Foreclosure Settlement a Billion-Dollar Bust

June 25, 2013
USA Today  
mortgage lending news

Most payments have gone out to the 4.2 million mortgage borrowers participating in a settlement between federal banking regulators and several large mortgage servicers. Instead of resolving the issue, however, the payouts have created even more frustration among consumers. One North Carolina couple, who lost their home to foreclosure in 2010 even as they were seeking a loan workout, expected at least $6,000 in the settlement but received a check in April for a mere $800. Although government regulators called this case their most aggressive effort to hold banks accountable, the outcome falls short of many borrowers' expectations. Regulators had promised independent case reviews to millions of homeowners who were embroiled in foreclosures in 2009 and 2010 but abandoned the idea in a renegotiation of a 2011 settlement with the banks. This created a $3.6 billion pot from which to compensate borrowers for negligent foreclosure practices that include wrongful foreclosures and lost consumer paperwork. Regulators determined how individual borrowers were to be compensated, but the public and even members of Congress have questioned a lack of transparency in the settlement. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has received about 2,000 complaints or inquiries about the settlement, including 900 questioning their compensation.
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