Independent Foreclosure Review deadline extended
SUMMIT COUNTY — Property owners of a primary residence involved in a foreclosure process between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, may qualify for a free independent foreclosure review, according to the Office of Consumer Affairs.
“Ohio homeowners who faced foreclosure between 2009 and 2010 should take advantage of this free independent foreclosure review to see if they qualify to receive compensation or other remedies due to errors,” said Summit County Consumer Affairs Director Cynthia Sich. “Even though thousands of homeowners went through foreclosure, very few are participating. We wanted to get the word out that there is still time to request your free independent foreclosure review, as the deadline has been moved to Sept. 30.”
Sich explained the Independent Foreclosure Review offers homeowners an opportunity to request an examination of a foreclosure process by independent consultants and monitored by federal bank regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Borrowers who faced foreclosure in the specified time period may request a review of their foreclosure if they believe they suffered financial injury as a result of errors in the foreclosure process involving the following loan servicers: America’s Servicing Co., Aurora Loan Services, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, Citi Mortgage, Country-Wide, EMC, EverBank/Everhome, Freedom Financial, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Services, MetLife Bank, National City, PNC Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, Sun-Trust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo.
Examples of financial injury include:
• the mortgage balance at the time of the foreclosure action was more than actually owed;
• the foreclosure sale took place while complying with a modification agreement;
• the foreclosure action occurred while under bankruptcy protection;
• the foreclosure sale occurred while waiting on a decision on a requested assistance/modification, with the completed documents submitted on time;
• fees charged or mortgage payments were inaccurately calculated, processed or applied; or
• the foreclosure action occurred on a mortgage that was obtained before active duty military service began and while on active duty or within nine months after active duty ended and without waiving rights under the Service Members Civil Relief Act.
For a full listing of instances involving financial injury, visit www.independentforeclo surereview.com.
If the Independent Foreclosure Review finds that financial injury occurred because of errors or other problems during the foreclosure process, the borrower may receive a lump-sum payment or other remedy, such as suspension or rescission of a foreclosure, a loan modification or other loss mitigation assistance, correction of credit reports or correction of deficiency amounts and records, according to Sich. Lump sum payments range from $500 to $125,000 plus equity for the most egregious cases.
Requesting a review does not preclude borrowers from taking other actions related to a foreclosure. Sich added that servicers are not permitted to require a borrower to sign a waiver of the borrower’s ability to pursue claims against the servicer in order to receive compensation under the Independent Foreclosure Review.
The Independent Foreclosure Review is free, and Consumer Affairs officials are warning homeowners to beware of anyone asking for a fee in exchange for a service to complete the request for review form.
For additional information, including how to apply online, visit the website or call 888-952-9105 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. or Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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