Government Agency


The term "government agency" or "administrative agency" usually applies to one of the independent agencies of the United States government, which exercise some degree of independence from the President's control. Although the heads of independent agencies are often appointed by the President, they can usually be removed only for cause. The heads of independent agencies work together in groups, such as a commission, board or council. Independent agencies often function as miniature versions of the tripartite federal government with the authority to legislate (through the issuing, or "promulgation" of regulations), to adjudicate disputes, and to enforce agency regulations (through enforcement personnel). Examples of independent agencies include the Federal Communication Commission (FCC), Federal Reserve Board, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Stories from Government Agency

Friday, December 13th, 2013

According to the indictment and plea agreement, Harrell operated a scheme in which he off ered , in exchange for a fee from a homeowner facing foreclosure , to postpone foreclosure proceedings on the homeowner’s property. Harrell accomplished this by instructing homeowner clients to deed fractional interests in th eir properties to other individu als whom Harrell would pay to file bankruptcy petitions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Once the bankruptcy petitions were filed, Harrell would notify creditors — which included multiple TARP banks — seeking to foreclose on his clients’ properties , th at the propert ies were part of an active bankruptcy proceeding .

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

“When it mattered most, Fifth Third failed to write down the value of loans it held on its books, and as a result, the bank didn’t show its true losses on those loans in the records it used to apply for TARP funds,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector G eneral for TARP (SIGTARP). “Treasury and federal taxpayers, who funded the TARP bailout and who became investors in Fifth Third and other banks, deserved to know the truth about Fifth Third’s financial condition.”

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

According to court documents, from at least as early as Feb. 6, 2007 until at least Jan. 3, 2012, Penguin Properties and Lynn conspired with others not to bid against one another, but instead to designate a winning bidder to obtain selected properties at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Fulton County, Ga.  Penguin Properties and Lynn were also charged with a conspiracy to use the mail to carry out a scheme to fraudulently acquire title to selected Fulton County properties sold at public auctions, to make and receive payoffs and to divert money to co-conspirators that would have gone to mortgage holders and others by holding second, private auctions open only to members of the conspiracy.  The department said that the selected properties were then awarded to the conspirators who submitted the highest bids in the second, private auctions.

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

“This is the third straight year SIGTARP investigators have been recognized for their superior work in rooting out fraud to protect taxpayers ’ TARP investments ,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP) . “ This recognition highlights SIGTARP’s commitment to exposing fraud related to TARP undertaken at the expense of the Ame rican public . SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will continue to bring justice to those who seek to exploit and defraud TARP."

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

Mortgage Foregiveness Tax Relief Act - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2015 the exclusion from gross income of income attributable to the discharge of indebtedness on a principal residence.
Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Sweet was the former Vice President and Controller of Onebanc until February 2012. While employed with Onebanc, the indictment alleges that Sweet obtained thirty cash ier’s checks from January 2009 to October 2011 by using his position at the bank to sign cashier’s checks drawn on a Onebanc clearing account. He would then mail the cashier’s checks t o two credit card companies to pay off his personal credit card bills.    In total , Sweet is alleged to have stolen nearly $75,000 . When confronted by Onebanc management, Sweet admitted his actions. He was allowed to resign and paid back the amount he had stolen with two cashier’s checks from another bank. One check for $9, 662.25 was made pay able to Oneban c and one for $101,003.49 payable to Layton Stuart, former President and CEO of Onebanc.

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

We write today to follow up on your agencies' assurances that they would release a public report on the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) process.

....We have raised significant concerns about the decision to conclude the IFR process before all borrower requests for review had been satisfied and randomly selected samples of eligible loan files had been reviewed.  Based on the information provided to us at the time of the settlements, we could not assess whether the settlement amount and terms were adequate, whether it was appropriate for the mortgage servicers themselves to decide how to compensate the borrowers they harmed, and whether the outside consultants hired by the servicers collected and analyzed accurate information.

Friday, November 15th, 2013

“Motivated by greed, Woodard lied, cheated, and stol e,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP). “Greedy for aggressive growth, he made risky bank loans that violated industry standards and bank policies that he created.  When the loans resulted in losses, he hid the losses throug h criminal accounting tricks and with lies to bank examiners, and he stole, lining his own pockets . TARP is not an opportunity to finance banks failing under the weight of fraud, but Woodard used fraudulent bank books and records to try to cheat federal t axpayers out of $28 million in TARP bailout funds to fill the holes he caused in the bank’s books.  SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will hold all those guilty of crimes related to TARP accountable because no one is above the law.

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Special Inspector General for TARP Christy Romero said: “Samuel and his coconspirators stand charged with ripping off struggling homeowners desperately trying to keep a roof ove r their heads in the midst of the nation’s housing crisis. They allegedly claimed their ‘business’ was affiliated with TARP’s housing program, HAMP, and instructed victims to stop paying their mortgages immediately, transfer thousands of dollars in upfron t frees to their company in exchange for false promises of a guaranteed mortgage modification, and cease all communication with their mortgage lenders.

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized amendments and clarifications to its January 2013 mortgage rules in order to help industry comply and to better protect consumers. The changes made today answer questions that have been identified during the implementation process.  “Our mortgage rules were designed to eliminate irresponsible practices and foster a thriving, more sustainable marketplace,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s rule amends and clarifies parts of our mortgage rules to ensure a smoother implementation process, which is helpful to both businesses and consumers.”

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Watch videos about homeowners who may be in a similar situation as you. Hear how they were able to resolve the issues they were having with their mortgage and got help to avoid foreclosure. Also watch videos of housing counselors and hear the advice they can give to homeowners just like you.  The videos on this site depict real homeowners talking about their personal experiences in getting help with their mortgage, or show real housing counselors providing homeowners with mortgage assistance. Many homeowners have achieved similar results but individual results vary depending on multiple factors such as property value, income, credit, work situation, etc.

Friday, November 1st, 2013

“Rather than tell the truth that Etheridge’s millions in loans were past due, senior Bank of the Commonwealth officials engaged in an ‘extend and pretend’ criminal fraud scheme in conspiracy with Etheridge ,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP).  “ The bank officials ‘extend ed’ to Etheridge what appeared on the bank’s books as new loans and construction funds, but in reality the funds were used by bank officials to pay off Etheridge ’ s past - due balance; t he officials simply ‘pretended’ that Etheridge had paid the loans current with his own funds . Just as in all extend and pretend schemes, Etheridge had no intention of paying off the new loans , and he ultimately defaulted.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Unexpected troubles like a lay off, illness or death in the family can make it hard to keep up with mortgage payments, and homeowners may find themselves facing foreclosure. Sometimes, loan rates are set up to adjust to higher and higher rates, catching unsuspecting consumers off guard.  Foreclosures hurt families, communities, and our entire economy. It’s in all of our interests to help homeowners find a way out of foreclosure when possible.  We investigated the top mortgage companies and helped win a national settlement to provide relief to struggling homeowners and prohibit past foreclosure. 
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Mark S. Farhood, 49, formerly of San Diego, Cal if ., and Jason S. Sant, 38, of Lecanto, Fla., were sentenced today for their roles in operating a nationwide online foreclosure rescue scam that went by various names, includin g Home Advocate Trustees and Walk Away Today, and used various web sites, including and, to deceive hundreds of vulnerable, distressed homeowners into surrendering their properties to the company.

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

According to court documents, beginning in January 2010, Alan Tikal operated a large - scale mortgage rescue scam by offering to eliminate homeowne rs’ mortgages and replace the mortgages with a new debt to his company KATN Trust. He claimed the new loan would only be for 25 percent of the original principal. Victims paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees and then made regular payments to him on their new l oans. Tikal and his underlings instructed the victims not to pay their original mortgage and to ignore all correspondence from the original lenders. This resulted in many of the victims losing their homes to foreclosure. Alan Tikal was arrested on Septe mber 28, 2012, and indicted on charges of mail fraud.

Monday, October 28th, 2013

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to Chairman Ben Bernanke of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Fed), Chair Mary Jo White of the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Comptroller Thomas Curry of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to request information about the enforcement records of their agencies between 2009 and 2012.  "According to a recent analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, the crisis cost the United States up to $14 trillion in lost economic productivity," writes Senator Warren. "While we must continue working to create jobs and accelerate our economic recovery, we also must look back to ensure that those who engaged in illegal activity during the crisis and its aftermath are held accountable."

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The CFPB amended Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Regulation Z currently prohibits a creditor from making a higher-priced mortgage loan without regard to the consumer’s ability to repay the loan. The final rule implements sections 1411 and 1412 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), which generally require creditors to make a reasonable, good faith determination of a consumer’s ability to repay any consumer credit transaction secured by a dwelling (excluding an open-end credit plan, timeshare plan, reverse mortgage, or temporary loan) and establishes certain protections from liability under this requirement for “qualified mortgages.

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Today’s updates cover the Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgages, high-cost mortgages, and appraisals for higher-priced mortgage loans, as well as new amendments related to the escrows rule. The updates also cover recent changes to credit card rules. With today’s release, the exam procedures now cover the Bureau’s mortgage origination rules issued through May 29, 2013, and mortgage servicing rules issued through July 10, 2013.

Today’s release of exam procedures will help financial institutions and mortgage companies understand and prepare for how they will be examined for CFPB rules that, among other things:

Friday, October 11th, 2013

“When SIGTARP required Mainstreet Bank to disclose how it spent TARP funds, bank c hairman and CFO Woods failed to tell the truth that within days of receiving the TARP funds, the bank spent more than a third of the funds purchasing a waterfront condo in Florida for his and other executives’ use. SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will hold accountable and bring to justice those guilty of crimes related to TARP.”

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

At today’s hearing, Judge Gutierrez said that, apart from the magnitude of the fraud Tamma n helped cover up, the substantial sentence was warranted by the fact that the defendant lied to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and then compounded the matter by lying during his trial in 2012. Judge Gutierrez further indicated that Tamman’s conduct w as particularly troubling because he is a lawyer.