Mortgage Settlement Q&A for Consumers

Settlement Q&A for Consumers 

1.       CASH PAYMENTS TO CONSUMERS 

Will there be any money available to pay consumers? 

Yes. The court’s judgment establishes a states’ fund of $1.5 billion nationally to pay borrowers a flat fee in partial compensation to borrowers who have lost their homes to foreclosure and suffered some injury in the foreclosure process due to a defect in the process.

Do you have me on the victims list for this part of the settlement?

The banks have provided a list of consumers who meet the basic eligibility requirements to the third-party claims administrator.   

When will I receive notice if I am eligible?

The claims administrator is mailing packets to homeowners who may be eligible for restitution between September 24, 2012 and October 12, 2012.

Who is eligible for a payment from the states’ fund?

To be eligible, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • You lost your home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011.
  • Your loan was serviced by one of the following 5 servicing banks: Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo or Ally Financial/GMAC at the time you lost your home.
  • You made at least 3 payments on your mortgage loan.
  • Your property securing the mortgage loan was not vacant or condemned at time of foreclosure sale.
  • Your property was an owner-occupied, one- to four-unit residential property.
  • Your unpaid principal balance did not exceed $729,750 for single family home; $934,200 for a two-person unit; $1,129,250 for a three-person unit; and $1,403,400 for a four-person unit.

Do I have to contact someone to apply for a payment from the fund?

No. Eligible borrowers will be notified by the claims administrator. 

What if I do not receive a notice that I am eligible for a payment?

Borrowers who believe they may qualify for a payment who did not receive a notice because they have moved should contact the claims administrator directly to provide that information:

How do I apply?

If you are eligible to apply, you will receive a notice and a packet in the mail. The packet contains a letter from the Attorney General, a claim form, instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions.  Packets are being mailed to eligible borrowers September 24, 2012 and continuing through Oct. 12.  You will need to complete the claim form and return it to the claims administrator in the envelope provided. Eligible borrowers may also file a claim online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com.

In completing the claim form, you will need to read the form carefully and complete it fully to be eligible. As part of the claim form, you will be affirming under penalty of perjury that the facts stated in the claim form are true. You will indicate in the claim form which, if any, of the problems itemized occurred in the handling of your loan and the following critical facts:

  • You owned and occupied the house as your principal residence at the time of the foreclosure sale.
  • Your default was due to a financial hardship, which means that you did not have sufficient liquid assets to make the monthly mortgage payments.  

Eligible borrowers are urged to complete their claim forms as soon as possible.  The deadline for all claims is January 18, 2013.

Where can I get assistance with my claim?

The one-page claim forms are simple to complete. However, borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim may contact the settlement administrator, toll-free, at 1-866-430-8358, or send questions by email to administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The information line is staffed Monday through Friday from (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain).

Is there a deadline for filing a claim?

The deadline for all claims is January 18, 2013. 

When will I receive a payment?

Eligible borrowers are expected to start receiving checks in mid-2013.

How much will I receive?

Each claimant who returns a completed claim form indicating that he or she is entitled to a payment will receive a flat amount. It is estimated that the payments will be in the range of $843 to $2,000 per claimant depending on the response rate.

Can I receive more than one payment?

Eligible borrowers will only be able to claim one payment under this settlement. However, eligible borrowers do not give up their rights to pursue a lawsuit against their mortgage servicer or to participate in the Independent Foreclosure Review Process being conducted by federal bank regulators (please see www.independentforeclosurereview.com for more information about that program). 

If I receive a payment from this fund, can I still apply for reimbursement from the federal banking fund?

Yes. By accepting a payment from this fund, you are not giving up your right to seek additional money from the federal fund or from any other source, including from the bank. However, the money you may receive from another program will likely be reduced by the payment you receive from this fund. For more information about the federal banking claims process, please visit www.independentforeclosurereview.com or call 1-888-952-9105. 

Where can I get more information about eligibility and filing a claim? 

Beware of scams!

Borrowers should not need to pay anyone to file their claim. The Attorney General’s office warns all homeowners to be aware of settlement-related scams.  Do not provide personal information or pay money to anyone who calls or emails you claiming that they are providing settlement-related assistance. If you believe someone is conducting a settlement-related scam, contact the Colorado Attorney General at 1-800-222-4444.

 

2.       REFINANCE PROGRAM 

What is the refinance program that is being offered through this multistate settlement?

Colorado homeowners are eligible to receive a total of approximately $46.3 million in refinance dollars as part of the settlement. Those funds will come from a bank-funded $3 billion refinance program aimed at reducing interest rates on certain loans for borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments.

Am I on the state’s victim list?

The banks are going to review their files to determine which consumers are eligible borrowers. The banks will contact you if you are potentially eligible. Please contact the banks at the numbers below if you feel you may qualify. The eligibility criteria are below.

Is my loan eligible for refinance?

If your loan meets all of the following criteria, you may be eligible to refinance under this program:

  • Your loan is a first lien mortgage owned by one of the five banks participating in this settlement: Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank or GMAC/Ally Financial.
  • Your loan was originated on or before January 1, 2009.
  • Your loan is current and has not been delinquent for 12 months or more.
  • You have a fixed rate, adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) or interest-only loan that had an initial period of five years or more.
  • Your loan exceeds the value of your home (loan-to-value or LTV is greater than 100 percent).
  • You have not received a loan modification on the qualifying loan within the past 24 months.
  • You have not been in bankruptcy within the past 24 months.
  • Your loan has not been in foreclosure within the past 24 months.
  • The loan must have a current interest rate of at least 5.25 percent. 

What loans are excluded for refinance under this program? 

  • FHA or VA Loans
  • Second mortgages or home equity loans
  • Loans for manufactured homes
  • Loans for unoccupied property
  • Loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac  

What are the terms of the refinance? 

The amount of the reduction in your interest rate and other terms will vary depending on your loan and what your bank is offering. You will need to contact your bank for more details.

How do I apply for a refinance? 

Eligible borrowers will be notified by the banks but you may contact your bank at the following numbers for more details about the program and more information about your eligibility:

  • Bank of America - 1-877-488-7814
  • Chase - 1-866-372-6901
  • Citi - 1-866-272-4749
  • GMAC/Ally (now Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC) - 1-800-766-4622
  • Wells Fargo – 1-800-288-3212 


3.         BENEFITS FOR BORROWERS IN FINANCIAL HARDSHIP 

I am having trouble making my mortgage payments. Can I get any assistance from the settlement?

The banks will provide over $19 billion nationally in relief to troubled borrowers, of which more than $73.3 million is committed to assist Coloradans. You may be eligible for assistance from your bank in the form of a loan modification, forbearance or forgiveness of principal, short sale, waiver of deficiency in loan balance, or other relief.

What are the requirements for obtaining relief or assistance? 

The type of relief you may obtain will depend upon your individual circumstances and specific program requirements; however, a few basic requirements for eligibility include: 

  • Your loan must be serviced by one of the 5 banks that is a party to this judgment: Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, GMAC/Ally, or Wells Fargo.
  • Your loan must be secured by a 1 to 4-unit, single family property.
  • For loan modifications, the property must be occupied and you must be at least 30 days delinquent or otherwise qualify as being at imminent risk of default due to your financial circumstances. (The Office of the Attorney General does not advise consumers current on their payments to become delinquent in order to qualify.)     

Is the relief I may obtain limited to first lien mortgages? 

No. Your bank may also offer relief on second liens. 

I am unemployed. Is there any relief available for me? 

If you are unemployed, you may be eligible for forbearance on loan principal or forgiveness of loan principal. Please contact your bank for information. 

How do I get more information on the relief that may be available?

  • Bank of America - 1-877-488-7814
  • Chase - 1-866-372-6901
  • Citi - 1-866-272-4749
  • GMAC/Ally (now Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC) - 1-800-766-4622
  • Wells Fargo – 1-800-288-3212

Also, once you contact the bank, you will be provided with the name and contact information of a bank employee who will be assigned specifically to you to assist you in applying for loan modifications or other relief.

Identity Theft

Guide to Multistate Foreclosure Settlement

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