NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York’s attorney general is suing the bank that handles the most mortgages in America.
The lawsuit is aimed at compelling Wells Fargo to honor its commitments under the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Wednesday.
Staten Island resident Mirza Baig said dealing with Wells Fargo has been a three-year nightmare.
“I received some harassing material in the mail that said you can’t stay in your home,” he told WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman. “There’s never a clear policy about anything, they just keep on confusing me.”
Some letters sent to customers by the bank are incomprehensible, the AG said.
“I appreciate their efforts at looking out for the Martian-speaking population of homeowners,” Schneiderman said.
Similar action was being sought against Bank of America but has been suspended after the bank and the AG reached an agreement. Bank of America adopted reforms to comply with the National Mortgage Settlement, according to the AG’s office.
Schneiderman said the settlement has brought relief to thousands of New York homeowners during the housing crisis and recession.
The intent to sue Wells Fargo and Bank of America was announced in May but in that time, Wells Fargo “essentially refused to acknowledge that they have a problem,” Schneiderman said.
The AG called Wells Fargo “if not the, certainly one of the most difficult banks.”
“While Bank of America has chosen to work with us to take the steps required to adhere to their commitments, Wells Fargo has taken a different path. Both of these cases should send a strong message that the big banks must comply with the legally binding Servicing Standards negotiated in the National Mortgage Settlement, or face the consequences,” Schneiderman said in a statement.
In a statement, Wells Fargo calls itself a “leader in helping families maintain home ownership.”
The bank also said “we are continuously implementing additional customer-focused measures.”
Homeowners in need of assistance should contact the Attorney General’s foreclosure prevention hotline at 1-855-HOME-456 or visit www.AGHomeHelp.com.
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