On August 10, 2018, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (“Board of Governors”) announced that a national bank had consented to the assessment of a civil money penalty totaling $8.6 million pursuant to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, as amended, 12 U.S.C. §§ 1818(b)(3) and 1818(i)(2)(B), for engaging in unsafe or unsound banking practices.
The penalty addresses deficiencies related to mortgage servicing performed by one of the bank’s subsidiaries. Specifically, the Order of Assessment of Civil Penalty states that between January 2015 and August 2015, mortgage related affidavits executed by bank employees made assertions purportedly based on personal knowledge regarding the ownership of mortgage notes when, in fact, the signers did not have personal knowledge and were not in a position to review the relevant books and records. Additionally, mortgage note affidavits were not properly notarized, as they were not signed or affirmed in the presence of a notary. The Order states that the bank has taken steps to address the deficiencies and the affidavits potentially affected by the challenged conduct.
This Civil Penalty Assessment resolves the Consent Order that the Board of Governors previously issued against the bank and its subsidiary in April 2011, which required that the entities remedy deficiencies related to mortgage servicing. Based on evidence of the bank’s sustainable improvements, the Board of Governors has terminated the enforcement action.