Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., is demanding the release of federal reviews of 14 banks that have agreed to fix their foreclosure processes and reimburse homeowners for any harm caused.
At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday the New Jersey senator also called on acting Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke to release each bank's action plan to correct foreclosure problems.
"Our current plan is to provide a public report that will explain the findings," the Fed chairman said. But Bernanke said he wants to consult with the Fed’s general counsel before committing to releasing individual bank information.
The acting Comptroller seemed to balk at the requests and said his agency would have to evaluate the documents to make sure they are not releasing confidential bank information.
Sen. Menendez said transparency is needed to restore public trust and ensure that servicers are not continuing to forge foreclosure documents. “I’m going to be like a dog on a bone about this," the senator said. "I hope we are going to get some good answers here.”
Prior to the hearing, the senator consulted with the Congressional Research Service on the regulators' legal authority to release the information. "The regulators have the discretion to release the results on a bank-by-bank basis if they feel it is in the public interest," Menendez said. (Loan level information would be redacted.)