreclosures of loans guaranteed or
insured by government-controlled mortgage companies Fannie Mae
or Freddie Mac, or by the Federal Housing
SunTrust said the investigation relates to a private
whistleblower lawsuit that was filed under seal and remains in
early stages. It said it has had a "dialogue" with Bharara's
office to resolve the matter, but did not reach an agreement.
Michael McCoy, a SunTrust spokesman, declined to elaborate
on the filing. Betsy Feuerstein, a spokeswoman for Bharara,
declined to comment.
In June, SunTrust reached a $968 million settlement with the
U.S. Department of Justice to resolve claims over other
questionable mortgage practices.
The next month, it agreed to pay as much as $320 million to
resolve a U.S. criminal probe into its alleged mismanagement of
a program to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure during
Also in July, HSBC Holdings Plc agreed to pay $10
million to settle charges that it submitted inflated bills to
the FHA and Fannie Mae to process foreclosures.
Banco Santander SA, MetLife Inc, PHH Corp
, PNC Financial Services Group Inc and Royal Bank
of Scotland Group Plc's Citizens Financial unit have
also received subpoenas from Bharara over foreclosure fees
charged to the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Lisa
Shumaker and Andre Grenon)