This is the 400th posting to Ilyce’s blog! Woo hoo! Quite a milestone!

Yet another government agency made its voice heard this week in ongoing housing and mortgage news.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees national banks including issuing them charters, now requires large national banks which service mortgages to provide mortgage data on a monthly basis. The OCC made the announcement in a letter to nine national banks which account for most of the national mortgage banking activity.

Despite its name, the OCC does not directly oversee the American Dollar. Though it’s probably fair to say that the mortgage crisis has weakened the dollar; it’s certainly not helped it. As of today, for every Euro you exchange you’ll get $1.53.

The agency “was very pleased with the level of cooperation evidenced at the meeting and the recognition of the importance of prompt provision of data to us,” said John Dugan, comptroller of the currency, who leads the agency.

Well what are the banks going to do? Turn down the government? Say “No, we’re not going to share our information with you?” Unlikely. They don’t want to jeopardize their charters.

The OCC plans to share the data with state agencies through the HOPE NOW alliance.

Hopefully this extra level of oversight will help government regulators discover pending mortgage loan problems sooner in the future. Otherwise it’s just more people pushing paper.

Mar. 6, 2008