Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 --- 2:07 p.m.
From the Attorney General's Office:
Wisconsin Borrowers Who Lost Homes to Foreclosure May Be Eligible for Payment
MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that approximately 26,400 Wisconsin residents who lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011, soon will receive important information about how to file a claim for payment under the national mortgage settlement.
To be eligible, residents must have had mortgages serviced by one of the five following banks that participated in the settlement:
• Bank of America
• Wells Fargo
• JP Morgan Chase
The exact amount of individual payments will depend on the total number of borrowers who file a claim. Eligible borrowers do not need to prove financial harm to receive a payment, nor do they give up their rights to pursue a lawsuit against their mortgage servicer. Attorney General Van Hollen encourages every eligible Wisconsin citizen to file a claim for their share of the payments.
Form Distribution and Deadline
Last week, the national settlement administrator began mailing notification postcards and emailing notification letters to eligible borrowers nationwide. In Wisconsin, packets containing a letter from the Attorney General, claim form, instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions are being mailed to eligible borrowers beginning September 24, 2012, and continuing through October 12, 2012.
The deadline for all claims is January 18, 2013. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013.
Attorney General Van Hollen urges Wisconsin borrowers to complete their claim forms and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or to file the claim form online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com
Claim Form Assistance Available Free
The one-page claim form is easy to complete. Borrowers who have questions or need assistance filing their claim may contact the settlement administrator toll-free at: 1-866-430-8358. Alternatively, borrowers may send questions by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eligible Borrowers Who Have Not Been Notified
If you believe you may qualify for a payment but have not received a notice in the mail (perhaps because you have moved), you can contact the settlement administrator by calling toll-free at 1-866-430-8358 to request an application. You also may email the settlement administrator at: email@example.com
Receipt of Settlement Funds Does Not Preclude Relief Through The Independent Foreclosure Review Program
If your primary residence was involved in a foreclosure process between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010, you may qualify for a free Independent Foreclosure Review. The Independent Foreclosure Review, a program supervised by federal bank regulators, determines whether individual homeowners suffered financial injury and should receive compensation, or other remedy, due to errors or other problems during their home foreclosure process. The Independent Foreclosure Review program covers many more banks than the five covered by the national mortgage settlement. Homeowners meeting the initial eligibility criteria were mailed notification letters in 2011. Eligible homeowners have until December 31, 2012, to submit the Request for Review form, which can be either mailed or completed online at www.independentforeclosurereview.com
Eligible borrowers may get a payment from the settlement even if they participate in another foreclosure claims process. However, any payment received may reduce payments borrowers may be eligible to receive in any other foreclosure claim process or legal proceeding. Attorney General Van Hollen encourages all Wisconsin residents potentially eligible under either the national mortgage settlement or the Independent Foreclosure Review, or both of these programs, to file claims.
Beware of Scams
Borrowers should not need to pay anyone to file their claim. Attorney General Van Hollen warns all homeowners to be aware of settlement-related scams. Do not provide personal information or pay money to anyone who calls or emails you claiming that they are providing settlement-related assistance. If you believe someone is conducting a settlement-related scam, contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice Consumer Protection Hotline by calling 1-800-998-0700 or 1-608-266-1852 or email the Wisconsin Department of Justice Consumer Protection Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org