COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said that claim forms are going out to 64,428 Ohio borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011 and who may be eligible for payment under the $25 billion National Mortgage Foreclosure settlement.
Eligible borrowers had mortgages with Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation's five largest mortgage servicers who 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 $1.5 billion in payments for 1.75 million borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure during that period. The payments will be at least $840, and will very likely be higher, depending upon the number of borrowers who decide to participate.
Attorney General DeWine urged eligible Ohio 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 Jan. 18, 2013. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in 2013.
"This payment is intended as partial compensation for the illegal conduct of the mortgage servicers," said Attorney General DeWine. "Borrowers don't have to give up their legal rights to participate. They are free to participate in this settlement and also pursue other legal remedies for the loss of their home if they choose."
Last week, the national settlement administrator mailed notification postcards to the eligible borrowers nationwide. In Ohio, packets containing a letter from the Attorney General, claim forms, instructions and other explanatory information are being mailed to eligible borrowers beginning today and continuing through Oct. 12.
The one-page claim forms are simple to complete. However, borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim can call a toll-free number 866-430-8358 for assistance, 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. Borrowers should not need to pay anyone to file their claim.
Attorney General DeWine said 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 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.
The national settlement followed state and federal investigations, which claimed that the five companies 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. They also claimed that the mortgage servicers committed various errors and abuses in their mortgage 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, please contact:
Call toll-free: 866-430-8358; (hearing impaired: 866-494-8281)
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