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Inside Washington (08/31/2010)
* WASHINGTON (9/1/10)--A report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspector general urged the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to guide mortgage servicers on how to address an increasing number of senior citizens who are defaulting on their federally insured reverse mortgages. Four servicers are holding 13,000 home equity conversion mortgages where borrowers had defaulted by not paying the real estate taxes and insurance on their homes (American Banker Aug. 31). The loans had a maximum claim amount of more than $2.5 billion, according to the audit, released last week. FHA said it is drafting guidance to instruct servicers to contact borrowers who have defaulted and require specific actions to bring the loan into compliance with the mortgage’s terms, an official said. FHA also said it plans to modify its systems to monitor defaulted home equity conversions ... * WASHINGTON (9/1/10)--Savings and loans are concerned about a potential crackdown as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Board prepare to oversee thrifts and their holding companies. The thrifts will comply with the same capital standards they’ve had for years, but they also expect to be required to comply with bank-like requirements (American Banker Aug. 31). The Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) will be dissolved under the enacted regulatory reform bill, but has one more year until it officially closes. Industry representatives expect the Fed and the OCC to crack down on their institutions. Lawrence Kaplan, a lawyer at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker, told the Banker that the concern is whether the OCC will “kick the tires harder to prove the OTS wasn’t a good regulator.” Tom Barnes, assistant deputy director at the OTS, said the concerns might be triggered by change itself, because people always perceive change differently. Barnes said he was confident “things will be ironed out.” Regarding credit unions, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) worked diligently during the regulatory reform process to ensure that the National Credit Union Administration remained the prudential regulator for federal credit unions ...

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