The Department of Justice in recent years has collected millions of dollars in settlements in litigation against banks and mortgage companies for alleged violations under the False Claims Act of submitting claims on improperly underwritten loans insured by the FHA.

While some lenders have agreed to settlements, Quicken Loans and Wells Fargo have filed lawsuits. Quicken’s suit alleges that claims against them originated from a review of just 55 loan applications. The government's reliance on sampling of application can lead to problematic conclusions—some of which could be refuted by review of individual loan files, according to Richard Andreano Jr., a partner with law firm Ballard Spahr with FHA case experience.

"When they start getting really fine and drilling down to market areas, moving one loan from one category to another can make it seem like there is a statistically significant disparity," Andreano told SNL. "When you get down to that level and you start opening the loan files, you may just find answers to the results that aren't picked up by the statistics."

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