And who wants to be in the Mortgage Lending business?

With huge numbers of foreclosures, mortgage companies have tried to find ways to expedite these cases. Instead of concentrating on whether mistakes have been made in foreclosures, government officials have gone after what they say is an improper process. The lenders dispute this, but Democrats think that they are doing everyone a great deal by delaying these mortgages being processed. Now the Federal officials are trying to hold up the mortgage lenders for tens of billions of dollars and still leave them open to these lawsuits. From the WSJ:

Efforts to reach a settlement that would end the long-running probe of foreclosure practices are snagged over whether banks will get broad legal immunity from state officials for mortgage-related claims.

Federal and state officials are seeking penalties of $20 billion to $25 billion from Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and other financial firms under investigation since last fall. The banks are pushing hard for a deal, but they have insisted on a wide-ranging legal release from state attorneys general. . . .

"The reason the banks would settle or pay anywhere near $20 billion to $25 billion is to get this behind them," said one person familiar with the banks' thinking. "There's no reason the banks would pay that amount of money and leave their flank exposed."

U.S. and state officials dismissed the push for broad immunity as a "nonstarter," according to a federal official involved in the talks, but they have countered with a narrower offer. It would cover robo-signing and other servicer-related conduct but leave banks open to potential legal action for wrongdoing in fair lending and securitization, according to people familiar with the situation. Attorneys general in California, Delaware, Massachusetts and New York have said they are investigating mortgage-securitization practices. . . .



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