New York – New York's Eric Schneiderman has been removed from the executive committee of 14 state attorneys general that is in talks with major U.S. banks on a nationwide settlement to address the "robo-signing" of documents and other abuses in mortgage foreclosures.
Schneiderman was dropped because he undercut the panel's efforts, according to a statement from Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who is leading the 50-state negotiations in coordination with the U.S. Justice Department.
Despite the move by Miller, the New York attorney general will continue to be an "active voice" within the 50-state coalition, Schneiderman spokesman Fernando Aquino told Efe Wednesday.
The New York AG is committed to achieving a comprehensive solution that offers "significant relief" to homeowners and allows the housing market "to begin to recover," Aquino said.
Iowa's Miller leads the group negotiating with financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.
The New York AG has opposed the idea of giving banks broad legal immunity in exchange for their agreement to pay as much as $20 billion, insisting instead that investigations be allowed to run their course.
Miller said Schneiderman recently began refusing to meet with the other members of the executive committee conducting the discussions with the banks.
That panel still includes Delaware AG Beau Biden, a Schneiderman ally who is likewise pursuing his own investigation, and the attorneys general of Massachusetts and Nevada, who have also evinced skepticism about a quick nationwide settlement.
"Ongoing investigations by attorneys general cannot be shut down by efforts to settle quickly, and those responsible must be held accountable," Schneiderman aide Danny Kanner said Wednesday.