Earlier this year, the five largest mortgage servicers/lenders in the United States struck a $25 billion deal to compensate homeowners who were subject to fraudulent and/or questionable foreclosure proceedings between Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2012.
During that four-year window, it was revealed that the biggest banks — Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — “routinely signed foreclosure related-documents outside the presence of a notary public and without really knowing whether the facts they contained were correct.” The process was referred to as “robo-signing,” which was — and still is — illegal.
In other words, homeowners throughout the nation were wrongly foreclosed, regardless of whether or not they could afford their mortgages, and as a result, these banks now have to compensate them.
Every state, with the exception of Oklahoma, which actually didn’t agree with the massive fine levied upon the big banks, characterizing it as “excessive,” will receive a share of the $25 billion settlement to distribute to affected homeowners who lost their homes during the four-year timeframe mentioned above. However, these affected homeowners have to complete claim forms and submit them prior to Jan. 18, 2013, to be eligible.
How much each individual receives will depend on the amount allocated to the state in which he/she resides, as well as how many distressed/wronged borrowers in said state participate. However, in Florida — one of the hardest-hit states in terms of foreclosure — each claimant can expect to receive an estimated $2,000 payout.
So how do you determine your eligibility?
Well, first, you should have received a “Notice Letter” recently from your servicer/lender, which includes your personalized “Claimant ID” number. However, if you’ve moved and/or didn’t receive the letter there is a way to follow up and learn more.
Follow this simple process:
- Call toll-free (866) 430-8358
- Have your loan information readily available
- Speak with a “Settlement Administrator”
- Determine eligibility
- Sign the “Claim Form”
- Submit the “Claim Form” prior to Jan. 18, 2012
To learn more about the National Mortgage Settlement, including detailed eligibility requirements, as well as how to make your claim online, click here.