$30.6 million going to N.C. homeowners in settlement

The (Greensboro,N.C.) News & RecordJune 4, 2013 

— More than 21,000 North Carolinians will get checks this month totaling $30.6 million as part of an agreement involving nation's five largest mortgage servicers, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Tuesday.

Consumers who submitted a valid foreclosure payment claim through the National Mortgage Settlement will receive approximately $1,480 each, according to a news release from Cooper's office.

Checks will be mailed between June 10 and 17.

“Many people lost their homes through foreclosures done wrong. While these payments can't make up for the loss of a home, they do put money back in deserving consumers' pockets,” Cooper said in the release.

Eligible consumers had their mortgage serviced by one of the settlement's five participating banks, lost their home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011, and submitted a valid claim form.

The participating banks are Ally (formerly GMAC), Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, the release states

The money is part of a $37 billion national settlement to reform mortgages and prevent foreclosure abuses, which includes $338 million for North Carolina homeowners.

Preliminary data from the independent settlement monitor shows that the banks so far have provided about $50 billion in direct settlement relief to consumers nationwide, including through principal reductions, short sales, and loan modifications.

Cooper said benefits of the settlement to North Carolina communities include: more housing counselors, financial fraud investigators and prosecutors; new rules to prohibit many past foreclosure abuses, such as robo-signing and inadequate documentation; and prevention of unnecessary and improper foreclosures.

The settlement set aside $1.5 billion to help compensate borrowers across the country for foreclosure and mortgage servicing abuses. Nationally, 962,278 eligible consumers will receive checks through the settlement, the release states.

Some consumers will not receive a check in the initial mailing or will receive a split payment for the following reasons:

— In situations where borrowers are divorced or separated and no longer live at the same address, the payment will be evenly split between the borrowers.

— Consumers who submitted a claim form but do not have a valid Social Security number on file will be delayed in receiving their payments while tax-related issues are addressed.

— Two servicers recently identified an additional 31,000 consumers who may be eligible for payments. These consumers will receive a notice later this summer and will have the opportunity to submit a payment application.

Every consumer who filed a claim will receive a letter regarding their outcome, according to the release.

Consumers with questions about their payment should call settlement administrator Rust Consulting at (866) 430-8358.

The release also noted that National Mortgage Settlement payments are separate from the Independent Foreclosure Review agreement.

Rust Consulting is also the settlement administrator for the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) payment agreement through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve Board.

The IFR settlement is unrelated and separate from the National Mortgage Settlement.

The IFR payments began in mid-April of 2013, and the OCC announced that final payments will be mailed in mid-July.

For more information on the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement, go to www.OCC.gov and click on Independent Foreclosure Review.

For more information about the National Mortgage Settlement, visit www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com or www.ncdoj.gov/mortgagesettlement.aspx

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