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Lawmaker seeks costs of foreclosure reviews

NEW YORK — The high cost of reviewing foreclosures at big banks has ignited an inquiry by one member of Congress.

Carolyn Maloney, Democrat of New York, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, has asked federal regulators overseeing foreclosure reviews to provide details about the independent contractors who examined borrowers’ cases. The contractors reportedly received more than $1 billion in fees for their work doing foreclosure reviews, which ultimately led to a $3.3 billion cash settlement for borrowers.

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In a letter sent late Thursday to Thomas J. Curry, comptroller of the currency, and Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, Maloney asked for copies of the contracts awarded to the consulting firms by the 12 banks involved in the review program. She also asked for information about how the consultants’ fee structures were determined and what role officials with the Fed and comptroller’s office played in those determinations.

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