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News Now

Washington
Inside Washington (07/25/2011)
* WASHINGTON (7/26/11)--Last week, banking executives and state attorneys general met in Washington to work towards a settlement on bank foreclosure abuses. At issue is how much banks should pay and who should receive the payment. Initial terms, which emerged in March, were said to be $20 billion (New York Times July 25). Also to be addressed is how banks will be protected from future liability. Another issue is the potential liability related to the Mortgage Electronic Registry Systems (MERS), a company owned by the major banks, which was set up in the mid-1990s by the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Its goal was to speed up the home loan process. Lawyers have questioned MERS’ ability to bring foreclosure proceedings because the system does not technically own the security or note underlying properties, as required. It would be unprecedented to release banks that own MERS from liability arising from claims that have not been investigated, according to attorneys the Times said … * WASHINGTON (7/26/11)--Floyd Stoner, the chief lobbyist for the American Bar Association, announced his retirement after 26 years with the organization (American Banker July 25). Before joining the ABA in 1985, Joiner was a political-science professor at Marquette University. Ken Clayton and James Ballentine will assume operational responsibilities next year for the congressional relations and public policy division at the ABA, with Clayton becoming chief counsel and senior vice president of legislative affairs, and Ballentine serving as senior vice president of congressional relations and political affairs …


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