The Federal Trade Commission has launched a preliminary investigation into the residential servicing practices of Bear Stearns' servicing affiliate to see whether the company is violating consumer protection laws.The investment banker disclosed that it has received a civil investigative demand from the FTC "seeking documents and data relating to EMC Mortgage Corp.'s business and servicing practices." Based in Irving, Texas, EMC Mortgage services $51.8 billion in first and second mortgage loans, according to the Quarterly Data Report, a MortgageWire affiliate. The company is known in the industry as a "scratch-and-dent" servicer, specializing in troubled mortgages. The FTC confirmed the investigation, and Bear Stearns said EMC Mortgage is cooperating with the government. Bear disclosed the inquiry in a mortgage securitization filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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