By Aruna Viswanatha and Margaret Chadbourn
WASHINGTON | Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:08pm EDT
(Reuters) - Top banks impeded a federal inquiry into their foreclosure processes, according to a report released Tuesday, dragging their feet on turning over documents and blocking investigators' attempts to interview bank employees.
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But the banks hampered an early investigation into whether they were pursuing unlawful foreclosures through shoddy paperwork and lax controls, the inspector general's office at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said in its report.
Bank of America (BAC.N), for example, provided only excerpts of files, incomplete documents, and conflicting information to government investigators, and refused to provide some of its foreclosure policies.
It also limited employee interviews, and refused to let employees answer certain questions, the report said.