On Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, the Idaho Attorney Generals office mailed out over 2,600 payment applications to Idahoans eligible to receive compensation from the recent National Mortgage Settlement. Over 12,000 Idahoans qualify, with the remaining payment application packets scheduled to be mailed out over the next two weeks. Eligible applicants are Idahoans who lost their home to foreclosures between Jan 1st, 2008 and Dec 31st 2012. However, it only includes borrowers who loans were serviced by these five national banks: Ally/GMAC, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The settlement requires the banks to compensate customers for loan-servicing errors that may have led to customers losing their homes to foreclosure. Idaho Attorney General, Lawrence Wasden said, "This payment is not intended to compensate Idahoans for the loss of their homes. Rather, it is a step toward accountability for unfair business practices that harmed Idaho homeowners.” The minimum that qualified foreclosed homeowners will receive is $840. That number could be higher, depending on how many borrowers mail back their payment applications or apply on online by Jan 17, 2013. Wondering if you are one who qualifies? Eligibility factors include: Borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure (not short sales) between 2008 and 2011 with loans owned by Ally/GMAC, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. Many of these loans are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but are serviced by the five national banks involved in this settlement. Loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are not impacted by this settlement. Visit the following websites to learn if a loan is owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac: http://www.fanniemae.com/loanlookup , http://www.freddiemac.com/mymortgage. The five participating servicers have currently identified 12,207 Idahoans who lost their homes to foreclosure while attempting to negotiate a modification or other loss mitigation option. Idahoans who believe they maybe eligible but did not receive a claims packet should contact the settlement administrator at 866-430-8358 or fill out this online form at: http://www.ag.idaho.gov/onlineForms/paymentEligibilityForm.htm This settlement also helps Idaho borrowers who have not lost their home to foreclosure by providing financial options including first and second lien modifications, forbearances for unemployed borrowers, deficiency judgment waivers, short sale assistance, and homeowner transition payments. Detailed information about each program, the eligibility requirements, and the application process is available here http://nationalforeclosuresettlement.com. As part of this settlement, borrowers who are current on their mortgage but have negative equity preventing their ability to refinance may be eligible to refinance their loan with the current historically low rates. Idaho borrowers who are eligible for the loan modification or refinance are to be contacted by their mortgage servicer; however, borrowers can contact the mortgage service directly: Ally/GMAC: 800-766-4622 Bank of America: 877-488-7814 Citi: 866-272-4749 JPMorgan Chase: 866-372-6901 Wells Fargo: 800-288-3212 The Idaho Attorney General also is warning all homeowners to be aware of settlement-related scams. Never provide personal information or pay money to anyone who calls or e-mails you claiming they can provide settlement-related assistance. Idaho homeowners should report suspicious settlement-related activities to the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 208-334-2424.
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