Late last year, the country's bank regulators launched a massive program to evaluate millions of foreclosure cases and compensate homeowners who fell victim to the banks' flawed or illegal practices. Regulators dubbed it the "Independent Foreclosure Review" to emphasize that the banks would not be making key decisions about loans they had made or serviced.
But a raft of evidence — internal Bank of America memos
and emails obtained by ProPublica, interviews with two bank staff
members who have worked on the review, and little-noticed documents
released late last year by a federal banking regulator — throw the
independence of the review into serious doubt. Together, they indicate
that Bank of America — the financial giant with the largest number of
homeowners eligible for the program — is performing much of the work