Cuomo Seeks Information From Lenders in Expanding Probe of Foreclosures

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo requested information from Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and two other mortgage-servicers as he probes the validity of documents used in home foreclosures.

Cuomo is looking into allegations of “robo-signing,” or the filing of affidavits that falsely attest the signer has personal knowledge of the facts in a foreclosure proceeding. Cuomo called today for a suspension of foreclosures in New York by mortgage companies involved in robo-signing until they make their procedures lawful.

“I will not allow New Yorkers to lose their homes due to mortgage goliaths that buck the system by submitting affidavits signed without knowledge of the facts,” Cuomo, a Democrat who is running for governor, said in a statement.

Cuomo is demanding information from Bank of America, JPMorgan, Ally Financial Inc.’s GMAC Mortgage unit and Wells Fargo & Co. on how foreclosure documents are prepared, verified, attested to and notarized, and how New York homeowners are notified, according to the statement.

Bank of America, JPMorgan and GMAC have announced temporary halts to pending foreclosures, while Wells Fargo hasn’t, Cuomo said. Bank of America stopped foreclosures in all 50 U.S. states last week. Lenders including JPMorgan and GMAC suspended evictions in 23 states where courts supervise home seizures.

‘Redeem Integrity’

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said today in an e- mailed statement that he requested a meeting with Bank of America and three other lenders to “redeem the integrity of the foreclosure process.”

“We will work with the attorneys general to address the concerns they have expressed,” Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, said in an e-mailed statement.

Wells Fargo isn’t planning to suspend foreclosures, Jason Menke, a spokesman for the San Francisco-based company, said in a telephone interview.

“A number of officials have contacted us about our foreclosure process and we will be sharing our views with them,” Menke said. “We remain confident in the controls and procedures we have.”

Joe Evangelisti, a spokesman for New York-based JPMorgan, declined to comment. Gina Proia, an Ally spokeswoman, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

GMAC has hired several law and accounting firms to review its foreclosure procedures nationwide, the company said today in a statement.

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Karen Freifeld in New York at kfreifeld@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.net.

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