Mortgages

Propublica’s FAQ on the New Foreclosure Review Process

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by Paul Kiel, ProPublica, Nov. 4, 2011

As we reported today, federal banking regulators have launched a foreclosure review process. Certain current or former homeowners who were the victims of abuses or errors by mortgage servicers will be eligible for compensation.

Regulators have provided a bare-bones website and frequently asked questions, which you can see here. But we thought things could be even clearer, so we’ve provided this information as an extra resource for readers. If you have other questions about this process, let us know, and we will consider adding it to this FAQ. Also, to help us continue reporting on this issue, homeowners going through the process can fill out our foreclosure questionnaire if they haven’t already, and let us know what’s happening.

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Q. Who is eligible for the reviews?

You have to meet all of the following criteria:

  1. The home is/was your primary residence. Vacation homes or investment properties will not be eligible.
  2. You were in the foreclosure process at any time between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010. The review is NOT limited to people who actually lost their homes to foreclosure in that time period. All that matters is that you were in foreclosure at any point during that time frame. You might have eventually avoided foreclosure by getting a modification; you might still be in foreclosure; you might have sold your home. The final outcome doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you were in the foreclosure process at some point in 2009 or 2010.
  3. Your mortgage servicer — the company you sent payments to and that handled your request for a modification — in 2009 or 2010 was one of the following companies, listed here in alphabetical order:
    • America’s Servicing Co.
    • Aurora Loan Services
    • BAC Home Loans Servicing (a subsidiary of Bank of America)
    • Bank of America
    • Beneficial
    • Chase
    • Citibank
    • CitiFinancial
    • CitiMortgage
    • Countrywide
    • EMC Mortgage
    • EverBank/Everhome Mortgage
    • GMAC Mortgage
    • HFC (now HFC Beneficial)
    • Home Loan Services (a subsidiary of Bank of America)
    • HSBC
    • IndyMac Mortgage Services (part of OneWest Bank)
    • Litton Loan Servicing*
    • MetLife Bank
    • National City Mortgage
    • PNC Mortgage
    • Sovereign Bank
    • SunTrust Mortgage
    • U.S. Bank
    • Wachovia Mortgage
    • Washington Mutual (WaMu)
    • Wells Fargo Bank
    • Wilshire Credit (a subsidiary of Bank of America)

*Regulators acted on Litton Loan Servicing later than on the others, so the foreclosure review for Litton customers has not yet begun. The Federal Reserve — the regulator for Goldman Sachs, which owned Litton during the relevant time period — could not tell us when the process would begin for Litton. We will update this post when we hear more about this.

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Q. Who is conducting these reviews?

Under the supervision of regulators, the banks have hired consultants to conduct the reviews. Regulators say the consultants will be independent and answer to them, not to the banks. Regulators have kept the identities of these consultants secret but say they will divulge them in November. We will update this FAQ when that happens.

Q. How do I submit a complaint so that I’m included in this process?

You have to submit a Request for Review Form postmarked no later than April 30, 2012. You can get a Request for Review Form two different ways. First, you might receive a letter from your servicer with the form included. Those letters will be mailed out sometime before the end of 2011. If for some reason you don’t receive one, you can also request a form by calling 1-888-952-9105 (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. or Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time.). The form will have a “control number” specific to your individual case, so you can’t get a copy of it elsewhere, not even online. You can see a sample version of this form here so you’ll know what to expect. It is being mailed to homeowners with something like this notice. But again, you need to obtain a form that’s specific to your request.

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FAQ on the Foreclosure Reviews (cont.) »

Image: woodleywonderworks, via Flickr.com

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