Lawmakers raised sharp questions Tuesday about the ties between the 14 largest mortgage servicers and the purportedly independent consultants that were hired to review their practices, putting a top bank regulatory official on the defensive.

Julie Williams, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's (OCC) deputy comptroller and chief counsel, told the Senate housing subcommittee that her agency is seeking to ensure proper compensation for homeowners who were harmed in 2009 and 2010 by pervasive errors in the mortgage servicing process.

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