WASHINGTON — Democratic senators grilled regulators on Thursday over their handling of the failed independent foreclosure review and the decision to halt it in favor of a $9.3 billion settlement that provided only meager returns to the vast majority of affected borrowers.

While the theme of the Senate Banking subcommittee hearing was banks' use of independent consultants to complete the foreclosure review, several of whom appeared as witnesses on a second panel, it was regulators that faced the toughest criticism from Democratic lawmakers. (No Republicans attended the hearing.)

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