Bankers and specialty insurance executives defended their force-placed insurance practices and dodged questions about alleged industry kickbacks and price gouging at a private but well-attended "working group" hosted by regulators Thursday.

The meeting — which was closed to member of the press and public — comes as the Federal Housing Finance Agency is considering its options for dealing with force-placed insurance, a type of backup property insurance that banks are supposed to buy to protect mortgage investors' stake in the homes of uninsured borrowers.

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