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SEC expands investigation into MBS: Report


The Securities and Exchange Commission expanded the federal government's investigation into mortgage lenders, seeking more information into the securitization of the loans, according to published reports.

Reuters reported Friday the regulator sent another round of subpoenas to some of the nation's largest banks requesting information about how home loans are bundled and sold in the secondary market, according to sources familiar with matter.

A few months ago, the SEC began an inquiry into the foreclosure practices at many mortgage lenders in the wake of the robo-signing scandal that alleged employees signed affidavits en masse without reviewing requisite documentation. A joint investigation from federal regulators and all 50 state attorneys general ensued.

Earlier this week, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who has taken the lead in the AG's investigation, told distressed homeowners that he supports criminal prosecutions against bank executives found guilty in connection with the faulty foreclosure affidavits.

In July, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, sent 64 subpoenas to numerous housing market lenders seeking documents related to private-label mortgage-backed securities the GSE's invested in.

Reuters said Friday the SEC sent the latest round of subpoenas last week, according to the unnamed sources.

Bloomberg reported the banks subpoenaed declined to comment.

Also Friday, Bank of America (BAC: 12.57 +0.40%) was sued by Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard alleging the company violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act as well as a consent judgment entered in March 2009 between Arizona and the Countrywide companies now owned by BofA.

Write to Jason Philyaw.


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