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Ever since the robo-signing scandal took off, it seems that the government is watching with keen interest the workings of many mortgage-related processes throughout the nation. One of the organizations to be scrutinizing past practices to determine whether any wrongdoing was done is the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC. The OCC, a division of the US Treasury, ensures proper function while overseeing the nation’s banking systems. As part of this function the decision arose to allow homeowners that were treated unfairly during the foreclosure process in 2009/2010 a chance to request an independent review of their foreclosure process.
Foreclosure Review – Free of Cost to Homeowners
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the OCC have established the requirement that an independent consultant will identify eligible homeowners that have potentially faced financial hardship as a result of misappropriated foreclosure processes for their primary residence. If review indicates that the applicant was indeed financially injured during the foreclosure process as a result of wrongdoing, some form of retribution (either compensation or otherwise) will be afforded.
The program is free of cost to potentially eligible homeowners who were sent a review form beginning in November 2011. To find out more about the process or to request a form if you feel this may be applicable to you, contact 1-888-952-9105 Monday through Friday from 8am to 10pm or Saturday from 8am to 5pm Eastern Standard Time.
Eligibility Requirements for Review Process
There are some eligibility requirements that review participants must meet in order for their foreclosure to undergo the review process. First, the home that was foreclosed must have been the primary residence of applicants. Further, the foreclosure must be one managed by one of the mortgage servicers listed on the site linked below in order to qualify. Finally, the foreclosures that come under this umbrella of review fall within January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010.
Little Regulation Means Consumers Should Be Beware of Scams
Since independent reviewers will manage the review process and since there is little to no regulation for the program consumers should be aware of companies claiming to be affiliated with the program. There is a lot of potential for fraud since the number of foreclosures that will be under review is expected to be very high. If anyone asks for a fee to be paid to provide the service of conducting a foreclosure review it should raise a red flag since the official review is free of charge to eligible consumers.
Situations Leading to Qualified Financial Grievance
One of the most frequently asked questions about the independent foreclosure review is about the types of situations qualifying as “causing financial injury”. One scenario would be a foreclosure occurring despite homeowners complying with loan modification agreements. Similarly, if homeowners had applied for assistance with their loan and were awaiting a decision at the time foreclosure occurred, there is potential eligibility of the program. In cases where there was bankruptcy protection yet the foreclosure still took place, homeowners might be eligible for redemption through the review. Discrepancies on the mortgage amount owed versus what the balance showed if in favor of the homeowner are also cause for financial injury according to the program.
The recently extended deadline to request review is July 31, 2012 so homeowners are encouraged to carefully consider whether they may potentially be able to receive some rectification to problems that may have occurred during their foreclosure.
For further information or if you just want to know more, you can visit www.IndependentForeclosureReview.com or ask your Realtor for some guidance.