Monday, August 27, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Independent Foreclosure Reviews
Independent Foreclosure Reviews
What is happening?
Fourteen U.S. mortgage servicers and their affiliates are making available free,
impartial Independent Foreclosure Reviews to certain of their borrowers as
part of the consent orders entered into with the Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in
If eligible borrowers believe that they were financially injured as a result of
servicer errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure
process on their primary residence, they can request a review of their
foreclosure file to verify that their foreclosure process was handled properly.
Throughout this process, servicers will continue their efforts to help
homeowners who have not yet gone through a foreclosure sale stay in their
homes, where possible.
Who is eligible?
Borrowers are eligible to submit a Request for Review if 1) their loan was
serviced by one of the participating mortgage servicers, 2) their loan was active
in the foreclosure process between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010, and 3) the
property securing the loan was their primary residence.
To participate in an official review, eligible borrowers must submit a completed
Request for Review Form by April 30, 2012.
Which servicers are being required to perform the reviews?
The participating servicers are:
- America’s Servicing Company
- Aurora Loan Services
- BAC Home Loans Servicing
- Bank of America
- EverBank/Everhome Mortgage Company
- GMAC Mortgage
- National City Mortgage
- PNC Mortgage
- Sovereign Bank
- SunTrust Mortgage
- U.S. Bank
- IndyMac Mortgage Services
- Washington Mutual (WaMu)
- MetLife Bank
- Wells Fargo
- Wilshire Credit Corporation
How can borrowers find out if they are eligible for a review?
An estimated 4.5 million borrowers will be notified by a letter explaining the
review process and a Request for Review Form. The mailings will be
staggered—to better manage volumes—in stages beginning Nov. 1, 2011.
Information also may be found at www.IndependentForeclosureReview.com.
Borrowers who believe they may be eligible for a review who do not receive a
mailing can call 1.888.952.9105 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
ET and Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET to determine if they are eligible.
What does it mean that a borrower was active in the foreclosure process?
Foreclosure actions include any of the following occurrences on a primary
residence between the dates of Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010:
The property was sold due to a foreclosure judgment.
The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process but was
removed from the process because payments were brought up-to-date or
the borrower entered a payment plan or modification program.
The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process, but the
home was sold or the borrower participated in a short sale or chose a
deed-in-lieu or other program to avoid foreclosure.
The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process and remains
delinquent but the foreclosure sale has not yet taken place.
What information will borrowers need to provide?
Borrowers will be asked to provide information on the property, the borrower
and any co-borrowers, and details about how they believe they may have been
financially injured. There is no charge to eligible borrowers for a review, which
will not be reported to any of the credit bureaus and will not impact any other
options a borrower may pursue related to their foreclosure.
What constitutes “financial injury?”
Listed below are examples of situations that may have led to financial injury.
This list does not include all situations.
The mortgage balance amount at the time of the foreclosure action was
more than you actually owed.
You were doing everything the modification agreement required, but the
foreclosure sale still happened.
The foreclosure action occurred while you were protected by bankruptcy.
You requested assistance/modification, submitted complete documents
on time, and were waiting for a decision when the foreclosure sale
Fees charged or mortgage payments were inaccurately calculated,
processed, or applied.
The foreclosure action occurred on a mortgage that was obtained before
active duty military service began and while on active duty, or within 9
months after the active duty ended and the servicemember did not waive
his/her rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.
How long will the foreclosure review take to complete?
The borrower will be sent an acknowledgement letter from the Independent
Review Administrator within one week after the request is received. Because
the review process will be a thorough and complete examination of many
details and documents, a review could take up to several months.
Who will be conducting the reviews?
Foreclosure Reviews will be conducted by independent consultants engaged by
the servicers and approved by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. In order to ensure
that the request for review process is as consistent as possible for eligible
customers, all of the participating servicers are using the same outside
administrator to manage the handling of incoming complaints for the Request
for Review process.
Once the Request for Review Forms have been collected by this single vendor,
the servicer will provide relevant documents to the independent consultant.
The servicer will also provide any findings and recommendations related to the
borrower’s request for review to the independent consultant for examination.
Servicers may be asked to clarify or confirm facts and disclose reasons for
events that occurred related to the foreclosure process, and customers could
be asked to provide additional information or documentation.