Fannie Mae Internally Reported Foreclosure Abuses In 2006


Fannie Mae was warned in a 2006 internal report of abuses in the way lenders and their law firms handled foreclosures, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) and Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) have both been under investigation since September 2008 for their role in the mortgage crisis.

The 2006 report said foreclosure attorneys in Florida had "routinely made" false statements in court in an effort to more quickly process foreclosures, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The report said Fannie Mae officials "believe foreclosure counsel are sacrificing accuracy for speed" but did not name any firms, the Journal said.

The internal document also raised questions about whether some mortgage servicers or another entity had the legal standing to foreclose, the newspaper said.

The Fannie Mae report found no evidence that borrowers were improperly placed in foreclosure, The Wall Street Journal said.

"Fannie Mae took the necessary steps to address the specific issues identified by the 2006 report and regularly evaluates and enhances oversight of its retained attorney network," a spokeswoman for the government-controlled firm told the newspaper.

The U.S. Treasury took control of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008 as losses mounted from mortgages gone bad.

(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; Editing by Gary Hill)

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