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CONTACT: Geoff Greenwood, Communications Director
515-281-6699, geoff.greenwood@iowa.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, September 24, 2010

Miller Launches Ally/GMAC Foreclosure Probe

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  Attorney General Tom Miller has opened a civil investigation into foreclosure practices at Ally Financial, Inc., formerly GMAC Mortgage.  On Thursday, Miller’s office formally requested information from Ally pertaining to its past and present foreclosure practices, and seeks more information about its Iowa foreclosure cases.

 “When someone’s house is at stake, the integrity of the foreclosure process is absolutely crucial.  I am very concerned about the issues that have emerged regarding how Ally Financial handled what appears to be a very large number of affidavits,” Miller said.

Iowa is a judicial foreclosure state, meaning that creditors routinely submit affidavits to the courts in support of motions for summary judgment in the creditors’ favor.  Reports that Ally has acknowledged misstating how it reviewed foreclosure case affidavits submitted to courts in Iowa and 22 other states raises a number of potential concerns and legal issues about present and past cases, and it threatens the integrity of Iowa’s judicial foreclosure process.  Such conduct, if verified, may also violate Iowa’s Consumer Fraud Act.

On Thursday, Miller’s office formally requested Ally to provide information regarding the number of foreclosure case affidavits the company submitted to Iowa courts which were not based on personal knowledge, as required by Iowa law.  Miller has also requested that Ally provide information about steps Ally is implementing to ensure all affidavits comply with state law and court rules.

“I want to know how many foreclosures this affects so my office can better assess the damage this may have caused,” Miller said.  “If even one homeowner loses their home when they shouldn’t have, that’s one home too many.  Lenders, like anyone else, must follow the law.”

Miller said his office will investigate Ally’s past practices and pursue appropriate remedies on behalf of the state, if warranted.  Miller said his office will also determine whether Ally’s alleged conduct is isolated, or whether other companies have engaged in similar alleged conduct. As the leader of the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group, comprised of attorneys general and banking supervisors from 11 states, Miller will work in conjunction with the group.

Iowans who are now under foreclosure by Ally (formerly GMAC Mortgage), or believe the company handled their now-completed foreclosure proceedings, may contact the Consumer Protection Division at 515-281-5926, or outside the Des Moines area at 1-888-777-4590.  Consumers can also send an e-mail to: consumer@iowa.gov.