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Federal Reserve Board of Governors

What You Need to Know: Independent Foreclosure Review
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January 27, 2014 Update: Payments to 232,000 Borrowers Whose Mortgages Serviced by GMAC Mortgage to Begin on Monday, January 27

Payments to more than 232,000 borrowers whose mortgages were serviced by GMAC Mortgage are scheduled to begin on Monday, January 27, following an agreement announced in July of last year by the Federal Reserve Board.

The agreement--payment details can be found here (PDF)--provides approximately $230 million in direct payments to borrowers whose homes were at any stage of the foreclosure process in 2009 and 2010 with GMAC Mortgage. The payments stem from similar agreements reached in 2013 between 15 servicers and two agencies--the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve. The agreements provide for more than $3.9 billion in cash payments to approximately 4.4 million borrowers.

In most cases, borrowers will receive a letter with an enclosed check sent by the Paying Agent--Rust Consulting, Inc. By cashing or depositing the check, borrowers do not waive any legal claims they may have. Some borrowers may receive letters from Rust requesting additional information needed to process their payments. Previously, Rust sent postcards to borrowers notifying them of their eligibility to receive payment under the agreement.

Borrowers can call Rust at 1-888-952-9105 to update their contact information, verify that they are covered by the agreement, or with further questions. Information provided to Rust will only be used for purposes related to the agreement.

December 10, 2013 Update: GMAC Mortgage Borrower Information Postcards Mailed

On December 10, 2013, Rust Consulting, Inc. mailed postcards to more than 232,000 borrowers whose mortgage loans were serviced by GMAC Mortgage notifying them that they should expect to receive a payment, or a letter describing additional information needed to process their payment, by the end of January 2014. This payment is related to an agreement between GMAC Mortgage and the Federal Reserve Board in July 2013 to compensate borrowers who were in the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010.

Borrowers can call 1-888-952-9105, which is the number for Rust Consulting, to update their contact information, verify that they are covered by the agreement, or to ask further questions.

July 26, 2013 Update: GMAC Mortgage joins Payment Agreement

GMAC Mortgage has reached an agreement with the Federal Reserve Board to pay $230 million in direct cash payments to eligible borrowers.  The $230 million to be paid by GMAC Mortgage includes $32 million that will satisfy GMAC Mortgage’s obligation to provide loss-mitigation assistance.  The Payment Agreement with GMAC Mortgage is similar to the Payment Agreements reached in January 2013 with 13 other mortgage servicers.  For more information on the Payment Agreement, click here. As of July 26, the Independent Foreclosure Review has ended at all mortgage servicers supervised by the Federal Reserve Board that were subject to foreclosure-related enforcement actions.

Background

The Federal Reserve Board issued enforcement actions against four large mortgage servicers--GMAC Mortgage, HSBC Finance Corporation, SunTrust Mortgage, and EMC Mortgage Corporation--in April 2011. Under those actions, the four servicers were required to retain independent consultants to review foreclosures that were initiated, pending, or completed during 2009 or 2010. The review was intended to determine if borrowers suffered financial harm directly resulting from errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies that may have occurred during the foreclosure process. In September 2011 and April 2012, the Federal Reserve Board issued similar enforcement actions against Goldman Sachs (Litton Loan Servicing LP) and Morgan Stanley (Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc.).1 

A number of servicers supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) were also required to conduct independent reviews. (See below for the full list of servicers.)

The deadline to request an independent review was December 31, 2012.

Eligibility for Independent Foreclosure Review

Borrowers were eligible for an independent foreclosure review if they met the following criteria:

  • the property securing the loan was the borrower's primary residence;
  • the mortgage was in the foreclosure process (initiated, pending, or completed) at any time between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010; and  
  • the mortgage was serviced by one of the following mortgage servicers:
America's Servicing Company* Countrywide* National City Mortgage*
Aurora Loan Services* EMC Mortgage Corporation* PNC Mortgage*
BAC Home Loans Servicing* EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company* Sovereign Bank*
Bank of America* Financial Freedom (OneWest) SunTrust Mortgage*
Beneficial* GMAC Mortgage* U.S. Bank*
Chase* HFC* Wachovia Mortgage*
Citibank* HSBC* Washington Mutual (WaMu)*
CitiFinancial* IndyMac Mortgage Services (OneWest) Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.*
CitiMortgage* MetLife Bank* Wilshire Credit Corporation*

*These companies are participating in the Payment Agreement.

Eligible borrowers were sent a Request for Review form by mail starting in November of 2011 when the program launched.

If a borrower previously filed a complaint with these servicers about foreclosures pending during the review period, they were still eligible to file for an independent review of their foreclosure.

There were no costs associated with being included in the review; the review was a free program. Borrowers should beware of anyone requiring payments for assistance in connection with the Independent Foreclosure Review or any other foreclosure assistance program.

Federal Reserve's Role

The Federal Reserve's role is to ensure compliance with the enforcement actions issued in April and September of 2011 and April of 2012, including the payment process under the agreement in principle announced in January of 2013.

OCC and Federal Reserve examiners are continuing to closely monitor the servicers' implementation of plans required by the enforcement actions to correct the unsafe and unsound mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices.


1. Although not part of the Independent Foreclosure Review, on January 16, 2013, Goldman Sachs (Litton Loan Servicing LP) and Morgan Stanley (Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc.) reached similar agreements in principle with the Federal Reserve to enforcement actions for deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing. Return to text. More information on the Payment Agreement.

Related Links

Press Release

July 26, 2013

Press Release

May 8, 2013

Press Release

April 29, 2013

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April 17, 2013

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April 9, 2013

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February 28, 2013

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January 18, 2013

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January 16, 2013

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January 7, 2013

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August 2, 2012

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June 21, 2012

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March 8, 2012

Press Release

February 27, 2012

Press Release

February 15, 2012

Press Release

November 1, 2011

Press Release

April 13, 2011

Report

April, 2011

Resource

June 21, 2012

 

Last update: February 6, 2014