A review process for certain Ohioans whose homes were foreclosed on because of errors or misrepresentations by lenders has found some could be eligible for $125,000 in assistance, Sen. Sherrod Brown said.
Brown said only 6,000 of the 140,000 Ohioans who are entitled to a review have initiated the process, which could put as much as $125,000 in their pockets.
During a teleconference call Wednesday, Brown said a review by the Home- Ownership Center in Dayton has found that more than 140,000 Ohioans whose homes were foreclosed on in 2009 and 2010 are eligible to apply to the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) process. That process awards financial assistance to borrowers who were foreclosed on because of errors or misrepresentations by lenders.
Requests for review must be submitted by Sept. 30.
“Too many Ohioans lost their homes to foreclosure — often because servicers had poorly maintained, lost or forged documentation,” Brown said during the call. “That’s why the Independent Foreclosure Review process is so important. It will help borrowers who were foreclosed on because of inaccuracies and oversights by providing lump-sum payments, suspending foreclosure, enabling loan modification or correcting a credit report.”
The review by the Home- Ownership Center in Dayton found that 140,000 of more than 174,000 foreclosures in the state could be eligible for review.
As part of a consent order with federal bank regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 14 mortgage servicers and their affiliates are identifying customers who were part of a foreclosure action on their primary residence from Jan. 1, 2009, to Dec. 31, 2010.
Eligible homeowners could receive compensation if:
• The lender never solicited a loan modification,
• A loan modification was denied in error.
• Or the borrower was not in default at the time foreclosure was initiated.
Borrowers are eligible for an independent foreclosure review if they meet 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 Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010.
• The mortgage was serviced by one of the following: America’s Servicing Co., Aurora Loan Services, BAC Home Loans Servicing, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Countrywide, EMC Mortgage Corp., EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Co., Financial Freedom, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC , IndyMac Mortgage Services, MetLife Bank, National City Mortgage, PNC Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia Mortgage, Washington Mutual (WaMu), Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. or Wilshire Credit Corp.
Eligible homeowners can send a completed Request for Review Form by mail or submit online at http:// independentforeclosure review.com. The Request for Review Form must be postmarked or submitted online no later than Sept. 30. For assistance in requesting a review, borrowers can contact a local housing counseling organization or call 888-952-9105 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. or Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Brown said he is also working to improve the review process and on Wednesday he sent a letter to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the agency that oversees the program, calling for an appeals process for borrowers.