On March 3, 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a settlement with a national bank over allegations that the bank signed payment change notices in bankruptcy court without reviewing the accuracy of the documents and submitted inaccurate escrow statements. The U.S. Trustee initiated the investigation after the bank allegedly submitted inaccurate payment change notices in an individual Chapter 13 case in the Eastern District of Michigan. Bank officials and third-party vendors allegedly signed the notices and ostensibly attested to their accuracy, when in fact the officials had not reviewed the documents. The DOJ further alleged that the bank provided inaccurate escrow statements to borrowers who entered bankruptcy. The bank immediately entered into negotiations with the U.S. Trustee and hired a law firm to complete an internal investigation. As part of the settlement, the bank agreed to pay $50 million to affected borrowers in the form of cash payments, mortgage loan credits, and loan forgiveness to over 25,000 homeowners who were or are in bankruptcy. The bank also agreed to reform its internal operations and submit to oversight by an independent reviewer. The settlement was filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan where it is subject to court approval.
Blog Enforcement Watch March 03, 2015