U.S. banking regulators are reviewing foreclosure practices at large financial institutions and will publish a report on the issue next month, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Monday.
In recent weeks, some of the nation's most prominent banks have been accused of using of shoddy paperwork to illegally evict some property owners from their homes.
"We have been concerned about reported irregularities in foreclosure practices at a number of large financial institutions," Bernanke said in opening remarks to a conference sponsored by the Fed and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
"We anticipate preliminary results of the review next month," he said.
The foreclosure controversy, which has drawn public outrage, has raised new fears about threats to bank earnings and the health of the fragile housing market, which has been battered by falling prices and foreclosures of nearly 3 million homes since January 2007.
Bernanke said Fed staff were in the process of evaluating these effects.
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