AG Coakley Reminds Qualified Borrowers of Deadline for Foreclosure Settlement Claims Under National Settlement
January 18 is Submission Deadline for Filing Claims
BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley today reminded qualified borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure that Friday, Jan. 18 is the deadline for filing claims for a one-time payment under the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement.
Last fall, claim forms were sent to Massachusetts residents who lost their homes to foreclosure and who might be eligible for payment. The settlement, which took effect in April with the nation’s five largest mortgage loan servicers, earmarked approximately $1.5 billion in payments for two million borrowers nationwide who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011. The exact payment will depend upon the total number of borrowers who participate.
“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, and we encourage all eligible borrowers to file claims.”
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.
More than 21,000 borrowers in Massachusetts are eligible to receive payment under the settlement. For more information about eligibility and filing a claim, borrowers should visit www.NationalMortgageSettlement.com or contact the settlement administrator directly via email: email@example.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. 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. 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. The recently-announced foreclosure abuse settlement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Reserve will also likely provide new relief for qualified borrowers and is intended to supersede the recently completed Independent Foreclosure Review Process offered by the OCC.
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 immediately contact the settlement administrator directly to provide that information at the toll-free number or email listed above.
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.