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60 Minutes Investigates 'Cutting Corners' On Foreclosures (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 04/04/11 10:39 AM ET Updated: 06/04/11 06:12 AM ET

Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis

The mortgage crisis is far from over.

60 Minutes takes a new look at the state of the foreclosure crisis, interviewing homeowners, a regulator and so-called robo-signers, who approved thousands of foreclosure documents daily without reading them.

"It was just a matter of cutting corners," Sheila Bair, chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, tells CBS' Scott Pelley.

Home prices continue to fall, and record numbers of homeowners continue to lose their homes to foreclosure. Worse, the crucial documentation that should help organize this mess often makes matters more complicated, as homeowners and investors claim that banks botched or forged paperwork, raising concerns that many homeowners have been wrongfully kicked out of their homes.

Amid revelations that banks employed these "robo-signers," major mortgage companies temporarily halted foreclosures across the nation last fall, and all 50 state attorneys general joined together to probe the situation.

The Obama administration is working to reach an agreement with banks that would reduce mortgage payments for 3 million borrowers, in as few as six months, HuffPost's Shahien Nasiripour reported. But there is division among the federal agencies involved in the deal. It's unclear how much relief homeowners would win, or whether a deal would prevent banks from engaging in abusive practices in the future.

Home prices fell for the sixth straight month in January, according to the S&P Case-Shiller index. The number of existing home sales plummeted nearly 10 percent in February, according to the National Association of Realtors. About 6.9 million homeowners are either delinquent or in foreclosure proceedings through February, according to data provider Lender Processing Services.

WATCH the 60 Minutes segment below:

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