Eight more banks could pay up for foreclosure abuses
Eight big banks are about to be popped for improper foreclosure tactics, so if you got a mortgage from one of them and the bank put your loan in foreclosure during 2009 or 2010, you might be getting a check for your troubles.
They’re supposed to contact you, but why trust them to track you down -- especially if that foreclosure went through and you’re living somewhere else now -- when it’s so easy to contact them?
The banks involved are: EverBank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC North America, OneWest Bank, MetLife, PNC Financial Service Group, U.S. Bancorp and SunTrust Bank.
It doesn’t matter whether the foreclosure went through or you ended up working things out. Either way, you can ask for a review of the way the bank handled your case.
As soon as you hear the settlement announced, call (888) 952-9105 or visit the bank settlement website to ask for your case review.
Military service members, who are covered by a special set of rules about how their mortgages are supposed to work, can get a second layer of compensation. Apply for that by contacting the Justice Department at (800) 896-7743 or the nearest Armed Forces Legal Assistance Office.
This eight-bank settlement is a follow-up to the $26 billion foreclosure settlement with Ally, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Under that deal, homeowners who were foreclosed upon could receive $1,500 to $2,000 if there's evidence the bank played fast and loose in seizing their property.
That settlement also included some new rules about how banks have to treat you when you can’t make your mortgage payments. This settlement will likely also involve the banks agreeing to:
- Hire enough staff to do a decent job managing delinquent loans and foreclosures, and to make sure those staffers know what they’re doing.
- Assign just one person to manage your case who can actually figure out what’s going on with your loan.
- Stop foreclosing on you when you’re in a workout plan (unless you miss payments, in which case they can go right back to taking your home back and selling it to pay back the loan).
It's too early to tell whether consumers are really going to benefit from this agreement or if it will make the banks do a better job of managing troubled homeowners’ cases and the foreclosure process.
I do know there are fewer troubled borrowers out there -- CoreLogic reports mortgage delinquency rates were down 14% in February 2012 compared to February 2011.
And bankers are doing more to help homeowners who want to sell their homes to avoid losing them via foreclosure.
That should mean banks will have fewer foreclosures to manage going forward, which should help the banks do a better job.