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Federal Reserve Board of Governors

What You Need to Know: Independent Foreclosure Review: Payment Agreement
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Payment Agreement Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Independent Foreclosure Review agreement?
In 2013, 15 mortgage servicing companies subject to enforcement actions for deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing reached an agreement in principle with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to provide approximately $10 billion in cash payments and other assistance to help borrowers. The sum includes $3.9 billion in direct cash payments to eligible borrowers and $6.1 billion in other foreclosure prevention assistance, such as loan modifications and forgiveness of deficiency judgments. The servicers participating in the Payment Agreement include Aurora Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, EverBank, GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo and certain of their affiliated mortgage companies. All participating servicers and their affiliated mortgage companies are listed below:

America's Servicing Company EMC Mortgage Corporation PNC Mortgage
Aurora Loan Services

EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company

Saxon Mortgage
BAC Home Loans Servicing GMAC Mortgage Sovereign Bank
Bank of America Goldman Sachs SunTrust Mortgage
Beneficial HFC U.S. Bank
Chase HSBC Wachovia Mortgage
Citibank Litton Loan Servicing LP Washington Mutual (WaMu)
CitiFinancial MetLife Bank Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
CitiMortgage Morgan Stanley Wilshire Credit Corporation
Countrywide National City Mortgage  

For the participating servicers, fulfillment of the agreement would satisfy the foreclosure review requirements of enforcement actions issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of Thrift Supervision in April and September 2011 and April 2012. As a result of the Payment Agreement, the participating servicers have ceased the Independent Foreclosure Review, which involved case-by-case reviews, and replaced it with a broader framework allowing all of the borrowers of the participating servicers covered by the agreement to receive compensation significantly more quickly. The Independent Foreclosure Review Process was completed for the one servicer that did not enter into the agreement (OneWest Bank/IndyMac Mortgage Services).

2. The check I received from the Independent Foreclosure Payment Agreement has now expired, what do I do?
All outstanding checks for Federal Reserve supervised servicers expired as of March 31, 2016 and will not be honored if presented for payment. In November 2015, the Federal Reserve Board announced a plan to redistribute unclaimed funds under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement to eligible borrowers who cashed or deposited their checks by March 31, 2016. The plan covers borrowers of mortgage servicers regulated by the Federal Reserve, which includes GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs/Litton Loan Servicing, Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage Services, SunTrust and some borrowers of HSBC and JPMorgan Chase. If you were not able to cash or deposit your check by March 31, 2016, you will not be included in the redistribution.

3. Is there a deadline to request a name on a check to be changed or to have a payment split among different borrowers on the loan?
The deadline to request the form to change the payee name on a check and the deadline to request a payment to be split among different borrowers on the loan has passed.

4. Where can I find a copy of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System reached agreements in principle with the participating servicers. The agreement was memorialized into an amendment to the consent order for each of the first 13 servicers on February 28, 2013, for GMAC Mortgage on July 26, 2013, and for EverBank on August 23, 2013. The amendments to the consent orders are available on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's website, www.occ.gov, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System's website, www.federalreserve.gov.

5. How do I know the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement is legitimate?
You can find the joint press release the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued regarding the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement here. You can find the amendments to the consent orders that memorialize the agreement in principle here. Information regarding GMAC Mortgage can be found here

6. What servicers are included in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
The servicers participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement include: Aurora Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, EverBank, GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo and certain of their affiliated mortgage companies (collectively the "participating servicers"). Participating servicers and their affiliated mortgage companies are listed below:

America's Servicing Company EMC Mortgage Corporation PNC Mortgage
Aurora Loan Services

EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company

Saxon Mortgage
BAC Home Loans Servicing GMAC Mortgage Sovereign Bank
Bank of America Goldman Sachs SunTrust Mortgage
Beneficial HFC U.S. Bank
Chase HSBC Wachovia Mortgage
Citibank Litton Loan Servicing LP Washington Mutual (WaMu)
CitiFinancial MetLife Bank Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
CitiMortgage Morgan Stanley Wilshire Credit Corporation
Countrywide National City Mortgage  

7. What servicers are not included in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
The servicer not participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement is: OneWest Bank/IndyMac Mortgage Services. For this servicer, the Independent Foreclosure Review was completed.

8. How many borrowers are included in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
Approximately 4.4 million eligible borrowers were sent a cash payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement.

9. Does the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement mean that an independent consultant will not review my mortgage loan file?
Yes. Under the terms of the agreement, the individual mortgage loan file reviews being conducted by each of the independent consultants for the participating servicers have stopped. This allowed borrowers of the participating servicers covered by the agreement to receive compensation significantly more quickly. The Independent Foreclosure Review was completed for the one mortgage loan servicer that did not participate in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement: OneWest Bank/IndyMac Mortgage Services.

10. Did the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System conclude that all borrowers eligible for the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement were the victims of financial harm?
No. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System entered into the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement because it provided the greatest benefit to consumers subject to unsafe and unsound mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices at the participating servicers during the relevant period in a more timely manner than would have occurred under the review process.

11. Who will receive payments as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
Borrowers whose primary residence was in foreclosure at any time between the dates of January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010, with one of the participating servicers, were eligible to receive a cash payment under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement.

12. How much will I receive as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System published the categories and payment amounts for each category for all servicers on their websites. Payments ranged from $300 to $125,000 plus equity.

13. Will I be prevented from taking other action against my mortgage loan servicer if I receive a payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
No. Receiving a payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement will not prevent you from taking any action you may wish to pursue related to your foreclosure. Servicers are not permitted to ask borrowers to sign a waiver of any legal claims they may have against their servicer in connection with receiving payment.

14. When will I receive my check as part of the Payment Agreement?
The Paying Agent, Rust Consulting, began sending payments to borrowers covered by the Payment Agreement beginning in April 2013. All payments have now been mailed at least once, but in most cases more than once and all outstanding checks for Federal Reserve supervised servicers expired on March 31, 2016.

In November 2015, the Federal Reserve announced a plan to redistribute unclaimed funds under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement to eligible borrowers who cashed or deposited their checks by the March 31, 2016 deadline. The plan covers borrowers of mortgage servicers supervised by the Federal Reserve, which includes GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs/Litton Loan Servicing, Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage Services, SunTrust and some borrowers of HSBC and JPMorgan Chase. If your servicer was HSBC or JPMorgan Chase, please call the Paying Agent at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET or Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET to determine whether you are covered by the plan.

If your servicer was EverBank, please call Epiq Systems, the Paying Agent for the EverBank agreement at 1-877-819-9754 regarding the status of your payment.

15. How do I verify that I'm covered by the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement and should have received a cash payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
To verify whether you were covered by the Payment Agreement, you can contact Rust Consulting, the Independent Foreclosure Review Paying Agent, at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET or Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET. Epiq Systems is the Paying Agent for the EverBank agreement. For questions related to the EverBank agreement, please visit www.EverBankIndependentForeclosureReview.com or call 1-877-819-9754.

16. How will the Paying Agent contact me if I have moved?
You can contact Rust Consulting, the Independent Foreclosure Review Paying Agent, at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET or Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET to provide your updated contact information. Information provided to Rust will only be used for purposes related to the agreement.

Epiq Systems is the Paying Agent for the EverBank agreement. For questions related to the EverBank agreement, please visit www.EverBankIndependentForeclosureReview.com or call 1-877-819-9754.

17. How were payments determined?
Borrowers were placed into categories according to the stage of their foreclosure process and the type of possible servicer error. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board then determined amounts for each category using the financial remediation matrix published in June 2012 as a guide, incorporating input from various consumer groups. Regulators have published the payment amounts and number of people in each category for all servicers on their websites at www.occ.gov/independentforeclosurereview and www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/independent-foreclosure-review-payment-agreement.htm.

18. Can I appeal the determination of the compensation amount I receive as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement if I am dissatisfied with the payment?
No. The payment amount received is considered final, and there is no process to appeal the payment amount distributed to you as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement. However, receiving a payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement will not prevent you from taking any other action you may wish to pursue against your servicer regarding your foreclosure. Your servicer is not permitted to ask you for a waiver of any legal claims you may have against your servicer in connection with receiving a payment.

19. I have been told that I am not eligible to receive a payment, but I think I should be eligible. What can I do?
In order to be eligible, your primary residence needed to have been in any stage of the foreclosure process at any time between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010, with one of the participating servicers. If you believe you meet these eligibility requirements, contact Rust Consulting, who can check your eligibility status against their records, at 1-888-952-9105. If your servicer is supervised by the Federal Reserve--GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs (Litton Loan Servicing LP), Morgan Stanley (Saxon Mortgage), SunTrust, HSBC (HBIO), or JPMC (EMC)--and Rust has told you that you are not eligible, you may contact the Federal Reserve's Consumer Help Line if you wish to file a complaint regarding your mortgage loan.

20. If I'm currently going through foreclosure, will the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement affect, stop, or delay my foreclosure action?
No. Accepting a payment under the agreement will not affect, stop, or delay your pending foreclosure sale date. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System encourage you to continue to work directly with your servicer. The Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement will not affect any other efforts you are making with your servicer to prevent a foreclosure sale, and it is not intended to replace your current active efforts with your mortgage loan servicer.

21. I am currently working with my mortgage loan servicer on a loan modification. How will the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement affect my work with my mortgage loan servicer related to a loan modification?
The Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement will not affect any options you may be pursuing with your servicer. The Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement is not intended to replace your current active efforts with your servicer.

22. How will my tax obligations or public assistance benefits be affected by the payment I receive from the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
Any payments received as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement may affect your taxes or public assistance benefits. The Paying Agent, Rust Consulting, will report any income that is required to be reported. If required, tax documentation, such as a Form 1099, will be sent according to the timeline mandated by the IRS. If you received a check dated in 2013 or 2014, but you have not received any tax documents, you may call Rust Consulting at 1-888-952-9105 so they can tell you if you should be expecting tax documents. If you received a check dated in 2015, tax documents may be mailed in early 2016. In most cases, tax documents will not be issued for payments that are less than $600. If you have questions about the impact of this payment on your tax liabilities or public assistance benefits, you may wish to consult a qualified tax advisor, individual or organization. Additional tax information is available at www.independentforeclosurereview.com and www.irs.gov.

Please note that if a borrower of a Federal Reserve supervised servicer did not cash or deposit their check by March 31, 2016, the Federal Reserve has instructed Rust Consulting to reverse any applicable tax reporting from that payment with the IRS and mail the borrower a corrected tax reporting document.

23. If my servicer is not participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement and I filed a Request for Review form, when will I receive notice of the outcome of my file review?
The independent consultant for the servicer not participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement has completed the review of mortgage loan files for financial injury and all checks have been mailed to eligible borrowers. Please refer to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's website at www.occ.gov for information regarding the servicers under their supervisory authority and specifically, the agreement with EverBank and the review that was completed at OneWest Bank/IndyMac Mortgage Services.

24. How are military servicemembers affected by the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
All servicemembers whose mortgage loan was serviced by one of the participating servicers and whose primary residence was in a foreclosure action in 2009 or 2010 were included under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement. Borrowers whose payment amounts were based on their status under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), as indicated in the letter enclosed with their payments, had two years from the date of their initial check to have their check reissued. The deadline to request to have a check reissued has now passed.

25. What happens if I am not covered by the Payment Agreement?
If you are having difficulties with your mortgage, please call or write your servicer directly. However, if you are not satisfied with the response from your servicer, you may also contact the servicer's regulator. For more information, visit the OCC site at www.helpwithmybank.gov or the Federal Reserve site at http://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.gov. Additionally, homeowners may contact a HUD-approved nonprofit organization that helps homeowners in distress. Information about HUD-approved nonprofit organizations that can provide free assistance is available at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/get-answers/Pages/get-answers-how-to-find-housing-counselor.aspx or by calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).

26. What are the details regarding the redistribution of funds planned for 2016 to those borrowers of Federal Reserve supervised servicers who already cashed or deposited their checks?
In a press release dated November 19, 2015, the Federal Reserve Board announced a plan to redistribute unclaimed funds under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement to eligible borrowers who have cashed or deposited their checks by March 31, 2016. The plan covers borrowers of mortgage servicers supervised by the Federal Reserve, which includes GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs/Litton Loan Servicing, Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage Services, SunTrust and some borrowers of HSBC and JPMorgan Chase.

The amount of the redistribution check, which will depend on the amount of funds remaining, will be determined after March 31, 2016. The redistribution is expected to occur in mid-2016. Unless borrowers provide an updated address, the Paying Agent, Rust Consulting, will mail the redistribution check to the last address on the record. If a borrower has moved since the receipt of the check that they cashed or deposited, please call Rust Consulting at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. ET or Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET to provide updated contact information.

If your servicer was HSBC or JPMorgan Chase, please call Rust Consulting, to determine whether you are covered by the plan.

Continue to visit http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/independent-foreclosure-review-payment-agreement.htm for future updates regarding the redistribution of unclaimed funds planned for mid-2016.

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Last update: April 1, 2016