Wells Fargo pauses some foreclosures over new rules

SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest US home lender, halted some foreclosure sales until it can understand new federal guidelines on seizures sent to the nation’s large and mid-sized banks.

The new rules from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency dated last month laid out minimum standards that must be met before a foreclosed home can be sold, according to the agency. Citigroup also said Friday it is evaluating the comptroller’s directive.

The pause is needed ‘‘while we study the revised guidance from the comptroller regarding imminent foreclosure sales,’’ said a Wells Fargo spokeswoman. ‘‘We expect it to be brief,’’ she said, declining to specify which states were affected.


Mortgage firms have previously imposed moratoriums amid reports of borrowers incorrectly being thrown out of their homes. Complaints pushed the five largest firms to sign a $25 billion settlement last year that ended a probe of their practices.

The comptroller posed 13 questions that must be considered before banks sell homes, such as checking whether the loan’s delinquent status is correct and that other remedies have been considered. The review must be conducted for any sale planned within 60 days, according to the document.