Independent Foreclosure Review: No Appeal Process for Borrowers in Settlement


Up to 4.2 million wronged foreclosure victims can anticipate cash payments or other compensation from a “paying agent” who will help determine precise eligibility and contact homeowners by the end of March with an update.

But borrowers that are part of the nearly $9.3 billion settlement in the previously-labeled Independent Foreclosure Review cannot appeal their compensation amount, according to a recently updated FAQs web page for the settlement.

“The payment amount is final, and there is no appeal process of the compensation payment amounts distributed to you as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement,” according to bank regulators.

However, any settlement amount does not prevent a borrower from taking any action against the mortgage servicer. Simply said: You’ll have to hire a lawyer and sue.

“Borrowers will not be required to execute a waiver of any legal claims they may have against their servicer as a condition for receiving payment,” according the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, one of the lead regulators in overseeing the settlement.

Thirteen banks have agreed to provide more than $9.3 billion in cash payments and other assistance to help borrowers, under the settlement. The sum includes $3.6 billion in direct cash payments to eligible borrowers and $5.7 billion in other foreclosure prevention assistance, such as loan modifications and forgiveness of deficiency judgments.

But critics of the deal contend there is no way to measure if compensation is fair because the degree of wrongdoing by the mortgage servicers may never come to light with the end of the review process.

The settlements spells the end of the reviews of foreclosure actions taken in 2009 and 2010 by the following banks: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

There are three mortgage servicers not participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement: Ally, EverBank, and OneWest. The independent consultants retained by these servicers continue with the review process.

Here’s another important Q&A from the OCC web page:

How much will I receive as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement? 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are in the process of determining compensation amounts. After the compensation amounts have been determined, the agencies will make information about the distribution plan publicly available. Please continue to regularly check the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Web site, www.occ.gov, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s Web site, www.federalreserve.gov, for additional details regarding compensation amounts.


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11 Responses to “Independent Foreclosure Review: No Appeal Process for Borrowers in Settlement”

  1. Sandy Christine says:

    Of 4 million borrowers who have lost their homes, only 500,000 applied for the Independent Foreclosure Review” and yet the “independent services” hired to do the work still could not complete the reviews after nearly 3 years? We offered all the documentation needed to review our case, but it was never requested or accepted.
    Why should GMAC and 2 other servicers have the option of not participating? They put millions of homeowners into foreclosure and bankruptcy proceedings. How is it fair that 90% of the people affected by poor foreclosure practices (or not) are receiving settlements, but those with GMAC are not? How is that a fair practice? How can the Federal Reserve and the OCC find that acceptable? How can it be “allowed”? Please don’t’ come back with that “for the good of the many” response for those who are just as deserving as the rest – and in some cases even more so since now even those who were not damaged by their servicers will be receiving compensation.
    GMAC definitely could win the competition not only for “robo-signing” or refusing loan modifications or not suspending foreclosures, but for having the nastiest bunch of employees you could ever deal with – people who treated you like you were incredibly stupid for being in this position in the first place, people who actually lived in India and didn’t speak English, people who did speak English who were obviously getting paid for the number of modification requests they rejected who must have been so desperate to support their own families that they sold out to the devil and lost all humanity toward the people they were dealing with. And we had to wait on hold 20 – 60 minutes for the privilege of speaking with these people. I came very close to having a total breakdown during the 2+ years I begged these people to save our home. I can name names (probably fake), but I have extensive records on who I talked to and when. And now we are apparently going to be subjected to another round of stress and humiliation from GMAC being allowed to “opt out” of the settlement.
    The losses for my husband and me (as for many others no doubt) were life changing and many can never be remedied:
    Giving up guardianship of our 4 grandchildren
    Losing our down payment and the ability to save for another
    Losing the $75,000 we invested to make a home for our grandchildren in an attempt to finish the unfinished portion of the home we bought for them
    Going through bankruptcy
    Irreparable damage to our credit rating
    Losing homeownership which cannot be regained at this time in life (both seniors)
    Accruing medical bills from the affects the stress and anxiety experienced by ill treatment from GMAC employees and continued problems resulting from this latest settlement outcome
    (This is the short list)
    To the politicians who say there were those who “just stopped paying their mortgage and walked away who shouldn’t be receiving a settlement”. Maybe. If that is true then of course no settlement should be received (but apparently they will receive one anyway). But look again. Maybe after a forbearance that was completed and then rejected and six attempts at loan modifications and the fees that were added on by the mortgage company, or being kicked out of their home in the middle of one last attempt at a loan modification etc. it became impossible for the homeowners to meet the payment.
    But here we are. We applied for the Independent Foreclosure Review. We consulted our HUD counselor (whose services are free to everyone) to find out if it was legitimate. We have two 4” binders full of documentation of our efforts. We have our local HUD counselor willing to speak about her experiences with GMAC on our behalf. We have records of the Green Path counselors contacting GMAC on our behalf because they were so appalled by the way we were being treated. GMAC treated them just as rudely and coldly as they treated us.
    So after fulfilling all the requirements for the original Independent Foreclosure Review, having spent months putting historical information in chronological order in anticipation of providing it to the “independent reviewers” only to find that we are not included in the final version of the review and that millions of less qualified and less victimized former and current homeowners who didn’t even bother to participate in the original review will receive payouts and other benefits, and we will be stuck with the original procedure that has never been completed since inception and turns out to be run by not so independent reviewers who have very close relationships with the corrupt mortgage company who made every effort to screw us and put us through a never ending living hell in the first place. And now, of course, since they are protecting themselves in bankruptcy, we will never see any restitution at all even through the original process. Hiring a private lawyer (who is probably a scammer anyway [and who has money for that after wasting it all on home ownership and going bankrupt?]) would also be a waste of time. When we received notice from GMAC that they were initiating bankruptcy proceedings, I called the Independent Foreclosure Review ‘800’ number and asked if this would affect GMAC’s participation in the process and/or if we needed to file an individual claim. I was told that it would not affect the review process or payments, and I did not need to file a claim. How is this all fair?
    My husband and I are 57 and 66 years old. We have both been fortunate to obtain employment after our former employers closed in 2008/9. However, my husband is being paid half of what he previously earned, and I am being paid very little more than my former job. It took me 17 months to find a job after the closure and 6 months for my husband. I am not at an age where career climbing is an option. I am at an age where I feel lucky to have a job and will likely work as long as I can or until I die because I will never be able afford retirement.

    We now rent half of a duplex 2 blocks from our first home that we owned. We had 26 years of homeownership during which we never missed a payment until this last experience with GMAC. Now there is not enough lifetimes left to save a down payment for a home or have our credit restored to be considered by a lender. We have astronomical medical bills as a result of the affects this has had on our health. The home we lost is now owned by someone else who was ready to take advantage of our misfortune.
    I’m sure we are not alone in this. I know from reading every article I can find that many, many others are in a similar place in time after going through this last economic crisis. The nation may feel it is on the mend, but for many of us it will never be over as recovery will not be possible in the time we have left on earth.
    I was obviously experiencing early onset dementia when I hoped that this review could restore our home ownership or maybe provide a down payment for another home. Like many others, home ownership and taking care of our family has been the #1 priority in our lives, and now we have failed at both. This latest twist in the “Independent foreclosure review settlement” has finally taken away all hope that we will be a part of any settlement in our lifetime.
    Taking care of our families and home ownership is the “American dream”. It is what we are brainwashed from infancy to strive for. A successful career is only a means to that end for most of us – only surpassed by being able to make a difference on a global scale. It is very difficult to accept failure when we have devoted so much of our lives to reaching that goal and seemed to have it well in our grasp and then lose it. I guess in the world of finance, we have to look at it as a poor investment and move on (down).
    Ironically, I have no place to send this correspondence. No contacts. No recourse. I guess the Federal Reserve and the OCC figure they have done the “best they could for the good of the many” and aren’t really interested in hearing from those they didn’t help with clear instructions posted that they haven’t the time to deal with individual cases. I believe that.
    Did I mention the part about how we had to beg landlords to allow us to rent from them? And now it is once again tax time when we have to pay the price of the loss of homeownership once again.

  2. Brock says:

    Sandy

    My heart goes out to you and your family
    I know what you are going through.but
    In regards to gmac they still must complete
    The review process as mandated by the original
    consent order. Gmac should have them completed
    Within a year! So don’t give up hope yet you
    May still get compensated.

  3. J. Cowin says:

    We got the notice in the mail along with millions of people about the settlement from Chase bank. I am glad this is over however the damage is already done for so many. We owned a home through Chase and tried to go through a loan modification. We were told not to pay our payments since we would qualify in their initial review and within 3 months our loan would be modified and we would be notified on our new lower payments. Our home loan was in my husbands name yet during this process they still requested my info and income too. After almost 4 months of us calling a few times a week and the bank asking us for additional items and updates they said we did not qualify. Then they contacted us in the same week, they said that we would qualify under their new program so we asked about our past due mortgage and they said not to worry about it and that with this new program it would wrap back into our loan and we would basically start our payments over. During this time we were using our payment money to catch up and pay off other bills feeling that Chase was helping us. HA!! what a joke after almost another 3 months they said we did not qualify for this process. At this point we would need to pay all that we were past due in order to keep our home. We contacted another agency that did not see why my husband wouldn’t qualify with a wife and 2 kids on his income and didnt understand why they wanted my info and added it all inwhen the modification would be under him still. Then Chase said we could take our past due and they could expand it into our current payments and make it affordable for us. Then they came back a week later and said they would have to take the past due plus fees and split it into 3 payments making our payments for these months on top of our regular mortgage payment too high for us to afford. It would have took our ENTIRE income to make each payment and leave us nothing for food, car payments, utilities, etc. They basically had the attitude of oh well. We trusted Chase and believed them in the beginning, however by the time we realized we were getting the run around it was to late for us to save our home, we just couldnt afford the payments they wanted. This shocked us when we heard how many other people they screwed over.3 from the same neighborhood alone. I will never buy through them again and have learned a lesson or two on this. The struggles we faced with all this was hard. Having our daughter and a new baby and everything else going on more than I could imagine at that time. We lost more than just a house, we lost our home and security no to mention so much more however we werent the only ones. There are so many that did and many with harder lives than us. Chase and these other banks abused their position and should have to pay for that. I can say though, a few hundred doesnt replace the loss of your security and home.

  4. Sandy C says:

    Thanks for words of hope, Brock. Unfortunately I gave up hope several years ago. At this point I am just so angry and distraught that we and other customers of GMAC (and the other 2 banks) are such an expendable portion of the already “harmed” population of this new foreclosure review process that we can actually be reliving the same or similar rejection and distress we went through when trying to save our homes in the first place. I currently equate the Federal Reserve and OCC with the GMAC employees I had to deal with during the foreclosure process except there is no response from them at all. The message is even worse when what I am hearing is everyone else will receive consideration – even many who didn’t request it and may not need or want it – except those chosen few losers whose servicers who once again are able to scam out of even the lowest level of participation. Slapped in the face again by our “trustees”.
    I would like to believe that GMAC is still being required to participate in the original foreclosure review, but I seriously doubt that. I do know that I am a different person than I was when this all started – not so naieve for sure – and not such an enthusiastic participant in the success of our economy.
    I have never spoken out about an injustice before. I feel like a whiner expressing my sentiments about this in every possible forum I can find. I am not not looking for entitlement. I would just hope to receive the same consideration as all the others that entered into this program.

  5. RacheK says:

    @ J. Cowin ~ I too had Chase. THEY WERE AWFUL, JUST AWFUL! The mortgage was in my husbands name only too and Chase wanted my info also. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why either. I was absolutely fed up with their BS games! They kept losing our paperwork that I had faxed in, would not return my calls until days later, gave us the run a round about a modification. In November of 2011, We were sent a certified letter from Chase offering us to do a Short Sale. When I contacted them, they had no recollection of any such notice being sent to us. After I faxed them the document they originally sent me (of course it took them a week to contact me back after receiving it) I was told “It looks like “things” got crossed in the mail”. Do What? are you kidding me? Long story short……I was able to sell my home via Short Sale 6 months after receiving that letter. So glad that nightmare is over and I will NEVER do business with Chase ever again!

  6. J. Cowin says:

    @Rachek. I know how you feel. I will never do business with Chase again. I am interested to see how much they send to us for them stealing our home. They had us convinced we would get a mod and then after 3 months of paying what they told us to they said that we were not approved. It was a mess and they took the first home that we bought, whether it was just in my husbands name or not it was our home.

  7. J. Cowin says:

    Anyone recieve a check yet?

  8. Thoy says:

    I received a stinking $500 check under the Independent Review qualificaiton over the weekend after over 2 years of nightmare!!! What a fcuking joke!!! As much more as I owed the IRS I will not cash this check for the rest of my life!! Not worth my time, effort, life nor my soul!! Such an incredible let down!!! Slap me some more in the face Wells Fargo!!

  9. Mobile home invasion tips has to be bad for you. Else, the self leveling compound has been applied and has had time to fully dry, apply a second skim coat of plaster and then finished.

    However, the fall came and went without so much as stutter.

  10. kim says:

    I am disgusted with this whole thing. Bank of America initiated foreclosure while my family was under bankruptcy protection, due to my husbands job loss…they refused to help, they stole everything we had from our storage building, including a CAR!! They hung up on us, they took my life, and I get $600??? What a joke they are! So sad that us little guys keep paying for their mistakes, and there isn’t a thing we can do but watch everything we’ve worked for go into foreclosure..it’s a horrible feeling to open that check, and only get the minimum amount, when according to the sheet, we were suppose to receive $62,000…they are all liars and cheats…

  11. Margie Davis says:

    My aunt (who is 96 and has dementia) had her house stolen from her by the California State social worker who was supposedly “helping’ her. Instead, Jill Erickson helped herself to my aunt’s house! The first information my aunt got about the ‘compensation’ she was going to receive claimed that everyone would get at least some $800 – which in itself would be insulting. Yesterday she received her compensation for her $150,00 house — $300. Our gratitude is underwhelming, to say the least. Since these slime balls reneged on their original claim of the minimum foreclosed homeowners would receive, is a class action law suit possible?

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