Feds Crack Down on Mortgage Lenders

The Treasury Department announced Monday that it will begin deploying "SWAT teams" to monitor mortgage companies, in light of the administration's losing battle against home foreclosures. Seventy-one companies receiving $75 billion will be under the government's watchful eye. Mortgage companies have been too relaxed about recruiting eligible homeowners to have their mortgage rates reduced to as low as 2 percent for five years, administration officials say. Part of the problem is that some mortgage companies have come up against difficulty getting borrowers to complete the necessary paperwork for the administration's loan modification program. Also, because participation in the program is voluntary, the government has little recourse to get companies to comply, besides shaming the industry. The administration's new tough-love strategy will include a public list of mortgage companies that are behind on turning over eligible borrowers.