For Immediate Release - June 04, 2013

More Than 10,000 Massachusetts Borrowers to Receive Close to $16 Million in Relief from National Mortgage Settlement

Massachusetts Borrowers to Receive $1,480 Checks in the Mail Starting Next Week

BOSTON – More than 10,000 Massachusetts borrowers will receive checks in the mail next week totaling close to $16 million as part of the National Mortgage Settlement, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.  The total relief exceeds original estimates by more than $1.3 million and is a result of a settlement with the five major lenders over unlawful foreclosures, including robo-signing of documents.  Each homeowner approved by the settlement administrator should expect to receive a check in the mail for approximately $1,480 as early as next week.

“This is important and direct relief for thousands of Massachusetts borrowers,” AG Coakley said. “These Massachusetts homeowners are being compensated for the banks’ rush to foreclosure, unlawful robo-signing of documents and a failure to determine whether a loan modification was even possible. Our office will continue to work aggressively to ensure Massachusetts borrowers receive all the assistance available under this settlement, which continues to be a critical part of stabilizing the housing market and turning the economy around.”

A total of 11,153 checks will be sent to Massachusetts borrowers representing 10,731 individual loans. In situations where the borrowers are divorced or no longer living at the same address, payments will be evenly split between them.

Nationally, the settlement administrator will mail valid claim payments to 962,278 loan records from June 10 through June 17.

Every borrower who filed a claim will receive a letter regarding their outcome.  Borrowers with questions about their National Mortgage Settlement payment should call the settlement administrator at (866) 430-8358. Overall, Massachusetts had a 58 percent response rate compared to a national average of 55 percent. 

Eligible borrowers had their mortgage serviced by one of the settlement’s five participating mortgage servicers, lost their home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011, and submitted a valid claim form. The participating servicers include Ally (formerly GMAC), Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo.

In February 2012, 49 state attorneys general and the federal government announced the historic joint state-federal National Mortgage Settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers. Preliminary data reported by the five major lenders shows that, so far, the servicers have provided more than $50 billion in relief to borrowers nationwide including principal reductions, loan modifications, second lien forgiveness and refinances of underwater mortgages.

As of May, Massachusetts homeowners already received more than $637 million in total relief during the first full year since the settlement, according to numbers provided by the five major banks. The self-reported data includes raw numbers about completed relief and ongoing trial loan modifications that have not yet been audited by the national monitor for compliance with the court ordered settlement.

AG Coakley also obtained $44.5 million in funds for Massachusetts as part of the national settlement. A significant portion of these funds is being used to support the AG’s first-in-the-nation foreclosure prevention and borrower support initiative called HomeCorps. The goal of the Attorney General’s HomeCorps is to mitigate future impacts of the foreclosure crisis by providing advocacy to distressed borrowers in Massachusetts facing foreclosure and includes a comprehensive three-part borrower support and referral initiative.

Those homeowners facing foreclosure or with questions about the settlement can contact the HomeCorps hotline at (617) 573-5333.

The Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) settlement is unrelated and separate from the National Mortgage Settlement and does not include the same governmental agencies. The IFR payments began in mid-April of 2013, and the OCC announced that final payments will be mailed in mid-July.  For more information on the OCC Independent Foreclosure Review settlement, go to www.OCC.gov and click on Independent Foreclosure Review.

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