Friday, March 16, 2012

Information on the Foreclosure Settlement. And Watch Out for Scams.

The settlement between forty nine states’ attorneys general, the federal government and five of the largest mortgage servers (Citi, Ally/GMAC, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, and Bank of America) in the United States has opened up an avenue of help and compensation for many people that are in danger of foreclosure, are underwater in home value, or even those who have already been foreclosed on and lost their homes since 2009 (Oklahoma’s Attorney General reached a separate settlement.  See their website for more information).  How can you tell if you are eligible for help?
A great webpage has been set up to give you a place to start looking for the answers.  National Mortgage Settlement has all the information you need-- contact numbers, eligibility information-- and ALL FOR FREE.  If anybody contacts you and offers “help” for a fee, slam the phone on them.  It’s a scam.  Click here to findout how to recognize signs of scammers trying to take advantage of people, and what to do about it.

There is a page especially for homeowners that gives the contact numbers for the mortgage servers involved, but the link to the state’s attorney general’s offices is dead.  Try this one instead. However,  anyone whose mortgage is held by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae is not eligible.  You can find out if your mortgage is held by either of them here and here.   Here’s another link to a page dealing with U.S. military members that are eligible relief.

Officials are in the process of appointing administrators, figuring out who is eligible, and will contact them.   The whole process should take place over the next three years.  If you feel you may be eligible or need more information, contact the attorney general’s office of your state or your mortgage holder, especially if you think that officials may have a hard time tracing you.

You can even get an independent review of your case.  Again, FOR FREE.  Nobody is charging for this.  But the deadline to apply for the independent review by July 31, 2012.  There’s a website with all the information that you need, but if you like to get your information from humans, there’s a toll-free number, too: 1-888-952-9105, from 8 a.m-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  And assistance is available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Hmong and Russian. 

Even more information is available at this online pamphlet from the Center for Responsible Lending.

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