Ohioans may qualify to receive foreclosure settlement

September 26, 2012


PDT Staff Writer

If your home was foreclosed on between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011, and you had your mortgage with Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase or Wells Fargo, you may be eligible for money.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said Monday that claim forms are going out to 64,428 Ohio borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure during that time period and who may be eligible for payment under the $25 billion National Mortgage Foreclosure settlement.

The nation’s five largest mortgage servicers have agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia.

The settlement, which took effect in April, earmarked $1.5 billion in payments for 1.75 million borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure during that period. The payments will be at least $840, and will very likely be higher, depending upon the number of borrowers who decide to participate.

DeWine urged eligible Ohio borrowers to complete their claim forms and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or file them online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The deadline for all claims is Jan. 18, 2013. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in 2013.

“This payment is intended as partial compensation for the illegal conduct of the mortgage servicers,” DeWine said. “Borrowers don’t have to give up their legal rights to participate. They are free to participate in this settlement and also pursue other legal remedies for the loss of their home if they choose.”

Eligible borrowers may get a payment from this settlement even if they participate in another foreclosure claims process. However, any payment received may reduce payments borrowers may be eligible to receive in any other foreclosure claim process or legal proceeding.

DeWine said last week, the national settlement administrator mailed notification postcards to the eligible borrowers nationwide. In Ohio, packets containing a letter from the Attorney General, claim forms, instructions and other explanatory information are being mailed to eligible borrowers beginning immediately and continuing through Oct. 12.

DeWine said the one-page claim forms are simple to complete. However, borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim can call a toll-free number 866-430-8358 for assistance, or send questions by e-mail to administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The information line is staffed Monday through Friday. Borrowers should not need to pay anyone to file their claim.

More information about that program is available at www.independentforclosurereview.com

The national settlement followed state and federal investigations, which claimed that the five companies routinely signed foreclosure-related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without personal knowledge that the facts contained in the documents were correct. They also claimed that the mortgage servicers committed various errors and abuses in their mortgage processes.

For more information about eligibility and filing a claim, please contact: www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov, www.National MortgageSettlement.com, by e-mailing Administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com, or by calling toll-free 866-430-8358, hearing impaired: 866-494-8281.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com.