Dissatisfied with the ongoing multistate and federal efforts to reach a settlement agreement with major U.S. banks over unlawful foreclosure practices, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley indicated that her office was independently preparing to file several lawsuits. A number of U.S. states, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, have accused the five largest mortgage servicers, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Ally Financial and Wells Fargo & Co., of failing to follow proper foreclosure procedures. Coakley stated that she has lost confidence that the banks will agree to a resolution that holds them accountable for the wrongful foreclosures at issue.
The Massachusetts Attorney General's actions follow a September 30, 2011 announcement by the California Attorney General that her office was pulling out of the multistate negotiations and that it would commence its own investigation. During August 2011, the New York Attorney General was removed from the committee investigating foreclosure practices by the other states' attorney generals on the basis that he was working to undermine collective settlement efforts. The New York Attorney General has objected to the settlement proposed to date on the grounds that it provides lenders with too broad of a release from future claims. ("Mass. AG Blasts Foreclosure Talks, Preps Bank Suits," Law360.com, October 5, 2011).