Back in 2009 and 2010, a lot of people were facing the prospect of losing their homes – many of them wrongly. Some were military members who were evicted without the court order that’s required by law. Some applied for a modification to their mortgage and were foreclosed on due to mistakes that were made during the process. A few even lost their homes without having defaulted on a single payment.
In 2011, the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency forced banks to bring in independent consultants to review the foreclosures they had on file for the previous couple of years. When the review process became bogged down, it was halted; and a settlement was struck with the banks instead. As a result they are required to pay out $3.6 billion in cash and provide $5.7 billion worth in other assistance to 4.2 million homeowners across the country. Payments for the settlement began in April and are expected to last through mid-July. The checks will range from $300 – $125,000, with the smallest payments going to those who were wrongfully denied loan modifications and the largest payments going to those who should have never lost their homes in the first place.
As with any situation that involves a settlement, there’s always the possibility of mistakes and scams – so here are a couple of things you should keep in mind in order to keep them from happening to you:
- The burden’s on you. On March 18, people who were eligible under the settlement to receive a check were sent a postcard. If you believe you are eligible and didn’t receive one of the notices, it’s up to you to pursue the matter. You’ll need to contact Rust Consulting, the company hired to distribute the payments. They can be reached at 1-888-952-9105.
- The entire check is yours. No one will send you the check then ask you to cash it and return a portion of it. The entire check will be yours to keep. If someone does ask you to do this, it’s a scam and should be reported to the local authorities.
- The check is free. You do not have to pay any kind of fee in order to get the check. If someone asks you to do so, it’s a scam and should be reported to the local authorities.
If you are here in Ohio and are facing the need for a foreclosure defense attorney, please contact us for help. Helping homeowners navigate these troubled times is part of our job.