New Threat to Banks: Mortgage Security 'Put Backs'?


The COP hearing comes more than two weeks before a scheduled Senate Banking Committee hearing, called by Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn., on allegations of foreclosure irregularities. The committee has not yet announced who will testify at the Nov. 16 hearing.

The Congressional Oversight Panel was created by Congress in 2008 to oversee and assess the effectiveness of the bank bailout. Its reports have been largely critical of the government's execution of the bailout, with the panel most recently arguing that the Treasury Department's reliance on private contractors limited transparency -- a charge that the department refuted.

Most of the panel's discussion today focused on the government's mortgage modification program, which President Obama has said is intended to keep 3-4 million homeowners from foreclosure. The U.S. Treasury Department said only 28,000 homeowners in default were able to secure a permanent loan modification in September, well off the pace the government envisioned.

"It's like a major league batter pledging to swing at every pitch – what matters is not how often we swing, but how often you get on base," panel chairman Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., said. "Treasury can't prevent every foreclosure in this country but it should try."

Arlette Saenz of ABC News contributed to this report.

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