OCC Says Independent Consultants Can’t Contact Borrowers

The independent consultants hired by bank servicers to review and assess the claims of millions of borrowers who may have been harmed in the foreclosure process will not be able to contact these borrowers directly or even talk with housing counselors, according to testimony at a Senate Banking subcommittee on Tuesday.

The consultants will be operating in a “vacuum,” and without access to the actual borrowers, said Alys Cohen of the National Consumer Law Review.

Promontory Financial Group managing director Konrad Alt told subcommittee chairman Robert Menendez, D-N.J., that his foreclosure review teams must ask the servicer to contact the borrower if they need additional information about a claim.

Sen. Menendez noted that the claim forms are in narrative form and consumers are unlikely to provide all the necessary information to back up their claims. It would be “very difficult to judge their claims without additional information,” he said.