Wells Fargo & Co. has agreed to pay a $70 million penalty ending the bank’s five-year fight to settle claims over foreclosure mistakes following the 2008 financial crisis.
This week, U.S. regulators announced the fine as part of an agreement that also frees the nation’s biggest mortgage lender from loan-servicing restrictions imposed last year. Wells Fargo has been accused of failing to move fast enough to fix deficiencies outlined in a series of settlements over improper activity including so-called robo-signing of foreclosure documents. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), also identified more recent problems, including faulty payment-change notices filed in bankruptcy courts and faulty escrow calculations.
The bank neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in the OCC agreement.
Five years ago, Wells Fargo and most of the other largest U.S. mortgage servicers agreed to resolve allegations that they mishandled loan papers and fraudulently endorsed legal papers used in foreclosures after the crisis. Regulators amended that accord in 2013 after deciding the original plan failed to help affected borrowers.
A year ago, the OCC imposed new restrictions on Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and four other companies, blocking them from buying mortgage-servicing rights because they had not yet met the demands of the foreclosure settlement.
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