Payments in Bank Foreclosure Abuse Settlement Begin Friday
By Sarah Pierce
Update 4/17/13: The Settlement Administrator has confirmed that some early payment recipients have experienced problems cashing their checks. This issue will be resolved shortly.
Starting Friday, more than 4 million homeowners who faced foreclosure in 2009 and 2010 will begin receiving payments from the $9.3 billion bank foreclosure abuse settlement announced last month by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve.
Under the settlement, $3.6 billion will go to affected homeowners in the form of a cash check. The remaining settlement funds will go to struggling borrowers in the form of assistance, including loan modification and forgiveness.
According to a chart released yesterday, payments from the bank foreclosure abuse settlement will range from $300 to $125,000 – the maximum amount allowed under the settlement terms. The payments will come in multiple waves, beginning April 12, with the majority of affected borrowers receiving their payments by the end of the month. The final wave is expected to commence mid-July 2013.
The settlement is part of an investigation by the OCC and Federal Reserve into allegations that 13 banks engaged in improper foreclosure methods in 2009 and 2010.
The banks — Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo – are accused of wrongfully denying loan modifications, charging improper fees, robo-signing documents, and more.
Eligible borrowers do not need to do anything to receive a payment under the bank foreclosure settlement. Checks will automatically be mailed from Settlement Administrator Rust Consulting. Rust has already sent postcards to the 4.2 million borrowers notifying them of their eligibility to receive payment under the agreement.
Borrowers can call Rust at 1-888-952-9105 to update their contact information or to verify that they are covered by the agreement. Borrowers are warned to beware of scams and anyone asking them to call a different number or to pay a fee to receive payment under the agreement.
Accepting payment does not prevent these borrowers from pursuing legal action related to their foreclosure.
Updated April 17th, 2013
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