Attorney General Says Payments May be Available to
Many Connecticut Borrowers Who Lost Homes to Foreclosure
Attorney General George Jepsen said today that payment claim forms are going out to thousands of Connecticut borrowers whose homes were lost to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011, and who may be eligible for payment under the $25 billion National Mortgage Foreclosure settlement.
Eligible borrowers were foreclosed upon during that period and had mortgages with Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers who agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia.
The settlement, which took effect in April, earmarked $1.5 billion in payments for 1.75 million borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure during that period. The payments will be at least $840, and will very likely be higher, depending upon the number of borrowers who decide to participate.
“This payment is intended as partial compensation for the illegal conduct of the mortgage servicers,” said Attorney General Jepsen, who helped to negotiate the settlement agreement. “Unfortunately it will not help everyone, nor restore homes that were lost to foreclosure. But it represents help that otherwise would not have been available to borrowers, who can still pursue any legal claims they have against the servicers,” Jepsen said.
Nearly 9,000 notices are going out in Connecticut based on 7,600 eligible loans. Co-borrowers with different addresses will each be sent a notice package. If both return forms, they will split the payment amount.
Attorney General Jepsen said the one-page claim forms are simple to complete. He encouraged Connecticut borrowers to fill out and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or file their claims online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com
. The deadline for all claims is Jan. 18, 2013. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in 2013.
Last week, the national settlement administrator mailed notification postcards to the eligible borrowers nationwide. Beginning today and continuing through Oct. 12, packets containing a letter from the Attorney General, claim forms, instructions and other explanatory information are being mailed to eligible borrowers in Connecticut.
Borrowers who believe they are eligible, but did not receive notification should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
or call a toll-free number: 1-866-430-8358. The same contacts may be used by borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim. The information line is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.
Eligible borrowers do not need to prove financial harm, or pay anyone, to file their claim, Jepsen said. Nor do they give up their rights to pursue a lawsuit against their mortgage servicer, or to participate in a separate program called the Independent Foreclosure Review Process being conducted by federal bank regulators.
That separate program is available to borrowers of more than two dozen lenders who were part of a foreclosure action on their primary residence between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010. If the review finds that the borrower suffered financial injury because of errors or other problems during their home foreclosure process, the borrower may receive compensation or another remedy. The review is being conducted by the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. (OCC) A review form request and other information about that program is available at www.independentforclosurereview.com
Jepsen said the settlement claim payment is available to eligible borrowers even if they participate in another foreclosure claims process. However, any amount they receive may be credited against a future payment that may result from another foreclosure claim process or legal proceeding.
The national settlement followed state and federal investigations, which claimed that the five companies routinely signed foreclosure-related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without personal knowledge that the facts contained in the documents were correct. They also claimed that the mortgage servicers committed various errors and abuses in their mortgage processes.
Broad reform of the mortgage servicing process resulted from the settlement, as well as financial relief for borrowers still in their homes through direct loan modification relief, including principal reduction.
Jepsen is a member of the executive committee monitoring the banks’ compliance with the settlement terms. Assistant Attorneys General Joseph Chambers and Matthew Budzik, Finance department head, are assisting the Attorney General in this effort.