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FORECLOSURE AND BANKRUPTCY

Mortgage Settlement Payouts to Start on Friday

Written By:
April 11, 2013 at 12:47 AM

Homeowners who were caught up in the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010 may be eligible to participate in a $3.6 billion settlement reached between the government—Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), and 13 mortgage servicing companies.

The agreement affects 4.2 million homeowners. It settles the issue between the mortgage servicers and government only of questionable used by servicers to foreclose on homeowners.

Homeowners Abused During Process

The amount of the settlement check each borrower receives depends on the amount of damage caused by the loan servicer. Military service members whose homes were foreclosed on while they were on active duty will receive the largest settlement checks.

Each of the 1,082 persons in this group will receive a check for $125,000 because the foreclosure action by the mortgage servicers violated the Service Members Civil Relief Act. It was disclosed that banks foreclosed on 53 service members who were actually on time with their home loan payments.

In other cases, the mortgage servicers failed to provide loan modifications to struggling borrowers who qualified or charged borrowers excessive fees.

The following 13 mortgage servicers signed on to the claim settlement:

  • Aurora
  • Bank of America
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC
  • MetLife Bank
  • Morgan Stanley
  • PNC Mortgage
  • Sovereign Bank
  • SunTrust
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo

Even if the bank did not successfully foreclosed on your home, you may still be eligible for financial damages caused by the mortgage servicer’s activities.

The negotiations are ongoing for a settlement for mortgages serviced by Everbank, OneWest, Ally Financial, and previously GMAC Mortgage.

Original Deal Modified

A deal was initially announced back in April of 2011. At that time, mortgage servicers agreed to pay the cost for independent consultants to investigate files for foreclosures conducted back in 2009 and 2010.

Consultants would identify files with evidence of foreclosure-related abuses and mortgage servicers agreed to compensate homeowners who suffered financial damage. However, the original plan proved too costly and a very time-consuming process, according to OCC spokesman Bryan Hubbard.

However, the number of eligible homeowners who came forward was very minimal. In February 2012, the OCC announced it was extending the deadline for the program to July 31, 2012 because only 90,000 borrowers had requested file reviews.

In January 2013, the OCC announced a more accelerated process, which opened the settlement to all borrowers in default of their mortgages during the designated period.

Payout Amounts For Eligible Homeowners

For most borrowers who actually requested an independent foreclosure review, the agreement calls for them to get nearly double the compensation. For example, a homeowner under the protection of the bankruptcy courts, but suffered foreclosure on their home, would receive compensation of $62,500 if they requested a file review and $31,250 if they did not request a review.

Related: To Rent Or To Buy a House Infographic

A homeowner who requested a mortgage modification and was denied would receive $6,000 compensation from their loan servicer. Individuals who did not request a review of your file would receive $3,000.

If loan servicers failed to permanently modify a mortgage after the homeowner successfully completed the trial modification and requested a foreclosure review, the servicer must pay compensation of $50,000.

Accepting a settlement check from this agreement does not prevent homeowners from taking personal legal actions against their loan servicer. Homeowners will not have to sign a waiver that protects servicers against litigation.

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