Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said Monday banking regulators are putting together a comprehensive review of foreclosure practices at the country's largest financial institutions.

Bernanke, speaking at a conference jointly hosted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) on the future of housing finance policy, expressed the Fed's concern over reported irregularities in foreclosure practices at a number of large financial institutions.

"We take violations of proper procedures seriously," Bernanke said in prepared remarks. "We are looking intensively at the firms' policies, procedures and internal controls related to foreclosures and seeking to determine whether systematic weaknesses are leading to improper foreclosures."
Preliminary results of the report will be released next month.

In addition, the central bank along with other federal agencies is also examining the impact improper practices may have on the real estate market and financial institutions.

The chairman's remarks follows a recent string of announcements by mortgage service operators, including Bank of America and Ally Financial's GMAC Mortgage have resumed their foreclosure practices, after taking a brief hiatus to review procedures at their individual institutions.

Attorney generals across the country are also jointly investigating whether mortgage companies improperly evicted people from their homes.

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