Wednesday, January 18, 2012

HUD Secretary Donovan : Mortgage Settlement "Very Close"

by Bill McBride on 1/18/2012 03:21:00 PM

From the WSJ: U.S., Banks Near 'Robo-Signing' Settlement

Administration officials and attorneys general are "very close" to a settlement with major banks of the so-called robo-signing issues after about a year of negotiations, [Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan] said at a conference of U.S. mayors meeting in Washington.

The reductions in borrowers' principal balances contained in the settlement, Mr. Donovan said, will be "far and away the largest principal reduction of the [housing] crisis" ...

For months, officials have said that a settlement is close, only to be frustrated by new hurdles. ... Meanwhile, regional banks are also preparing for an agreement. U.S. Bancorp Inc. said Wednesday that it took a $130 million fourth-quarter charge tied to matters that involve collecting mortgage payments and foreclosing on delinquent home owners.
The settlement was "close" last year, and now it is "very close". The story mentions some regional banks taking charges that appear related to the settlement - and that suggests "very close" is probably means the next month or two.