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Independent Foreclosure Review

January 25th, 2012 9:55 AM by Lehel S.

Background

The Federal Reserve Board issued enforcement actions against four large mortgage servicers
--GMAC Mortgage, HSBC Finance Corporation, SunTrust Mortgage, and EMC Mortgage Corporation--in April 2011. Under those actions, the four servicers were required to retain independent consultants to review foreclosures that were initiated, pending, or completed during 2009 or 2010. The review is intended to determine if borrowers suffered financial harm directly resulting from errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies that may have occurred during the foreclosure process. The servicers are required to compensate borrowers for financial injury resulting from deficiencies in their foreclosure processes.

If you had a mortgage loan on your primary residence and believe you were financially harmed during the mortgage foreclosure process by any of the four servicers in 2009 or 2010, you can request an independent review and potentially receive compensation. The four servicers are required to make the independent reviews available to borrowers as part of their compliance with the April 2011 enforcement actions. 

A number of servicers supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are also required to conduct independent reviews. (See below for the full list of servicers.)

Eligibility for Review

Borrowers are eligible for an independent foreclosure review if 

  • the property securing the loan was the borrower's primary residence;
  • the mortgage was in the foreclosure process (initiated, pending, or completed) at any time between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010; and  
  • the mortgage was serviced by one of the following mortgage servicers:

America's Servicing Company Countrywide National City
Aurora Loan Services EMC PNC
Bank of America Everbank/Everhome Sovereign Bank
Beneficial GMAC Mortgage SunTrust Mortgage
Chase HFC U.S. Bank
Citibank HSBC Wachovia
CitiFinancial IndyMac Mortgage Services Washington Mutual
CitiMortgage Metlife Bank Wells Fargo
    Wilshire Credit Corporation

If you previously filed a complaint with these servicers about foreclosures pending during the review period, you may still seek an independent review of your foreclosure. 

There are no costs associated with being included in the review; the review is a free program. Beware of anyone who wants payment to assist you in connection with the independent foreclosure review or any other foreclosure assistance program.

Review Process

Information about the review process, including how to request an independent review, is being provided in mailings to borrowers who may be eligible for a review. Those mailings began November 1, 2011, and should be completed by the end of the year. Assistance and answers to questions about the process and borrower eligibility are available at 888-952-9105, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (ET), and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET). Individuals can also get more information about the review through a website set up by the servicers,www.IndependentForeclosureReview.com Leaving the Board. A list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answersare available on the website. 

Individuals will be sent an acknowledgement letter from the review administrator within one week after their request for an independent review is received. Individuals will be notified in writing of the results of the review. Because the review process will be a thorough and complete examination of many details and documents, it could take several months to complete the review.  

Rust Consulting was selected and hired by the servicers to serve as the central administrator of the independent foreclosure review. Rust Consulting will notify borrowers, receive requests for a review, and respond to questions about the independent foreclosure review process.   

Deadline to Request a Review

Requests for review by the servicers’ independent consultants must be received by April 30, 2012.  Borrowers are encouraged to carefully consider the information about the review program to determine if they are eligible to participate.  

Federal Reserve’s Role

The Federal Reserve’s role is to ensure compliance with the enforcement actions issued in April 2011. As required by those actions, independent consultants will conduct the reviews of foreclosures and determine whether errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies resulted in financial injury. The Federal Reserve will monitor the independent foreclosure review process and the servicer’s outreach efforts.

Related Links

Federal Reserve Board announces that borrowers from four mortgage servicers can request an independent review and potentially receive compensation

Interagency Review of Foreclosure Policies and Practices

OCC's Correcting Foreclosure Practices

Posted in:General
Posted by Lehel S. on January 25th, 2012 9:55 AM

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