Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
December 20, 2012
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Attorney General Bondi Reminds Qualified Borrowers Who Lost Homes to Foreclosure to Submit Claims for Payment by January 18
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi reminds Florida borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011 and who may be eligible for payment under the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement to file claims by Jan. 18, 2013. Additional reminders will be mailed to claimants next week.
Forms have been mailed to qualified borrowers, and they must be returned by Jan. 18, 2013. Borrowers should complete their claim forms and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or file them online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013. Borrowers who believe that they may have missed their claim form because they changed their addressed recently may contact the settlement administrator at 1-866-430-8358.
“Approximately two-thirds of the people to whom notices have been sent have not filed claims. It is imperative that those who may be eligible for cash payments under the settlement submit their claims by the January 18th deadline,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Eligible borrowers had 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.
The settlement, which took effect in April, earmarked approximately $1.5 billion in payments for 2 million borrowers nationwide who lost their homes to foreclosure during that period and had their loan serviced by one of the settling servicers. In Florida, approximately $170 million is available for cash payments to Florida borrowers. All available funds will be distributed to those who file claims; none of this money will be returned to the banks or used by the states for any other purpose
Free claim form assistance available
Borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claims can contact the settlement administrator, toll-free, at 1-866-430-8358, or send questions by email to 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 or to participate in the Independent Foreclosure Review Process being conducted by federal bank regulators. More information about that program is available at www.independentforeclosurereview.com.
Eligible borrowers may get 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:
Call toll-free: 1-866-430-8358. The line is staffed Monday through Friday from (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central).
Beware of scams
Borrowers should not need to pay anyone to file their claim. All homeowners should be aware of settlement-related scams. Do not provide personal information or pay money to anyone who calls or emails you claiming that they are providing settlement-related assistance. If you believe someone is conducting a settlement-related scam, contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 850-414-3990.
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.
For more information about eligibility and filing a claim:
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).