HSBC reaches $470 million accord over foreclosure abuses
HSBC Holdings Plc will pay $470 million to end US probes into allegations of foreclosure abuses including robo-signing that may have deprived struggling borrowers of opportunities to keep their homes.
Federal and state officials said on Friday that the bank's North American subsidiaries reached a settlement with the US Justice Department, federal housing and consumer protection regulators and 49 states as well as the District of Columbia. The HSBC settlement paves the way for smoother loan modifications and provides for payments to some borrowers for past foreclosure abuses, according to a statement from the Justice Department. The bank will also be required to reform its practices, and an independent monitor will be installed to oversee the changes, according to the statement. The settlement "will create tough new servicing standards that will ensure fair treatment for HSBC's borrowers and provide relief to customers across New York state and across the country," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who was one of the officials involved in the accord, said in a statement. HSBC's 136,000 loans in New York state account for more than 31 percent of the bank's mortgage portfolio, according to Schneiderman.