Holding mortgage servicers accountable

Saturday, March 12, 2011; 6:24 PM

With the numerous bank errors that took place in the five months that Dana Milbank tried to refinance his home ["Foreclosures: Big banks' reign of error," Sunday Opinion, March 6], you could almost laugh that a prominent mortgage servicer happened to pick a nationally recognized columnist to harass. But it is not funny.

Bank regulators across the country hear the same story over and over again. In New York we took the unprecedented step of promulgating regulations to govern mortgage servicers' treatment of homeowners. Now, we can fully examine servicer activities, use the power of law to enforce our rules and require timely responses for homeowners.

We need national standards to govern mortgage servicer conduct now. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should put in place such rules as an early priority. For every columnist affected, tens of thousands of people are suffering who do not have an outlet on the opinion pages to voice their frustration. They do not find it funny, either.

Richard H. Neiman, New York

The writer is superintendent of banks for the state of New York and a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program Congressional Oversight Panel.

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