Colorado Homeowners Are Seeing Benefit of National Mortgage Settlement
DENVER (CBS4) The latest reports on the National Mortgage Settlement indicate the banks involved have provided billions of dollars of relief to homeowners across the county, and millions of dollars of relief to homeowners in Colorado. The banks have made good on their promise to provide loan modifications, refinancing, and short sales where appropriate, but those who qualify for a check still haven’t gotten any money.
A report released by the Independent Monitor of the Settlement indicates that nationally 550,000 mortgage holders have gotten $45.83 billion in modifications, short sales, and refinancing.
Attorney General John Suthers’ office is administering the Settlement on a state level and reports that 6,277 Coloradans have gotten $358 million.
“I’m very pleased,” Suthers told CBS4. “Our goal was to have most of the relief come very quickly upfront.”
The National Mortgage Settlement was announced in February of 2012. It’s an agreement between a coalition of state attorney’s general and federal agencies with five of the nation’s biggest banks: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and GMAC/Ally. The banks agreed to pay $25 billion dollars for past mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses and fraud. The settlement was designed to provide some measure of relief to homeowners who’d been harmed by the fraud, and establish new protections for the future.
“If you were foreclosed on between January 1, 2008 and December 21, 2011 and your loan was serviced by one of these 5 major banks, you are eligible to make a claim,” Suthers explained.
Bobby Stevens qualified to make a claim. Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks talked to Stevens when the Settlement was announced, and he was pretty pessimistic.
“I’m real skeptical. I won’t see a dime,” Stevens said in February of 2012.
Recently, CBS4 caught up with Stevens, and he’s still skeptical.
“I don’t expect to see a single dime from them,” Stevens said.
The golf cart servicer lost his home in northeast Denver in November 2011. Claimants needed to call their mortgage holder, get an application and have it filed by February 13th, 2013. According to the Attorney General’s Office, 47,000 Colorado homeowners were eligible for a cash settlement, 26,700 made their claim by the deadline.
“They were guaranteed a minimum of $842. We believe without knowing for sure that everybody will receive in the neighborhood of $1500,” Suthers explained.
The Attorney General also points out that the money was never supposed to be compensation for losing a home.
“What this is compensation for is you happened to be serviced by a servicer who we know was engaged in misconduct. And you’re getting that compensation whether or not their misconduct caused you to lose your home,” Suthers said.
Now the banks will review the claims, divide up the $1.5 million, and send out checks in the next 2-3 months. Stevens feels the money is too little, too late.
“It’s a joke,” Stevens said.
He’s working to get back on his feet financially. He and his wife and son are hoping to find a home to rent soon. But he says that he would use the money if it ever comes to him.
RELATED: More Reports By 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks
– Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith