Senators seek to halt foreclosures

A group of Democratic senators are calling for JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial to halt their foreclosure operations just hours after Bank of America, the country’s largest bank holding company, announced it would freeze its foreclosures in all 50 states indefinitely.

Bank of America’s decision Friday came on the heels of news Thursday that President Barack Obama will refuse to sign legislation that was widely believed to provide cover to lenders who might be engaging in fraudulent foreclosure practices.

Democrats Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Carl Levin of Michigan, Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island sent two letters to the chief executives of both banks asking them to follow Bank of America until the growing controversy surrounding improperly prepared foreclosure documents is resolved.

Investigations by a half-dozen state attorneys general and a federal investigation are now underway to determine whether Americans across the country have been forced out of their homes unfairly as a result of hastily processed foreclosure paperwork.

“No family should lose their home as the result of a questionable foreclosure, no matter what state they live in,” Merkley said in his statement with Wyden. “I hope that JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial will agree and take immediate steps to freeze foreclosures in Oregon and all states until they have fixed the problems in the foreclosure process.”