Five banks offer relief
Gary Pinnell | Highlands TodaySEBRING - If a letter comes from your bank saying your mortgage has been slashed by $114,000, don't toss it.
Published: September 3, 2012
Published: September 3, 2012
The nation's five largest mortgage servicers — Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — have agreed to an $8.4 billion rebate to Florida customers as part of the robo-signing scandal.
"In most case, the banks notify homeowners if relief is available," said John Lucas, press secretary for the Florida attorney general's office.
Joseph Smith Jr., the national mortgage settlement monitor, has released an interim report on $25 billion in homeowner relief that the nation's mortgage servicers have provided as of June 30.
Based on figures provided by the servicers, more than 23,000 Floridians have already hit the jackpot with $1.7 billion in relief under the settlement. Since March, the average mortgage principal has plunged by $114,000.
Relief provided so far includes first and second lien principal forgiveness, refinancing and deficiency waivers. Banks have three years to meet the settlement terms, but some are offering refinancing and others smaller interest rates, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
In February, Pam Bondi and 48 other state attorneys general entered a landmark $25 billion joint federal-state agreement with the nation's largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage-servicing practices.
Bondi separately negotiated an $8.4 billion agreement with the nation's three largest mortgage servicers to ensure that a guaranteed portion of the overall settlement funds goes to Florida borrowers.
JP Morgan Chase told the Times that only half of the offers mailed to borrowers have been claimed. Details of the agreements with each bank are available on the attorney general's website, myfloridalegal.com. Click the Foreclosure Settlement button at the bottom of the page.
The agreement with Bank of America, for instance, applies only to servicer-owned first-lien mortgage loans originating prior to Jan. 1, 2009. The loan must be current with no delinquencies in the past 12 months, must not have been modified in the past 24 months, and must have at least a 5.25 percent interest rate or 100 basis points, etc.
FHA and VA loans are excluded, as well as loans on manufactured homes, loans that were in bankruptcy and loans in foreclosure. Almost 23 percent of Floridians have delinquent mortgages or are being foreclosed upon, according to Lender Processing Services, a Jacksonville analytics company.
The deal also includes a direct payment of $350 million to Florida, Bondi told the Bloomberg News. An additional $309 million will help refinance loans for those who owe more than their homes are worth.
For more information, contact your bank — Ally/GMAC, (800) 766-4622; Bank of America, (877) 488-7814; Citibank, (866) 272-4749; JPMorgan Chase, (866) 372-6901; Wells Fargo, (800) 288-3212.
firstname.lastname@example.org (863) 386-5828