If you were involved in a foreclosure process between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, you may be eligible to receive up to $125,000 through the Independent Foreclosure Review process (“IFR”). The IFR was created by a number of federal agencies to provide borrowers with the opportunity to have their foreclosure process reviewed for errors or other problems that may have caused financial injury. Borrowers may be eligible to receive relief under both the IFR and the $26 Billion settlement reached by the States with various financial institutions. The deadline to apply for an independent review under the IFR is Sunday, September 30, 2012.
In order to qualify for the IFR, your mortgage must satisfy the following threshold criteria. First, your mortgage must have been serviced by one of the following 14 companies: America’s Servicing Co., Aurora Loan Services, BAC Home Loans Servicing, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Countrywide, EMC, EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company, Financial Freedom, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Services, MetLife Bank, National City Mortgage, PNC Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo or Wilshire Credit Corporation. Second, the mortgage must have involved your primary residence. Third, your mortgage must have been in the foreclosure process between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.
If you meet the initial criteria, the amount of money you may be entitled to will likely be influenced by the status of your foreclosure process, how the foreclosure process was resolved (if it is not on-going) and the financial injuries involved due to errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process. In addition, special guidelines have been developed for: 1) servicemembers who lost their homes while on active duty; 2) borrowers who were foreclosed on without being in default or were in default as a result of the servicer’s errors; 3) borrowers who were improperly put into foreclosure during or after trial mortgage modifications; and 4) borrowers who faced foreclosure despite a loan modification application. Ultimately, borrowers should expect a wide range of potential relief depending on the facts surrounding their foreclosure process.
Borrowers should keep in mind that the IFR is just one of many federal, state and bank sponsored processes created to assist borrowers who were harmed by foreclosure abuses and/or struggling through the current housing crisis. While some of these programs are aimed at compensating borrowers for past, improper conduct, others are designed to help borrowers remain in their homes by creating more manageable mortgage payments. You should contact an attorney to discuss your eligibility and the requirements for recovery under the various programs. For more information, please contact an attorney in Fraser Trebilcock’s Real Estate Practice Group.