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Correcting Foreclosure Practices
Updated February 18, 2015
Final Reissuance of Checks Related to the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreements
In an effort to ensure the greatest possible number of eligible people receive payments under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreements, the payment administrator will reissue checks that have not been cashed or have been returned as undeliverable. Reissued checks will be sent in the second half of February 2015. People who are eligible to receive checks and need to request a change in payee or a split payment have until March 20, 2015, to request a form from the payment administrator and must submit that form by April 30, 2015. The deadline for recipients to request that the payment administrator reissue a check that has been lost or destroyed is June 15, 2015. As with previous checks, reissued checks expire 90 days from issuance to limit fraud. Questions about reissuances should be directed to the payment administrator, Rust Consulting, at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET or Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET.
Report Highlights Status of Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement
On April 30, 2014, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released a report on Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) Payment Agreements that provides data on the status of payments and foreclosure prevention assistance as well as a discussion of observations from the reviews. Read the report.
Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement
As of January 5, 2015, $3.4 billion in checks distributed as part of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement have been cashed or deposited.
The payments began on April 12, 2013 and result from agreements between the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board, and 13 servicers to provide $3.6 billion in payments to borrowers whose homes were in any stage of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010 and whose mortgages were serviced by one of the following companies, their affiliates, or subsidiaries: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.
In July 2013, GMAC Mortgage also reached an agreement with the Federal Reserve Board that ended the Independent Foreclosure Review. The agreement reached in July with GMAC Mortgage added more than 232,000 borrowers and required approximately $230 million in direct cash payments to those borrowers.
Borrowers who are customers of servicers covered by these payment agreements with questions regarding payments should contact the Rust Consulting, Inc. at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET or Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET.
Expired IFR Check?
Checks issued as part of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement expire 90 days after they are issued as a means to limit fraud. If your check has expired and you would like to have the check reissued, please contact the paying agent, Rust Consulting, at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET or Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET.
Notice to Financial Institutions
Institutions processing checks are reminded that checks require positive identification. Financial institutions should follow the instructions on the back of the check to validate authenticity.
Determination of the Cash Payment Amounts
To determine the payment amounts under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement, the amended consent orders required participating servicers to place each in-scope borrower into one of the categories in the payment matrix developed by the regulators, which included 11 categories of potential financial injury to borrowers, based on the categories in the Financial Remediation Framework created for the IFR. The payment amounts for each category also distinguished between borrowers who had requested a review of their foreclosure under the IFR and those who did not make such a request, as applicable. An extended description of the process is included in the recent report by the Federal Reserve Board.
EverBank Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement
In August 2013, the OCC announced that EverBank agreed to pay approximately $37 million in cash payments to more than 32,000 eligible mortgage borrowers and provide $6.3 million to organizations certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or other tax-exempt organizations that have as a principal mission providing affordable housing, foreclosure prevention and/or educational assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals and families. Eligible borrowers will be contacted directly by Epiq Systems, the paying agent for the EverBank Payment Agreement. Eligible borrowers will receive compensation whether or not they filed a request for review form, and borrowers do not need to take further action to be eligible for compensation. Checks to eligible borrowers began on May 1, 2014. As of October 10, 2014, all EverBank Payment Agreement mailings have been completed and over 26,000 checks totaling over $32 million have been cashed or deposited. For more information about the EverBank Payment Agreement, you can visit the Web site: www.EverBankIndependentForeclosureReview.com.
EverBank borrowers with questions regarding payments should contact Epiq Systems at 877-819-9754, or send an email to: info@EverBankIndependentForeclosureReview.com, or send a letter to: EverBank IFR Payment Agreement, PO Box 2730, Portland, OR 97208-2730. All other borrowers with questions regarding payments should contact Rust Consulting, Inc. at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET.
OneWest Remediation for Eligible Borrowers
On March 3, 2014, remediation began for eligible borrowers whose mortgages were serviced by Financial Freedom (OneWest) and IndyMac Mortgage Services (OneWest) and were found by the Independent Foreclosure Review to have suffered errors resulting in financial harm. You did not have to request a review to receive compensation as the independent consultant also selected files to review as part of their sampling of the servicer’s portfolio. All borrowers who requested a review will receive either a letter with a remediation check or an explanation that no compensable error was found during the review. As of October 10, 2014, all One-West Independent Foreclosure Review-related mailings have been completed and over 20,000 payments totaling over $11 million have been cashed or deposited.
The consultant used the Financial Remediation Framework to recommend remediation for financial injury found in the review of mortgages serviced by Financial Freedom (OneWest) and IndyMac Mortgage Services (OneWest). OneWest has prepared remediation plans based on the consultant’s recommendations, which the OCC has approved for completed reviews. The remediation framework helps ensure that similarly situated borrowers receive similar treatment. If the consultant determined that a borrower should receive financial remediation, the borrower will receive notification of that determination and the remediation directly from OneWest. Borrowers do not give up rights to pursuing other remedies regarding their mortgages by accepting remediation through this process.
Borrowers who have questions about their remediation letter from Financial Freedom (OneWest) and IndyMac Mortgage Services may call 1-800-500-6097, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. CST.
Foreclosure Prevention Assistance
Regulators encourage borrowers needing foreclosure prevention assistance to work directly with their servicer or contact the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673) (or at Making Home Affordable) to be put you in touch with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approved nonprofit organization that can provide free assistance.
In April, the OCC issued guidance applicable to large and midsize national banks and federal savings associations that requires mortgage servicers to review foreclosures prior to their completion to ensure the servicer is complying with applicable laws and regulations and that appropriate foreclosure prevention efforts have been made. This guidance issued in April applies to all large and midsize national banks and federal savings associations not just those servicers covered by our foreclosure-related enforcement actions issued in April 2011.
About the Enforcement Actions
The enforcement actions were based on interagency examinations conducted in the fourth quarter of 2010. A summary of the findings of the interagency reviews is available in the Interagency Review of Foreclosure Policies and Practices, which was produced by the OCC, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the OTS.
Links to the OCC and former OTS Enforcement Actions (Issued April 2011):
Links to Enforcement Action Amendments for Servicers Entering the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement (Issued February 2013):
Additional Background Information
The OCC released engagement letters that describe how the independent consultants, retained by the servicers, will conduct their reviews and claims processes in accordance with the OCC's consent orders. See the engagement letters.
On June 21, 2012, the OCC released its second interim report on the status of the Independent Foreclosure Review and actions required by consent orders issued in April 2011 to correct deficient mortgage servicing and foreclosure processes. Read the report.