Critics of recent False Claims Act enforcement argue the Justice Department is too heavy-handed toward lenders and servicers. But in an industry reputed for shoddy processes during the crisis, perhaps stringent oversight is warranted.
PHH Corp. will pay the Justice Department $75 million to settle a False Claims Act investigation of its underwriting practices on government-insured mortgages and loans sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The Trump administration's Justice Department was expected to be less aggressive in its pursuit of False Claims Act cases against the mortgage industry. Instead, its focus has shifted to Federal Housing Administration-insured reverse mortgages.
The Federal Housing Administration's gateway to homeownership could be widened if the Trump administration takes actions to reduce mortgage insurance premiums and clarify lender penalties under the False Claims Act.