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Dissent gets New York AG booted from foreclosure investigative panel

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman just couldn’t play nice with his fellow attorneys general in their quest to settle with America’s largest banks and mortgage companies over flawed foreclosures.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller kicked Schneiderman off the 13-member executive committee of attorneys general he chairs after the New Yorker raised too many objections about a possible settlement with the likes of Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The settlement is reported to involve a $20 billion penalty against the banks in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecutions.

Schneiderman got the boot just one day after the New York Times reported that the Obama administration exerted pressure on him to agree to a broad state settlement with banks over the questionable foreclosure tactics.

Schneiderman is leading his own investigation into the mortgage industry and doesn’t want to release the big banks from other litigation surrounding their mortgage activities.

Schneiderman is not alone in his dissent. Delaware’s Beau Biden, Nevada’s Catherine Cortez Masto and Massachusetts’ Martha Coakley are among those attorneys General who want to continue their own probes after an agreement.

“Ongoing investigations by attorneys general cannot be shut down by efforts to settle quickly and those responsible must be held accountable,” a spokesperson for Schneiderman told BusinessInsider.com.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has been involved in the negotiations but has declined to comment in recent months about them. He said in an interview several months ago that he suspects Mississippi mortgage holders were victimized by the robo-foreclosure signings and other irregular practices by the big banks. The huge volume of flawed mortgage foreclosures nationwide makes it likely that banks that could not actually prove they owned the mortgages to the foreclosed homes foreclosed on Mississippi homeowners, Hood said.

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