Thursday, May 19, 2011

DoJ's Top Negotiator Trying to Navigate the Mortgage Debacle and Strike a Deal

Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli is remaining vigilant to forge a deal that could affect homeowners throughout the country, the Washington Post reported today. Perrelli, the department's No. 3 official and one of the Obama administration's top negotiators, is the government's point person in talks with the country's largest banks over a massive settlement stemming from widespread problems within the mortgage-servicing industry. The scandal, which included instances of forged foreclosure documents, flawed paperwork and woeful customer service, prompted nearly a dozen federal agencies and 50 state attorneys general to join forces against the industry's largest players. Perrelli and Iowa attorney general Tom Miller have tried to hold together that sprawling coalition while also trying to force firms such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo to overhaul their servicing practices and set aside tens of billions of dollars in penalties that could be used to aid troubled borrowers. The outcome remains far from certain, but Perrelli said bringing closure to the issue ultimately could help heal the ailing economy.