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Bill McCollum seeks meetings with lenders to stave off foreclosure crisis

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum wants to meet in Tallahassee with five lenders embroiled in an investigation into faulty and possibly fraudulent foreclosure filings.

McCollum on Tuesday sent letters to the top executives at Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, GMAC, PNC Financial Group and Litton Loan Servicing seeking meetings "to discuss ways to promptly and effectively redeem the integrity of the foreclosure process."

The attorney general said he was "distressed to learn from media reports" that the lenders may have filed faulty affidavits in foreclosure cases in Florida courts. "The net effect of these actions, among other things, has been to cast a shadow on the title to these properties."

Several lenders have already imposed a partial or complete moratorium on finalizing foreclosures amid a review of their paperwork. Moreover, some of the foreclosed properties with questionable titles have already been sold and resold, further stressing the housing market's recovery.

"I realize that correcting the faulty affidavits and reopening many of the foreclosure cases may take many months, even years given the state of our overburdened court system," McCollum wrote. "Florida cannot wait that long to correct the linchpin of our economic recovery — clearing the foreclosure backlog."

Rather, he said he was searching for "a creative solution" that would both restore faith in the judicial foreclosure process and maintain the viability and marketability of real property titles in Florida.

Previously, McCollum joined regulators from 39 other states as part of a State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group scrutinizing the lenders and loan servicing companies involved in the widening foreclosure crisis.

Bill McCollum seeks meetings with lenders to stave off foreclosure crisis 10/12/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 8:00pm]
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