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Feds Impose Strict Settlement Fines Against Nation's Leading Insurance Provider

MoneyHouseThumb.jpgThe Federal Reserve has fined MetLife, Inc. $3.2 million for its abuses and misconduct during the foreclosure crisis as part of an ongoing nationwide effort to implement the rules and penalties set forth by the National Mortgage Settlement. The Board also imposed stringent servicing requirements for the nation’s largest life insurance company, similar to those imposed earlier this year against the nation’s five largest financial institutions.

The penalties levied against MetLife are the maximum for the type and severity of the company’s misconduct, including claims that the firm had failed to provide adequate oversight of its third party operations and subsidiary banking institutions.

The historical $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement, agreed upon in February by the Obama Administration and 49 state Attorneys General, is designed to protect consumers against “unsafe and unsound practices,” including Notary misconduct and the “robo-signing” of loan documents. The sanctions against MetLife could require the company to provide borrower assistance or remediation to victims of the unfair practices.

In addition to levying fines, the Feds continue to require financial institutions to create and implement action plans for correcting unsound practices in their mortgage loan processes. Given the severity of the crackdown, a number of companies are protecting themselves and the public by ensuring that their Notary employees are properly trained in proper procedures and best practices.

Kelle Clarke is a Contributing Editor with the National Notary Association.

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