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Massachusetts is suing five major banks including Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. over deceptive foreclosure practices.
The lawsuit also names Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial. It was filed in Massachusetts Wednesday by Attorney General Martha Coakley.
The complaint also names Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. and its parent company as defendants.
The lawsuit is seeking redress for what Coakley calls "unlawful and deceptive" conduct in the foreclosure process, including unlawful foreclosures, false documentation, robo-signing and deceptive practices related to loan modifications.
She said her lawsuit has two major goals: "One, is to provide for real accountability for the role that banks have played in unlawful and illegal foreclosures. And secondly, to provide for real and enforceable relief for homeowners in Massachusetts, for the harm that that misconduct has caused."
Coakley said more than 45,000 Massachusetts families have been foreclosed upon, and the stakes could not be higher.
"The foreclosure crisis continues to be at the root of the economic mess that we find ourselves in, and the inability to turn it around," she said. "Helping people stay in their homes is the single most important task we face in turning this economy around."
The state lawsuit comes as negotiations have dragged on for more than a year between banks and attorneys general across the country.
Coakley says she's still leaving the door open to joining a national settlement.
With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom
This program aired on December 1, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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