By Karen Freifeld
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York's attorney general is investigating potentially illegal home foreclosures on active-duty members of the U.S. military, according to a person familiar with the probe.
The investigation was sparked by data released earlier this month by the federal Office of the Controller of the Currency, which found thousands of cases of possibly illegal foreclosures, said this person, who did not want to be identified because the probe is not public.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act protects active-duty service members by postponing or suspending certain civil obligations for mortgage payments, pending trials and eviction from housing.
The probe is part of a broader investigation by the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of major banks' mortgage operations, the person said.
Schneiderman has been a key opponent of a proposed settlement between major banks and a coalition of federal and state officials over claims of foreclosure abuses. Schneiderman has said he opposes a deal that gives banks broad immunity from lawsuits involving their mortgage practices.
Lauren Passalacqua, a spokeswoman for Schneiderman, declined to comment on the military foreclosure probe.
The investigation was reported earlier by the Financial Times.
(Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)