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Lost a home in foreclosure? Keep an eye on that mailbox

By: 5 November 2011 3 Comments

After a few years of allegations of improper foreclosure procedures, the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are offering homeowners who believe they were wronged in a foreclosure process the chance to have their cases reviewed.

Before getting into that review, it’s important to understand a bit of history surrounding the allegations that gave rise to the announcement from bank examiners. The federal government, state attorneys general started getting together last year in response to complaints about foreclosures in 2009 and 2010.

At issue was the so called “robo-signing” scandal in which lenders were accused of issuing mass foreclosure proceedings to borrowers in default. The term robo-signing was coined to describe people who initiated batches of foreclosure proceedings and signed documents laying the legal basis for taking away homes, but purportedly had no knowledge of the facts they declared true.

Throw in a few incidents in which lenders were apparently unable to come up with the original notes on loans going through foreclosure and there was enough of a sense of improper conduct to get state and federal officials involved. Additionally, some lenders shut down foreclosure proceedings so they could review their practices to make sure that were in line with applicable laws and an overall sense of equity.

The aforementioned review, then, is part of that process meant to correct any wrongs that might have occurred. Bear in mind that not everyone who lost a home in 2009 and 2010 is entitled to a review as most lenders were found to be in compliance.

Rather, the review is for certain individuals who lost their homes in foreclosure to one of 14 lenders identified in the review process. More information about the process – and the lenders involved – can be found at independentforeclosurereview.com.

It’s worth mentioning that the 14 lenders involved had previously agreed to clean up their foreclosure practices and are taking part in the review.

How is a person to know if he or she is entitled to an independent review? Letters will be sent out to qualified borrowers by the end of the year and they will be asked to request a review by April 30. Those borrowers who don’t receive letters but believe they are entitled to reviews can find out more information about the process at the aforementioned site or by calling 888-952-9105.

Eligible borrowers will be asked to send along evidence of financial harm caused by an improper foreclosure.

Such harm includes:

* The mortgage balance amount at the time of the foreclosure action was more than actually owed.

* A borrower was following his or her responsibilities under a loan modification agreement, but the foreclosure still occurred.

* The foreclosure action occurred while a borrower was protected by a bankruptcy.

* A borrower requested a loan modification or assistance in line with the lender’s requirements, but a foreclosure occurred during the process.

* Fees charged or mortgage payments were inaccurately calculated, processed, or applied.

Home Sweet Home is written by Ethan C. Nobles and is sent weekly to publications throughout the Natural State on behalf of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Arkansas.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

3 Comments »

  • blanchwood said:

    The market rates may have gone down, or remained the same. For the homeowner to get qualified for lower rates, there are certain prerequisites but I would recommend you search online for “Official Refinance” before you decide because they can find the 3% refinance rates.

  • Cara said:

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