|View printer-friendly version|
|WaMu Responds to NY Attorney General's Press Release|
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 7, 2007--Washington Mutual, Inc. (NYSE:WM), In response to the press releases issued recently by the New York Attorney General's Office regarding its probe of industry-wide mortgage appraisal practices, the company issued the following comments:
The integrity of WaMu's appraisal process is very important and the company works hard to ensure that it operates properly.
The company takes any allegations of improper practices seriously, and is continuing its investigation into this matter. The Company will continue to pursue its policy of ensuring that its operations comply with all applicable laws. In addition, the company will vigorously defend itself from all unfounded allegations and lawsuits.
The company's Legal Department, in conjunction with outside counsel, is conducting an investigation of the allegations contained in the complaint against eAppriaseIT filed by the NY Attorney General.
Today, the AG's office also announced it would be issuing subpoenas to both Fannie Mae (FNM)) and Freddie Mac (FRE) in conjunction with its ongoing investigation. In addition, both companies have confirmed that they are continuing to purchase loans from WaMu in accordance with their existing contracts.
In July 2006, the company began the process of outsourcing all of its appraisals and most of the appraisal management function. To coordinate this activity WaMu selected two vendors -- both established national vendors of appraisal services. The appraisal work was split between these two companies.
While the appraisals used by the company have always been performed by licensed appraisers, the use of third party appraisal companies to manage the process provides further assurance that appraisals accurately reflect the fair market value of the properties.
The contract with the vendor named by the NY AG requires that the vendor represent and warrant that appraisals are prepared in compliance with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice and all guidelines issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The contract also requires that the appraisals have been prepared without fraud or negligence on the part of the vendor, its employees or agents, including any appraiser.
Fewer than 5 percent of the appraisals performed under this contract were related to subprime loans.
WaMu has a very rigorous process regarding all repurchase requests and believes it is adequately reserved for such liabilities.
WaMu, through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation's leading consumer and small business banks. At September 30, 2007, WaMu and its subsidiaries had assets of $330.1 billion. The company has a history dating back to 1889 and its subsidiary banks currently operate approximately 2,700 consumer and small business banking stores throughout the nation. WaMu's press releases are available at http://newsroom.wamu.com.CONTACT: Washington Mutual, Inc.
Libby Hutchinson, 206-500-2770
Alan Magleby, 212-702-6955
SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.