New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been removed from the executive committee responsible for steering negotiations between the 50-state coalition of attorneys general and the nation's five biggest servicers, the Washington Postreports.
In a statement provided to the Post, the lead negotiator in the settlement talks, Iowa AG Tom Miller (pictured left), accused Schneiderman of undermining negotiations. The Post reports that Iowa Assistant AG Patrick Madigan alerted other state officials of the decision by email Tuesday afternoon.
Schneiderman, who is currently investigating banks’ mortgage securitization activities, has objected to any broad settlement that would release the banks from liability relating to mortgage issues apart from flawed servicing. Over the weekend, several news outlets reported that federal and state officials, including U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, have pressured Schneiderman to soften his position. Other state AGs, including those from Nevada and Massachusetts, have similarly expressed concerns over any settlement that would shield banks from future litigation.
In his statement Tuesday, Miller said Schneiderman had declined to join a “negotiation committee” in June.
“Since that time, New York has actively worked to undermine the very same multistate group that it had spent the previous nine months working very closely with,” Miller said. “While we certainly respect the right of any state to choose to no longer participate in a multistate and to pursue another path, working to actively undermine a multistate while still a member of the executive committee simply doesn’t make sense, is unprecedented and is unacceptable.”
Schneiderman spokesperson Danny Kanner said in a statement that “ongoing investigations by attorneys general cannot be shut down by efforts to settle quickly,” the Post reports.
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