JESSICA SILVER-GREENBERG AND BEN PROTESS, NY Times

Washington is seeking help from an unlikely group in its effort to distribute billions of dollars to struggling homeowners in foreclosure: the same banks accused of abusing homeowners with shoddy foreclosure practices.

In doing so, the regulators are trying to speed the process after a flawed, independent foreclosure review delayed relief for millions of borrowers, according to people briefed on the matter. But housing advocates worry that the banks, eager to end the costly process, could take shortcuts as they comb through loan files for potential errors, in some cases diverting aid from the neediest homeowners.

Regulators say they will check the work. And banks have already agreed to pay a fixed amount to troubled homeowners, creating another backstop.

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