National Mortgage Servicer Settlement Progress

On October 2, 2012, in Foreclosure, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

National Mortgage Servicer Settlement Progress Report

We previously wrote about the 25 billion dollar National Mortgage Servicer Settlement and how it, supposedly, helps distressed NY homeowners.

The affected servicers are:

  • Bank of America: 877-488-7814
  • Citibank: 866-272-4749
  • Chase: 866-372-6901
  • GMAC/ALLY: 800-766-4622
  • Wells Fargo: 1-800-288-3212

The above servicers have agreed to provide at least $25 billion in relief to distressed homeowners, the 49 participating states, and the federal government.

Well, have they?

Joseph A. Smith, Jr., the Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, recently released a “Progress Report” that outlines  progress made by the five banks that are parties to the settlement. The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight stated the following in a recent Press Release:

“The report discloses that the banks have granted $10.56 billion in consumer relief to borrowers between March 1 and June 30, 2012. Additionally, first lien principal reduction trials were offered and begun for about 28,000 homeowners, totaling approximately $3 billion of potential relief,” said Smith. “This information is self-reported and has not been confirmed by the professional firms working with me. Further, it represents gross dollar amounts and cannot be used to evaluate progress toward the banks’ $20 billion obligation.”

In addition, the report provides an update on the banks’ implementation of the settlement’s servicing standards.

“As of July 5, the servicers reported to me that 56 servicing standards have been incorporated into their business processes,” continued Smith. “Implementation of the mortgage servicing standards outlined in the settlement can be an important contribution to reform of the mortgage finance system.

Our take: We find some of the language used and statements made in the press release somewhat vague and troublesome. Moreover, we have not seen much relief, under the Mortgage Servicer Settlement, for our clients facing foreclosure. However, it is our understanding that all the the new servicing standards must be implemented by October 3, 2012. Hopefully, we will see more help for distressed homeowners soon thereafter.

See the Press release here.
See the Progress Report here.

If you have any questions about this or other legal issues, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC today, at 516-858-2620, for a free consultation!

News: Banks to reduce mortgage balances?

On May 11, 2011, in Foreclosure, Message/News Board, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

The following is from the Huffington post:

The nation’s five largest mortgage firms may be forced to reduce loan balances for distressed homeowners as part of an agreement with state attorneys general and the Obama administration to settle claims of faulty mortgage practices, a top state official involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.

The proposal is part of a set of remedies banks would have to agree to in order to settle the state and federal probes launched last autumn, which found that the largest mortgage firms illegally seized the homes of at least dozens of borrowers and engaged in shoddy practices that short-changed troubled borrowers.

Mortgage principal reductions would comprise part of a larger fine levied on Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial. Penalties could reach $30 billion, officials said.

The forced reduction of mortgage principal as a penalty against flawed past practices has proven contentious. Some Republican attorneys general have objected, as have some Republican members of Congress…..

The following article is from NY Attorney General Cuomo’s website. It calls for suspension of foreclosures by mortgage servicers engaged in “robo-signing” and offers sound advice to New York homeowners who are facing foreclosure proceedings.

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO EXPANDS PROBE OF NEW YORK FORECLOSURE ACTIONS

Demands information from Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and GMAC Mortgage/Ally ~ Calls for suspension of foreclosures by mortgage servicers engaged in “robo-signing” in New York until accuracy of court documents and integrity of process are assured

NEW YORK, NY (October 12, 2010) – Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that he is seeking information from four major mortgage servicers – Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and GMAC Mortgage/Ally – concerning the filing of affidavits that falsely attest the signer has personal knowledge of the facts presented in home foreclosure proceedings, a practice known as “robo-signing.”

In view of the prevalence of this practice in the industry, Cuomo also called on mortgage servicers engaged in “robo-signing” in New York to immediately suspend all foreclosure actions in the state until they correct their procedures to comply with New York law and can assure the public and the courts that integrity has been restored.

“I will not allow New Yorkers to lose their homes due to mortgage goliaths that buck the system by submitting affidavits signed without knowledge of the facts,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Such conduct is a fraud upon our courts and a slap in the face of New Yorkers struggling to get by in this economy. My office will continue to root out these practices so homeowners receive the full protections afforded by our judicial system.”

Recent reports indicate that employees of these mortgage servicers routinely signed affidavits submitted in foreclosure proceedings without personal knowledge of the underlying facts or verification of loan file information, and without even reading the documents they signed. This practice, known as “robo-signing,” has tainted the integrity of the foreclosure process by which homeowners in New York lose their homes. Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and GMAC Mortgage announced that they were temporarily halting pending foreclosures, while Wells Fargo has not suspended foreclosures despite the deficiencies uncovered.

Attorney General Cuomo is calling on these mortgage servicers to submit documents and information to his office concerning how foreclosure documents are prepared, verified, attested to and notarized, and how required notices are provided to New York homeowners. The letters request that the mortgage servicers stop re-filing foreclosures that had been suspended (and in Wells Fargo’s case, cease proceeding with pending foreclosures) until the Attorney General’s Office is assured that reliable and fair procedures are in place and that accurate, trustworthy documentation will be submitted to the New York courts. The letters also request that the mortgage servicers refrain from filing any new foreclosures until they can provide assurances that their procedures comply with New York law and are neither tainted nor inaccurate.

Because of the gravity of these transgressions and the high volume of foreclosures, Attorney General Cuomo is calling on all mortgage servicers engaged in “robo-signing” in New York to immediately suspend all pending foreclosure actions in the state, including evictions and foreclosure sales. Cuomo is also requesting that the mortgage servicers not file any new foreclosures until the companies correct their procedures.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have been devastated by the foreclosure crisis. In fact, the foreclosure rates in Nassau and Suffolk Counties rank among the ten highest in the nation. More than 60,000 New York homes are currently in foreclosure, and 130,000 New York homeowners have received pre-foreclosure notices this year after falling behind on their mortgage payments.

In addition to his office’s review of Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo and GMAC Mortgage/Ally, Attorney General Cuomo is working with other state attorneys general, banking regulators and other interested parties to assess the veracity of servicers’ foreclosure filings and ensure the fairness and accuracy of their processes.

Attorney General Cuomo advises New York homeowners who are facing foreclosure proceedings to do the following:

  • Contact the court to find out the status of your foreclosure proceeding.
  • Seek representation or advice from a qualified attorney. If necessary, contact your local bar association or legal services office for a referral. If you are unable to retain counsel, carefully review any documents filed thus far with the court to ensure their accuracy.
  • If you have not done so already, immediately contact your lender or servicer to discuss available alternatives to foreclosure such as a loan modification.
  • For a general description of the foreclosure process, refer to www.nyprotectyourhome.com/fc_timeline.html.
  • Consult with a government-approved housing counseling agency. To find counselors approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in your local area, call 800-569-4287 or visit www.hud.gov. A list of housing counselors also can be found via the NYS Banking Department at www.banking.state.ny.us.
  • Call HOPE NOW at 1-888-995-HOPE. HOPE NOW is an alliance of housing counselors, mortgage companies, investors and other mortgage market participants that provides free foreclosure prevention assistance.
  • If you live in New York City, call 311 to schedule free foreclosure counseling sessions at the Center for New York City Neighborhoods.

New York homeowners who believe their homes were foreclosed based upon false or inaccurate documents filed in court by their lender or servicer should seek representation from an attorney. They may also file a complaint with the New York Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Frauds & Protection by calling 800-771-7755 or visiting www.ag.ny.gov.

The investigation, led by Special Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Frauds & Protection Joy Feigenbaum, is being handled by Special Counsel Mary Alestra, Assistant Attorney General Brian Montgomery and Deputy Bureau Chief Jeffrey Powell of the Bureau of Consumer Frauds & Protection under the direction of Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Maria Vullo and Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Michael Berlin.

As always, The Foreclosure Defense Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you. We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY 11501. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a FREE consultation with a foreclosure defense lawyer.

Please visit our Foreclosure category to learn more about foreclosure issues.

Major Banks Halting Foreclosures in NY?

On October 2, 2010, in Foreclosure, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Are foreclosures being halted in NY?

Foreclosure defense is a large part of our law practice. We are currently defending foreclosures brought by GMAC, Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo etc.  For the most part, we have not seen much evidence of these lenders suspending current foreclosure actions. They are still opposing our motions, replying to our answers, and having counsel attend the Mandatory Foreclosure Settlement Conferences on their behalf.

However, we have had several recent loan modification offers, requests for adjournments, and at least one major lender is attempting to discontinue their foreclosure action against one our clients. We were able to achieve the foregoing results by raising and vigorously litigating the “faulty/fraudulent paperwork” that is a part of many foreclosure actions.

So, we know what the headlines say, but we have YET to receive any calls from any lenders or their attorneys saying “Hey, we are discontinuing all of our foreclosures in NY.” We look forward to that day, but until then, we will keep raising the issues and fighting for our clients.

As always, The Foreclosure Defense Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you.  We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY 11501. Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with a foreclosure defense lawyer.

Please visit our Foreclosure category to learn more about foreclosure issues.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. This website is Attorney Advertising. It does not form an attorney-client relationship. We are a debt relief agency and a law firm that helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code – Title 11. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Proudly assisting residents of Long Island, Nassau county, Suffolk county, New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan