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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
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Federal Reserve Board of Governors

What You Need to Know: Independent Foreclosure Review
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PLEASE NOTE: As of July 2013, the Independent Foreclosure Review ended at all mortgage servicers supervised by the Federal Reserve that were subject to foreclosure-related enforcement actions. The mortgage servicers 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. More information regarding the Payment Agreement can be found here.

Background and History

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 07, 2014

Press Release

July 26, 2013

Press Release

May 8, 2013

Press Release

April 29, 2013

Press Release 

April 17, 2013

Press Release 

April 9, 2013

Press Release

February 28, 2013

Press Release 

January 18, 2013

Press Release

January 16, 2013

Press Release

January 7, 2013

Press Release

August 2, 2012

Press Release

June 21, 2012

Press Release

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: March 9, 2015