Monday, March 12, 2012

Florida Home Owners Get Relief Under Court Order

Largest Federal-State Mortgage Bank Settlement

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi today announced that she, 48 other attorneys general, the District of Columbia and the Department of Justice filed a complaint and proposed consent judgments requiring the
nation's five largest mortgage servicers to comply with comprehensive new mortgage loan servicing standards, to provide substantial direct consumer relief and monetary payments, and to submit to an independent monitor, as part of a $25 billion national mortgage servicing joint state-federal settlement.

Attorney General Bondi has obtained the following for Floridians:

The total value of the settlement nationally is more than $25 billion in credits and $32 billion in total dollar value; Florida will receive a total value of more than $4 billion in credits and $8 billion in total dollar value. Florida’s share is broken down as follows:

At least $3.1 billion will go toward assisting Florida’s financially troubled borrowers with loan modifications,
including reducing principal loan balances, forgiving amounts in forbearance, and providing other loss mitigation (e.g. short sales and deficiency waivers).

More than $309 million will go to providing refinancing relief to eligible Florida borrowers whose loans are currently underwater. “Underwater” loans are loans where the principal balance exceeds the market value of the home. To be eligible for refinancing, a borrower must be current on mortgage payments, have a loan-to-value ratio in excess of 100 percent, and have a current interest rate over 5.25 percent. Eligible borrowers will receive notices from the banks in the mail. If you have questions about your eligibility or about the program, you may contact your bank at the contact numbers listed below.

Approximately $171 million in payments will be available to Florida borrowers who have already lost their homes, as partial payment for injury a borrower suffered as a result of improper servicing or a defect in the foreclosure proceeding.

Qualifying borrowers are expected to receive payments in the range of $1,800 to $2,000. To be eligible, borrowers must have had a loan serviced by the settling banks and must complete a simple application and screening process.

Borrowers who receive a payment under this settlement may still be eligible for relief under the Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency review process, which is currently ongoing (for more information, see However, any sums received in the OCC review process or under a separate settlement or legal action may be reduced by any payment received under the state-federal settlement.

Today’s complaint and consent judgments against Bank of America Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, Citigroup Inc., and Ally Financial, Inc. follow a joint federal-state investigation.
Allegations included that the servicers' misconduct "resulted in the issuance of improper mortgages, premature and unauthorized foreclosures, violation of service members' and other homeowners' rights and protections, the use of false and deceptive affidavits and other documents, and the waste and abuse of taxpayer funds."

Participating Mortgage Servicer Consumer Numbers
Bank of America: 1-877-488-7814
Citigroup: 1-866-272-4749
Chase: 1-866-372-6901
Ally/GMAC: 1-800-766-4622
Wells Fargo: 1-800-288-3212

More information will be made available as settlement programs are  implemented. The mortgage servicers are required to complete 75 percent of their consumer relief obligations within two years and 100 percent within three years.

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