Nearly all of the 4.2 million payout checks from the failed Independent Foreclosure Review have been issued, worth about $3.5 billion.
Rust Consulting, the paying agent, will mail about 37,000 remaining checks totaling more than $43 million later this summer to complete the distribution of checks, according to the latest update from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
However, about $1 billion worth of checks have gone uncashed or undeposited. No numbers have been released as to how many represent checks mailed to wrong addresses, or checks that have been lost or checks that recipients have simply refused to claim, one way or another.
Although the check amounts were from $300 to $125,000, depending on the degree of wrongdoing by 13 mortgage services, the vast majority were at the lower end of the range, a few hundred dollars each.
The OCC is reminding recipients that checks — the first wave was mailed April 12 — carry a 90-day expiration date to prevent fraud. So checks issued in the early waves of mailings that have not been cashed or deposited have begun to expire.
Borrowers wishing to cash checks that have expired can contact Rust Consulting to request a new check at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. ET, or Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET.
Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this past week that regulators who supervised the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement plan will release more data on what consultants found when studying foreclosures from 2009 and 2010.
The new information won’t likely mean much to consumer advocates, many lawmakers and the IFR recipients themselves who have sought more transparency on how payout amounts were decided and the true extent of wrongful actions by the servicers.
During a Senate Banking Committee hearing Thursday, Bernanke told Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, that regulators are currently working on a report regarding loans files that were reviewed before the IFR settlement was reached in January of this year.
Warren is among a handful of Democratic lawmakers who have been very critical of the regulators’ handling of the foreclosure reviews and the subsequent settlement valued at more than $9 billion.
The following banks, their affiliates, or subsidiaries, are party to the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.