OCC: Independent Reviews Coming Soon for Foreclosure Victims

Mortgage & Real Estate

Any borrower who believes they were harmed by a foreclosure initiated by 14 major servicing banks soon can seek out an independent review of their case, according to Comptroller of the Currency John Walsh.

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A well-functioning servicing sector is an essential piece of improving conditions in the housing market, which includes a “functional and fair foreclosure process” for borrowers, Walsh explained during a keynote address at SourceMedia’s ‘Mortgage Regulatory Forum,’ which kicked off Monday afternoon in Washington.

Under the direction of federal regulators, servicers have retained independent consultants to review files to identify borrowers who were harmed financially. (All 14 – including Bank of America and Wells Fargo – are party to robosigning negotiations being conducted with state attorneys general.)

Comptroller Walsh stressed that more needs to be done to assure that borrowers are entitled to restitution and remediation – and are actually  contacted.

In the next several weeks a coordinated outreach effort will be launched, Walsh said. “To ensure injured homeowners had the opportunity to seek relief, it became clear that what was needed was a robust, transparent and accessible complaint process that will give homeowners the opportunity to request an independent foreclosure review,” he said.

A direct mail campaign will be launched to contact borrowers who had a foreclosure action pending between January 2009 and December 2010.

The independent consultants also will engage in a coordinated advertising campaign to help contact borrowers.

All of the consultants will use a single claims processing vendor and will utilize the same in-take forms, sharing a common website and telephone number.

Borrowers can call the toll-free phone number for assistance in filing a foreclosure review request.

Daily Briefing | Monday, September 19, 2011

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