Complaint Against Banks And Foreclosure Reviews

You may want to file a complaint with the OCC if your bank has wronged you, but you may also be entitled to a foreclosure review.

We received yet another email from a woman who has been trying to keep her house out of foreclosure for the past 18 months.

She reached out to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and filed a complaint at their HelpWithMyBank.gov website. The OCC stepped in and got her initial foreclosure (set for February, 2011) postponed. Then, she filed suit against her lender and the judge told the bank to work with her to get her mortgage situation settled.

Instead, she spent a frustrating 10 months trying to reach the individual at the bank who was supposed to help her, under court order, without success. Out of the blue, the bank set a new foreclosure date of February 27.

While some things have been getting better for homeowners, there are millions who are still in trouble. Federal officials estimate that there are perhaps two million homeowners who are somewhere in the foreclosure process and more who may go through it. In the third quarter of 2011, Freddie Mac noted that the number of severe mortgage delinquencies (more than 60 days) had risen again.

For those who feel they have been unfairly dragged through the foreclosure process, or who were foreclosed upon without due process or because of inaccurate information, the OCC has worked on a wide-ranging settlement to help those homeowners whose primary residences was part of a foreclosure action between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, and whose home loan was serviced by a participating lender (more on that in a moment) to go through an Independent Foreclosure Review process.

While this sounds like an ad you might hear on late-night television, we can assure you it is not.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (which regulates the largest lenders in the country) have required an Independent Foreclosure Review by an independent consultant (Rust Consulting is the central administrator of the Independent Foreclosure Review process) to identify eligible customers who may have been financially injured due to errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in their foreclosure process. If the review finds that financial injury occurred, the customer may receive compensation or other remedy.

In order for you to start the process of a review, according to the website, IndependentForeclosureReview.com, your property must have started out through a foreclosure action including:

• Your property was sold due to a foreclosure judgment.
• Your mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process but was removed from the process because payments were brought up-to-date or you entered into a payment plan or modification program.
• Your mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process, but the home was sold or the borrower participated in a short sale or chose a deed-in-lieu or other program to avoid foreclosure.
• Your mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process and remains delinquent but the foreclosure sale has not yet taken place.

But these foreclosure actions alone do not mean you are entitled to a foreclosure review. If your loan did not start or go through the foreclosure process, this independent review will not be available to you even if the bank has made errors on your account or failed to give you a loan modification.

The Independent Foreclosure Review will be looking for examples of financial injuries or breakdowns in the foreclosure process including: The mortgage balance amount at the time of the foreclosure action was more than you actually owed; You were doing everything the modification agreement required, but the foreclosure sale still happened; The foreclosure action occurred while you were protected by bankruptcy; You requested assistance/modification, submitted complete documents on time, and were waiting for a decision when the foreclosure sale occurred; Fees charged or mortgage payments were inaccurately calculated, processed, or applied; The foreclosure action occurred on a mortgage that was obtained before active duty military service began and while on active duty, or within 9 months after the active duty ended and the servicemember did not waive his/her rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Participating lenders include: 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 Mortgage; Washington Mutual (WaMu); Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.; and Wilshire Credit Corporation.

If you believe you qualify for an Independent Foreclosure Review, you can request the form (or get help completing the form you received in the mail) by calling toll-free (888) 952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. ET.

Once you fill out the form and mail it in, you will be sent an acknowledgement letter within one week after your Request for Review Form is received by the independent review administrator. Your request will be reviewed first for inclusion in the Independent Foreclosure Review. If your request meets the eligibility requirements, it will be reviewed by an independent consultant.

According to the website, your loan servicer will provide relevant documents along with any findings and recommendations related to your request for review to the independent consultant for review. Your servicer may be asked to clarify or confirm facts and disclose reasons for events that occurred related to the foreclosure process. You could be asked to provide additional information or documentation. Because the review process will be a thorough and complete examination of many details and documents, the review could take several months.

[ad#in_content_1500]The Independent Foreclosure Review will determine whether financial injury has occurred as a result of errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process. You will receive a letter with the findings of the review and information about possible compensation or other remedy.

Eligible customers (determined by an independent audit overseen by the OCC) should have been sent a letter by December 31, 2011 that explains the Independent Foreclosure Review process and a Request for Review Form that identifies some examples of situations that may have led to financial injury. The form must be completed and postmarked no later than April 30, 2012.

In the review, loan servicers were required to include all loans covered by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (http://militarypay.defense.gov/Benefits/SCRA.html) that meet the qualifying criteria. However, servicemembers or co-borrowers may also request a review through this process. According to the OCC, financial injury may have occurred if the foreclosure action occurred on a mortgage that was obtained before active duty military service began and while on active duty, or within 9 months after the active duty ended.

Warning: Watch out for scams—there is only one Independent Foreclosure Review, although it sounds like dozens of scam sites that we have visited and read about that are sucking in desperate homeowners. Here’s a big tip-off: The Independent Foreclosure Review is free. Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a service to complete the Request for Review Form, as they may be trying to scam you. The review will not have an impact on your credit report or any other options you may pursue related to your foreclosure – or at least that’s the story we’re getting now.

For additional information, visit the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Prevent Loan Scams, or the Loan Scam Alert.

If you are having trouble paying your mortgage and believe your lender or loan servicer is not assisting you properly, you can file a complaint with the OCC’s HelpWithMyBank.gov website.


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32 Responses to Complaint Against Banks And Foreclosure Reviews

  1. May Towns says:

    This article is uninformed, as to just how the OCC operates. I have filled out numerous stacks of paperwork for numerous different “so called help for homeowners facing foreclosure” programs (MakingHomesaffordable, GAHomeSafe, etc, to no avail. All of my dealings where on to the letter, in full and on time. I also have contacted state representatives for help and they ultimately wasted more of my time filling more paperwork for these so called government agencies, only to receive the exact same (word for word) response I was given by my lender. The OCC is buddy’s with these lenders and no one is getting anywhere, except a very small few. Which I suppose helps them to look legitamit when all they are doing is taking us all to the cleaners. Remember these are GOVERNMENT agencies and programs. Paid for by OUR tax dollars. Try reporting the truth. Unfortunately, the only way to fix this level of corruption is going to be very ugly. Check your history book. This is the only way to get rid of the crooks and try to start fresh. The OCC is a waste of time, don’t bother. Your just putting more of your financial and personal info out there for them to ruin.

  2. Lynn says:

    My comment is directed to May Town. I work for a mortgage company and have been in the business since 1986. The OCC is not buddy’s with these large banks nor lenders and trust me they have been auditing all practices, requiring remediation plans along with money refunds some of which have to be done within 15. I work for one of the large companies so I know. However my mortgage is with HSBC mtg and owned by them. What a nightmare. I fought and fought for a modification after I was referred foreclosure on a 14% arm that I felt they inaccurately came up with the interest rate. I finally got a trial plan by sending 1500 letters to all predatory lender activist committies, all HSBC VP and highers (Yes you can search and get their names and emails on the web) However after 3 trials that went on for 3.5 yrs my payment went up last month double. I was told they did a permenant mod but never have I had any documentation, signed anything. I have 1800 foreclosure costs for being referred (again no documentation) 10K in deferred interest again no documentation ect. I had been calling for 9 months as they kept showing me past due and I was paid ahead we made 3 payments in one month, yet they would apply the funds as a principal curtailment, or to fees owed instead of the current months payment. That call lead to supposedly my permanent mod. Now I never recieve a letter my payment was going up, a mod agreement nothing. I just happened to look online. In early Oct I was current. As soon as they did this mod I am not past due 45 days even though I made the higher payment, my foreclosure costs go up each month even though as I said it never went through in 2007, and I call several times a month. If you are 2 days late these people call you at a minimum of 8 times a day. I am scared to call anymore as who knows they could put me back on an arm since I absolutely nothing to show the permanent mod except my phone call logs and who I spoke too. Trust me I am filing with the OCC, FTC, our state Atty General, as well as the Consumer Finance Protection Board. All the companies you mention typically do not get things done. The borrower has to be persistent with the company call call call, and send registered letters to upper mgmt. With an OCC or Respa complaint they are required to respond. Doesn’t mean they have to give you a mod but typically it’s cheaper to do so.

  3. Gloria says:

    We received notice of foreclosure many months ago. We have been to court 1 time which they postponed. We are working with our mortgage insurance company to get a loan modification. Dozens of documents have been submitted on our behalf by them. Wells Fargo is the mortgage service company .Everytime our person emails, etc, they are told that another person is has been assigned our case and to re-submit all documents again. Court is once again set for Oct 17, 2012. We want to have a modification, but don’t’ seem to get anywhere. Where do we go for help? At the very beginning when I tried to refinance they told me I had to be 3 months behind on payments Well that did happen because they refused to apply 2 payments to our account… They said the were refunding the payments but they never did. Does anyone have any suggestions for help

    • jeff says:

      i had a similar problem!!

      where are you currently??

      there are some strong insiders who helped me!!

      there is help!!

  4. Sharon Cockrell says:

    Yeah,I want to put the word out there about Bank of America, they have been supposedly trying to help us with a Loan Modfication,NOT! They never intended anything more than taking our money and putting us out of our home.And these are the individuals that SUPPOSEDLY heve been trying to help us,Reimer,Arnovitz,Chernek&Jeffrey CO., L.P.A.,P.O. Box 968,2450 Edison Blvd., Twinsburg, Ohio 44087. All they have managed to do is send us packet after packet which we promptly filled out and sent back,ONLY TO RECENTLY FIND OUT THEY HAD BEEN LOST IN THE MAIL, OR LEAST THATS WHAT THEY TOLD US. The last packet was sent out January 10th,they were wanting more financial information, and my husband contacted them and told them he had nothing further to send them. And this was their response to that, they sent a summons to us to appear in court,FOR A DEFAULT JUDGEMENT, I GOT NEWS FOR THEM, IF I COULDN’T PAY MY MORTGAGE, ITS A GOOD BET THEY AREN’T TO SEE THAT EITHER! This all started when my Huband had surgery and was out of work for 2 months and I myself am in ill health. We were told that we qualified for HARDSHIP, but nothing was ever pursued on their end! I AM FED UP WITH THESE BIG CORPORATIONS RUNNING ROUGHSHOD OVER PEOPLE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE HELPING, AND THEY CLEARLY AREN’T And as of February 6th WE WILL BE HOMELESS DUE TO THEIR UNETHICAL BUSINESS PRACTICES!

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