Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight Taps Help of Consulting Firms

August 08, 2012 /

The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight (OMSO) has called in experts from six professional firms, including Grant Thornton and Crowe Horwath, to aid in the national mortgage settlement.

Grant Thornton will assist with overseeing the $25 billion settlement that involves five of the nation’s largest banks as well as the U.S. government and spans 49 states.

The settlement created new servicing standards, provides loan modification relief to distressed homeowners and provides funding for state and federal governments. It also created the position of Monitor, whose job it is to oversee the loan servicers and ensure their compliance.

During the next three and a half years, the firm will evaluate one of the five major lenders involved in the settlement to ensure it is compliant with specified settlement requirements. The settlement looks to bring fairness and efficiency to the mortgage finance system.

Specifically, it will include direct payment to individuals as well as state and federal government; bring consumer relief, which includes loan forgiveness; and it will create enhanced servicing standards.

“We look forward to working with Joseph Smith, the Monitor for the National Mortgage Settlement, and with the other firms to ensure mortgage consumers get much needed relief,” said Dave Wedding, Forensic and Valuation Services partner, Grant Thornton LLP. “This settlement is important not only in that it will help millions of consumers return to a path of financial health but it will evolve the servicing of mortgage accounts and how distressed consumers are dealt with for generations to come.”

“Grant Thornton will bring the detailed, independent attention we need to monitor this settlement,” said Smith. “I am pleased to have them on our team.”

Grant Thornton has significant proficiency in banking and financial services, forensic and valuation services, business advisory services, as well as global public sector and large-company experience.

Under the direction of OMSO’s Monitor, Joseph A. Smith, the six professional services firms will assist in overseeing the loan servicers. Smith, a former North Carolina Commissioner of Banks, was appointed to the position in April. The participating banks must file regular reports with the Monitor to detail their compliance.

“Being selected is an honor,” said Michael Percy, managing partner of Crowe’s Financial Services group. “We’re looking forward to working with Joe Smith and the other firms to ensure compliance.”

“Adding Crowe Horwath to our team brings the detailed, independent attention we need in monitoring this settlement. I am pleased to have their expertise,” added Smith.

In its more than 70 years of experience, Crowe has helped thousands of banking organizations, from de novo banks to multibillion dollar holding companies. With a team of more than 2,600 professionals, Crowe has the in-depth, specialized industry knowledge needed to address the unique issues facing financial institutions.


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