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Gov’t orders 15 lenders to reimburse homeowners

WASHINGTON — The federal government ordered 17 mortgage lenders and servicers on Wednesday to reimburse homeowners who were incorrectly foreclosed upon.

The Federal Reserve, Office of Thrift Supervision and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency also told the lenders and servicers to hire auditors to see if they improperly foreclosed on homeowners in 2009 and 2010. About 2.4 million first-lien mortgages were in foreclosure at the end of last year.

Critics, including Democratic lawmakers in Congress, say the order is too lenient on the lenders.

The lenders and service providers cited are: Ally Financial Inc., Aurora Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, Citigroup Inc., EverBank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, OneWest Bank, PNC, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Banks, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo, and the service providers Lender Processing Services and MERSCORP.