Independent Foreclosure Review: News from Home Destination Our federal bank regulators, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) are pushing out new details on the program, new reminders, and have newly appointed members to serve our housing recovery efforts. Homeowners Wronged By Banking Fraud Are Missing Their Independent Foreclosure Review Letter And Mortgage Help. Complaint filing Date Extended from July 31, 2012 to December 31, 2012!
Homeowners can find help for foreclosure action taken between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. It is free - don't be scammed.
Independent Consultants Hired For Impartial Foreclosure Reviews
Available in eight languages, The Independent Foreclosure Review Program is designed to give borrowers a chance to have their loan file reviewed by an impartial third party if their mortgage was involved in any stage of foreclosure from 2009 to 2010 and they believe that they suffered financial harm as a result of servicer errors or misconduct. To ensure that the requirements of the National Mortgage Settlement are implemented, the Fed has required the 14 major servicers to hire independent consultants to make fair and impartial recommendations for financial remediation for affected borrowers.
Suspending A Pending Foreclosure Or Rescinding A Completed Foreclosure
New information add to the Federal Reserve website on June 21, 2012 states, "Remediation may include suspending a pending foreclosure or rescinding a completed foreclosure, providing lump-sum payments, reimbursing improper fees plus interest, providing a loan modification, and correcting credit reports and other errors in the borrowers’ records."
For homeowners who have shied away from the complaint process thinking reimbursement funds are too low, it may well be worth the effort. The OCC and the FRB (Federal Reserve Bank) have now established dollar amounts for the remedies of errors, misrepresentations, and other deficiencies in the foreclosure process. The OCC says, "lump-sum payments can range from $500 for lesser injuries to $125,000 plus equity in the most egregious cases."
Mortgage Borrowers Are Missing Out On Available Help
Many wronged homeowners are missing out on recognizing their chance for help. By February 20, 2012, only 90,000 eligible homeowners had submitted claims, prompting the Federal Reserve to extend the deadline for applications by three months to July 31. Only a fraction of the 4.4 million borrowers potentially eligible for review have responded to solicitation letters sent out by the banks informing them that they are eligible for a review by an independent consultant and may be compensated.
OCC Sending Out Appeal to Borrowers To Complete Their Independent Foreclosure Review
As of May 31, only about 340,000 cases were slated for review, according to a Independent Foreclosure progress report released Thursday by the Fed and the OCC. Through May 2012, nearly 4.4 million people were sent letters explaining how to request a free review of their loan files. The "Only about 3 percent of homeowners who have been contacted have asked for the independent review since we first reported this in December 2011. Many borrowers who receive the review form in the mail don’t think it’s a legitimate document. In response to the low percentage of responses, the the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is releasing another round of advertising and outreach to encourage borrowers who were victims of wrongful foreclosure to complete the forms and send them in."
Yesterday, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that Carrie Moore has been named Director for Congressional Liaison. Also, yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke presided over a meeting where Jeremy C. Stein and Jerome H. Powell were formally sworn in as members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Homeowners May Request A Review
Even if mortgage borrowers didn’t file a request for review, they could receive a surprise letter and review form in the mail. Consultants are also reviewing files from every servicer to find borrowers who suffered financial injury because of foreclosure errors. Servicers will be required to compensate all injured borrowers identified as part of this review.
Qualification For The Independent Foreclosure Review Program
Independent Foreclosure Review Application: Homeowners who are underwater may request an Independent Foreclosure Review Deadline: Monday, 12/11/12 11:59 p.m.
you sent your loan payments to one of the mortgage servicers participating in this process. You can find the list of participating servicers at www.IndependentForeclosureReview.com
the action to foreclose on your home was initiated, pending, or completed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010. However, your home did not have to be sold to be eligible for the review.
the foreclosure occurred on your primary residence, which is the house where you lived for most the year. You do not need to live there now to be eligible for the review.
Beware Of Banking Fraud
The FBI and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) urge consumers, especially senior citizens, to be cautious when considering reverse mortgage products, loan modifications or an Independent Foreclosure Review. Reverse mortgages, also known as home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), have increased significant. Under the duress of possibly loosing their home, it has been come a vulnerable time when fraud perpetrators are prowling around looking for opportunities.
Homeowners Application For the Independent Foreclosure Review Online
Homeowners can submit their application for the Independent Foreclosure Review online at the Federal Reserve. Homeowners can read engagement letters submitted by the independent consultants, retained by servicers regulated by the OCC. However, the OCC says, "there were a number of changes made to integrated claims process to ensure a single, uniform process among the servicers". Generally, you will be notified of your results by mail. It is a patient process and it is best to expect a few months before the decision arrives.
Results Are Final
The results of the Independent Foreclosure Review will be final, and there is no process for appeal of the findings or the remediation offered. The results of the Independent Foreclosure Review are not meant to limit any other options the mortgage borrower may pursue related to their mortgage loan. Examiners from the OCC and the Federal Reserve Board are overseeing the process and endeavoring to ensure reviews are conducted in a fair and impartial manner. Home Destination can help you look at all your options, including a loan remodification option.
House Oversight Panel Questions Foreclosure Abuse And Asks To Review Settlement In Advance
A House oversight panel is asking to review a proposed settlement between 14 banks and federal regulators over improper foreclosure practices that may have added unfairly to the burdens of struggling homeowners and leaves them wondering how to avoid a foreclosure filing.
What Happens To Homeowner Files Waiting For An Independent Foreclosure Review?
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which has conducted hearings on foreclosure abuses, wrote a letter Friday to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) asking to see any proposed settlement before it is agreed to - not after. In the letter, the committee asks for more information about how the settlement amount is to be determined "in light of potential wrongdoing identified to date". The letter goes on to ask, "how such aid may be distributed and in what form, and what may happen to homeowner files that are still awaiting review.
A comptroller spokesman declined to comment, and a Federal Reserve spokesman did not return a message, according to an article published today by Roadrunner.
Stopping Lenders Widespread Foreclosure Abuse
News of the settlement was anticipated as early as this weekend with expected of total $10 billion. The agreement is designed to hold mortgage lenders responsible for widespread abuses such as processing foreclosures without verifying documents. The effort seeks to protect homeowners, granting better mortgage disclosures and banking transparency.
The inquiry comes after several publicizes speculations that the Federal Reserve And the OCC are working on a deal that would end the Independent Foreclosure Review and abuses. The Independent Foreclosure Review has empowered many homeowners to learn more about their mortgages options and home forbearance help to avoid foreclosure.
Interagency Review of Foreclosure Policies and Practices
"Critical weaknesses" were found in an Interagency Review of Foreclosure Policies and Practices assembled by the Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the OCC. It states, "While the reviews uncovered significant problems in foreclosure processing at the servicers included in the report, examiners reviewed a relatively small number of files from among the volumes of foreclosures processed by the servicers. Therefore, the reviews could not provide a reliable estimate of the number of foreclosures that should not have proceeded". The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is asking to be more involved in hopes to offer help and solutions to foreclosure that are fair and integral.
The Reviews Found Critical Weaknesses In:
While it is important to note that findings certainly varied across sectors and institutions, the weaknesses at each servicer, individually or collectively, resulted in unsafe and unsound practices and violations of applicable federal and state law and requirements. This warrants the involvement of the House Oversight Panel ahead of new settlement decisions and announcements.
1) servicers’ foreclosure governance processes
2) foreclosure document preparation processes
3) oversight and monitoring of third-party vendors
4) concerning weakness with foreclosure attorneys
Download the Federal Reserve Independent Foreclosure Review updated June 18th, 2012 by Anna Alvarez Boyd
Download the Federal Reserve Independent Foreclosure Review Questions and Answers for Borrowers June 21, 2012
Download Remarks by John Walsh, Acting Comptroller of the Currency before the 2012 National Interagency Community Reinvestment Conference in Seattle on March 26, 2012
Download the June 2012 Interim Status Report on Homeowners Using The Independent Foreclosure Review
Download the Financial Remediation Framework For Use In The Independent Foreclosure Review updated June 12, 2012
Download the Interagency Review of Foreclosure Policies (Federal Reserve, OCC, and the Office Of Thrift Supervision)
Download the Oversight Panel letter concerning plans to end the Independent Foreclosure Process
Jenna Thuening, a Certified Distressed Property Expert offers distressed homeowners help to understand and file for an independent foreclosure review.
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