Obama officials, attorneys general closer to possible deal with banks in foreclosure mess: "Even as officials neared consensus over the changes they would require banks to make in foreclosure practices, there was still no decision about how large a penalty banks should face and whether they should pay a fine or devote the sum to helping rework mortgages for distressed borrowers. Officials have told banks they would like the industry to help avert 1.5 million new foreclosures, sources said.
On Thursday, senior officials from the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Housing and Urban Development discussed finalization of these terms. These discussions occurred as the Justice Department, which has been coordinating the efforts, prepared to approach banks with a potential settlement.
One person close to the discussions said that a final round of face-to-face negotiations with banks would be held in the coming days, probably in Washington.
If the settlements are finalized, they could resolve a range of allegations that go beyond the flawed foreclosure practices, which came to light in the fall. The alleged infractions include that the banks failed to comply with federal rules requiring mortgage modifications, broke state laws when foreclosing on borrowers and lied to federal housing programs."