New York Attorney General Investigates Mortgage Securities Operations

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has reportedly requested documents and information from and asked for meetings with three major banks as part of an investigation into those banks’ mortgage securities operations.  The New York Times is saying:

The requests for information by Mr. Schneiderman’s office also seem to confirm that the New York attorney general is operating independently of peers from other states who are negotiating a broad settlement with large banks over foreclosure practices.

By opening a new inquiry into bank practices, Mr. Schneiderman has indicated his unwillingness to accept one of the settlement’s terms proposed by financial institutions — that is, a broad agreement by regulators not to conduct additional investigations into the banks’ activities during the mortgage crisis. Mr. Schneiderman has said in recent weeks that signing such a release was unacceptable.

Although Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is leading the nationwide coalition of AGs on this issue, has deemed the investigation and its potential resolutions inherently civil in nature, it’s not yet clear whether the New York AG agrees or will be pursuing criminal action as the investigation progresses.