In February 2012, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, in conjunction with the federal government and 49 state attorneys general, announced a $25 billion federal-state agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers — Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorganChase, and Wells Fargo.
The settlement involved foreclosure abuses and fraud, including “robo-signing,” and other nationwide mortgage practices.
Although implementation of the settlement is still in its early stages, the following information addresses common questions about the settlement.
Where is the settlement money going?
The simple breakdown is as follows:
$20 billion: Financial relief for borrowers (direct payments and refinancing)
$5 billion: Payments to the state and federal government
How much will Ohio receive?
Ohio’s estimated share of the settlement is $332 million. Ohio borrowers will receive an estimated $236.9 million in benefits from loan modifications, other direct relief, cash payments, and refinanced loans.
I lost my home to foreclosure. How do I find out if I qualify for the settlement?
If you qualify, your mortgage servicer will contact you. (Your servicer is the company to which you make your monthly mortgage payments.) You do not need to complete an application or pay any money to qualify for this settlement. Ohio borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure from Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 11, 2011, and suffered servicing abuse from Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorganChase, or Wells Fargo may be eligible for relief.
Because of the complexity of the mortgage market and this agreement, which will play out over a three-year period, you will not know immediately if you are eligible for relief. Banks will conduct a vigorous search to identify eligible borrowers, and this may take six to nine months.
I’m worried my servicer won’t be able to locate me. What should I do?
If you believe you are eligible for a cash payment under this settlement but are concerned you will be difficult to locate, contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at 800-282-0515. We will collect and forward your information to the appropriate person to ensure you are contacted if you are eligible.
I am currently in my home but am facing foreclosure or need help staying in my home. How can I find out now if I’m eligible?
You should contact your servicer using the following numbers:
Bank of America: 877-488-7814
Wells Fargo: 800-288-3212
My mortgage servicer is not part of this settlement. Do I still qualify?
No. The settlement involves only these mortgage servicers: Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorganChase, and Wells Fargo.
Do I need to pay money to qualify for the settlement?
No. You do not need to pay any money to qualify for this settlement. If someone contacts you and asks for money in exchange for information about this settlement or your eligibility, do not respond. Do not give them your money or personal information.
Where can I find updates about the settlement?
How much will the Ohio Attorney General receive?
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office will receive an estimated $92 million.
How will the Ohio Attorney General use the money?
Most of the money will be used to help revitalize neighborhoods by getting rid of vacant, abandoned properties. Additional money will be used for foreclosure prevention and assistance for homeowners. The grant process still is being developed and will be announced once it is finalized.