Nov 16 New York Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman on Friday warned Wells Fargo & Co that the
U.S. bank's policy to delay mortgage modification decisions in
states affected by Hurricane Sandy likely violates a national
Schneiderman said his office has been contacted by lawyers
representing homeowners in New York who have been notified by
the bank that it's suspending decisions on loan modifications
until it receives information from the Federal Emergency
Under a $25 billion settlement reached in February, Wells
Fargo and four other banks agreed to new loan servicing
standards, including a requirement to make decisions on loan
modification requests within 30 days of receiving a completed
application. Loan modifications typically reduce monthly
payments for borrowers in danger of foreclosure.
"Wells Fargo is not excused from any of its obligations
under the National Mortgage Settlement or under New York law as
a result of Hurricane Sandy," Schneiderman wrote in a letter to
the bank. "My office will aggressively pursue any loan servicing
company that uses this tragic event as an excuse to violate loss
mitigation decision timelines."
Wells Fargo spokeswoman Vickee Adams said there is a
"misunderstanding" over the bank's policy.
"We are here to do what we can for our customers," she said.
"We are here to help them."
Wells Fargo began suspending all foreclosures in FEMA
declared disaster areas immediately after Sandy made landfall,
Adams said. The suspension will last at least 90 days for loans
owned by the bank. Loans serviced for others will follow
Adams declined to comment further on how the bank is
handling the timing of loan modification decisions.