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Review Your Own Foreclosure

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Posted On: 07/24/2013

Question:

I received a whopping $300 as part of the “foreclosure review” settlement between mortgage services and the federal government. It got me wondering if there was something wrong about our foreclosure.

We have all our paperwork. We had to fax it at least a dozen times because they “didn’t receive it all” and “the fax went to one office but the people we talk to are in another” and so many other boondoggles.

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Do we just hold on to that paperwork and wait to see what happens, or do we assume a more proactive role and try to make something happen?

Answer:

Hold onto your paperwork. And yes, be proactive.

The foreclosure review process has been a huge mess.

To be clear, foreclosure review stems from an agreement between major mortgage services and the federal government – it is not an agreement between mortgage servicers and borrowers who may have been wronged.

It only covers foreclosure activity during 2010 and 2011 and not other periods. As the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency explains, "borrowers will not be required to execute a waiver of any legal claims they may have against their servicer as a condition for receiving payment."

An expansive report by the Government Accountability Office released June 2012 found an astonishing number and variety of problems with foreclosure reviews.

The report states that there were “severe deficiencies in three primary areas: shortcomings in the preparation of foreclosure documentation; inadequate policies, staffing, or oversight of foreclosure processes; and insufficient oversight of third-party service providers, particularly foreclosure attorneys."

Please contact your state attorney general. Virtually all state AGs have been trying to unravel the foreclosure mess. They may have programs in place to help you now. They also may benefit from your paperwork and story.

As well, you should review exactly what happened during your foreclosure with a qualified attorney or legal clinic.

Peter G. Miller is the author of The Common-Sense Mortgage and a veteran real estate columnist. Have a question? Please write to peter@ctwfeatures.com.

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