Foreclosure fraud settlement; Who is in?

Friday, February 10, 2012

More information is being published about the forclosure fraud settlement signed by the five main mortgage providers with 49 Attorney Generals.  According to the Florida Association of Realtors, "relief won’t be immediate. While the agreement calls for immediate principal reductions for first and second liens, it will take up to two months for negotiators to select an administrator to handle the logistics, up to nine months to identify eligible homeowners and contact them by mail, and up to three years to complete the process."
The settlement provides assistance for:

  • Homeowners needing loan modifications now, including first and second lien principal reduction. The servicers are required to work off up to $17 billion in principal reduction and other forms of loan modification relief nationwide. State attorneys general anticipate the settlement’s requirement for principal reduction will show other lenders that principal reduction is one effective tool in combating foreclosure and that it will not lead to widespread defaults by borrowers who really can afford to pay.
  • Borrowers who are current, but underwater. Borrowers will be able to refinance at today’s historically low interest rates. Servicers will have to provide up to $3 billion in refinancing relief nationwide.
  • Borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure with no requirement to prove financial harm and without having to release private claims against the servicers or the right to participate in the OCC review process. $1.5 billion will be distributed nationwide to some 750,000 borrowers. 
Among Realtors, is feared that the number of foreclosures will actually increase substantially, with the speed processing of thousands of properties that were in limbo, mostly for lack of capacity to foreclose on the mortgage holders. "A new wave will only force the market to dive into a new low" vowed Realtor Fernando Pettineroli from Naples.
A new website launched by the participant banks,, includes some settlement documents, a set of frequently asked questions, breaking information, and addresses for the banks involved in the settlement. It also includes links to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac so homeowners can find out if their mortgage is included in the settlement.

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