Independent Foreclosure Review Frequently Asked Questions
1. What was the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment 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 included $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 that participated in the Payment Agreement included 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||HSBC|
|Aurora Loan Services||Litton Loan Servicing LP|
|BAC Home Loans Servicing||MetLife Bank|
|Bank of America||Morgan Stanley|
|Beneficial||National City Mortgage|
|EMC Mortgage Corporation||Wachovia Mortgage|
|EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company||Washington Mutual (WaMu)|
|GMAC Mortgage||Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.|
|Goldman Sachs||Wilshire Credit Corporation|
For the participating servicers, fulfillment of the agreement satisfied 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 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. What is the status of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
As of January 2017, the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) Payment Agreement has concluded. All outstanding checks expired on December 31, 2016. After the initial checks were mailed to borrowers, which began in April 2013, at least two and in most cases three attempts were made to reach each eligible borrower. The Paying Agent, Rust Consulting, Inc. has advised that the efforts undertaken to locate borrowers covered by the payment agreement have exceeded efforts in similar payment distributions. The Federal Reserve has issued a report providing final data on the cash payments made and the foreclosure prevention assistance provided under the Payment Agreement.
3. What were the details regarding the redistribution of funds mailed in August 2016 to those borrowers of Federal Reserve supervised servicers who cashed or deposited their checks by March 31, 2016?
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 cashed or deposited their initial payment checks by March 31, 2016.
The redistribution plan covered borrowers of mortgage servicers supervised by the Federal Reserve, which included GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs/Litton Loan Servicing, Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage Services, SunTrust and some borrowers of HSBC and JPMorgan Chase. The redistribution of funds did not cover borrowers of servicers supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Those borrowers should refer to the OCC's website for more information.
In August 2016, Rust Consulting mailed redistribution payments to nearly 650,000 eligible borrowers of Federal Reserve supervised servicers who cashed or deposited their initial checks from the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) Payment Agreement by the March 31, 2016 deadline. Under the redistribution, every eligible loan was mailed a payment of $124.30. All redistribution payments expired on December 31, 2016 and the IFR Payment Agreement has now concluded.
4. Why did the Federal Reserve elect to redistribute the unclaimed funds from the initial Independent Foreclosure Payment Agreement?
As stated in the November 19, 2015 press release, the Federal Reserve intended to distribute the maximum amount of funds to borrowers potentially affected by deficient servicing and foreclosure practices. The redistribution of funds that remained from the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement resulted in payments totaling over $80 million being mailed to eligible borrowers. Approximately $60 million of the $80 million mailed to eligible borrowers was cashed or deposited by the December 31, 2016 deadline.
5. The check I received from the Independent Foreclosure Payment Agreement has now expired, what do I do?
The IFR Payment Agreement has concluded. All outstanding checks from the IFR Payment Agreement initial distribution and the redistribution for Federal Reserve supervised servicers expired as of December 31, 2016 and will not be honored if presented for payment.
6. What happens to the funds remaining now that the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement has concluded?
As stated throughout the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement program, no funds were returned to the servicers. After a final reconciliation of the Qualified Settlement Funds was completed, any remaining funds attributable to Federal Reserve supervised servicers were remitted to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.
7. 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.
8. What servicers were included in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement?
The servicers that participated in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement included: 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
|BAC Home Loans Servicing||GMAC Mortgage||Sovereign Bank|
|Bank of America||Goldman Sachs||SunTrust 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|
9. Will I be prevented from taking other action against my mortgage loan servicer if I received 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 were not permitted to ask borrowers to sign a waiver of any legal claims they may have against their servicer in connection with receiving payment.
10. What happens if I was 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).