For Immediate Release - September 26, 2012

Massachusetts Borrowers Eligible for Approximately $14.6 Million in Cash Payments

Claim Forms Mailed to Eligible Borrowers in Massachusetts under National Foreclosure Settlement

BOSTON – Claim forms are being sent to Massachusetts residents who lost their homes to foreclosure and who may be eligible for payment under the $25 billion national mortgage settlement, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

“Our office worked hard to ensure the best possible outcome for Massachusetts borrowers through the national settlement and will continue to provide assistance to distressed homeowners through our settlement funded HomeCorps program,” AG Coakley said. “These payments will help those who were foreclosed in recent years by entities we allege didn’t follow proper servicing standards.”  

The settlement, which took effect in April, earmarked approximately $1.5 billion in payments for two million borrowers nationwide. The exact payment will depend upon the total number of borrowers who participate.

Massachusetts also received a direct payment of approximately $44.5 million to the Commonwealth that launched the AG’s HomeCorps program in April. The goal of the AG’s HomeCorps is to mitigate the impacts of the foreclosure crisis by providing advocacy to distressed borrowers in Massachusetts facing foreclosure. The HomeCorps includes a comprehensive three-part borrower support and referral initiative.

Eligible borrowers

Eligible borrowers lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011 with mortgages serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia. More than 21,000 borrowers in Massachusetts are eligible to receive payment under the settlement and will be contacted by the national settlement administrator with instructions for filing their claim. For more information about eligibility and filing a claim, borrowers should visit www.NationalMortgageSettlement.com or contact the settlement administrator directly via email: administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com, or call the call toll-free: 1-866-430-8358 (hearing impaired: 1-866-494-8281). The line is staffed Monday through Friday from (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central). This claims process will be handled by the national settlement administrator and borrowers should address any questions to that office.

Forms mailed to qualified borrowers, must be returned by January 18

Last week, the national settlement administrator mailed notification postcards to the eligible borrowers nationwide. In Massachusetts, packets containing a letter from the Attorney General, claim form, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions are being mailed to eligible borrowers beginning this week and continuing through Oct. 12.

The AG’s Office urges eligible borrowers to complete their claim forms and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or file them online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The deadline for all claims is January 18, 2013. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013.

Free claim form assistance available

The one-page claim forms are simple to complete. However, borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim can contact the settlement administrator, toll-free, at (866) 430-8358, or send questions by email to administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The information line is staffed Monday through Friday from (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central).

Payment won’t stop other legal claims

Eligible borrowers do not need to prove financial harm to receive a payment, nor do they give up their rights to pursue a lawsuit against their mortgage servicer or to participate in the Independent Foreclosure Review Process being conducted by federal bank regulators. More information about that program is available at www.independentforclosurereview.com.

Eligible borrowers may also receive a payment from this settlement even if they participate in another foreclosure claims process. However, any payment received may reduce payments borrowers may be eligible to receive in any other foreclosure claim process or legal proceeding.

Eligible borrowers not notified should contact settlement administrator

Borrowers who believe they may qualify for a payment, but did not receive a notice because they have moved, should contact the settlement administrator directly to provide that information at the toll-free number or email listed above.

Settlement background

The national settlement followed state and federal investigations, which alleged that the five mortgage servicers routinely signed foreclosure-related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without personal knowledge that the facts contained in the documents were correct.  This civil law enforcement action also alleged that the servicers committed widespread errors and abuses in their foreclosure processes.

Broad reform of the mortgage servicing process resulted from the settlement, as well as financial relief for borrowers still in their homes through direct loan modification relief, including principal reduction.

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