For Wells Fargo:
"Wells Fargo provided a list of 14 affidavit signers and notaries and then initially restricted our access to interview them. Wells Fargo attorneys interviewed them first and then only allowed us to interview 5 of the 14 affidavit signers. Wells Fargo told us that we could not interview the others because they had reported questionable affidavit signing or notarizing practices when it interviewed them. After discussion with attorneys for Wells Fargo and OIG counsel, terms were agreed to, permitting us to interview these remaining nine persons. The terms that Wells Fargo set required that Wells Fargo management and attorneys attend all of the interviews as facilitators. This condition resulted in delays and may have limited the effectiveness of those interviews.
"Wells Fargo's terms also required that persons we interviewed have private counsel present on their behalf. Wells Fargo chose the private counsel and paid the attorney fees of the persons we interviewed. Wells Fargo was not timely in arranging the private attorneys, which further delayed our interviews. However, as our work progressed and through other research, we began identifying many more affidavit signers and notaries that Wells Fargo did not disclose to us initially. Wells Fargo ultimately disclosed 35 persons, and we interviewed 33 of them (22 affidavit signers and 11 notaries)."
For JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO Jamie Dimon is the frequent recipient of lavish praise from the press and the President:
"Our review was hindered by Chase's reluctance to allow us to interview employees outside the presence or involvement of its management staff or attorneys; therefore, the effectiveness of those interviews was limited. On a number of occasions during the interviews, Chase's management or attorneys clarified statements provided by staff. In addition, Chase did not provide read-only access to its mortgage servicing systems, which would have allowed us to independently verify the amounts on the affidavits and assess the reliability of the data to facilitate a better understanding of Chase's internal controls.
"Chase was unable to provide electronic production records for all operations specialists during our review period. Chase's production records, prepared using Microsoft Excel, identified the persons who prepared each foreclosure package and signed the affidavits. However, for the records provided, all of the data fields were not always complete, and Chase did not provide a point of contact, who could explain and clarify the data. Further, Chase provided the production reports nearly four months after our initial request. As a result, it was not possible to know whether Chase omitted from the records information that was relevant to our review."
The results were similar for Bank of America and Citigroup.