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
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
CONTACT: Washington Mutual, Inc.
Libby Hutchinson, 206-500-2770
Alan Magleby, 212-702-6955
SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.