Congressional hearing on foreclosures: When did feds learn of problems?
(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), who is likely to be tapped as the next chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, grilled federal regulators about when they learned of the "robo-signing" and other issues related to foreclosures.
After officials from the Treasury Department and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency admitted they did not know of the problems until they read about them in media reports, Bachus said did not understand how that was possible.
"Regulators were in some of those banks looking. I wonder why [the problems] were not visible," he said, adding, "I'm glad you read the newspapers."
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R -Tex.) also criticized the regulators, calling it frustrating to have "the people we put in charge" come before Congress again as they did during the financial crisis and say, "We didn't know."
"The American people have a greater expectation that you know it before it happens than reacting after it happens," Neugebauer said.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said she felt it was clear after hearing from the regulators that "you can't show us in this length of time that you've done anything... or that you're serious about assisting the homeowner."
"Why regulators are not able to identify these weaknesses...What takes so long.... Why is it you don't know how these systems work that you regulate? That's the big question among members on both sides of the aisle," Waters said.
The hearing being held Thursday before the House subcommittee on housing is the second of two on this topic on Capitol Hill this week. The first hearing was held Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee chaired by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.).
More on Thursday's hearing on foreclosures before the House Financial Services Committee subcommittee on housing:
Frank: Homeowners should not have 'false hopes' in foreclosure mess
Bank of America outlines reform measures
CitiMortgage admits to foreclosure mistakes
Ariana Eunjung Cha
| November 18, 2010; 11:43 AM ET
Categories: Congress, Housing
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