FEDERAL COMPENSATION FOR BAD BANK PRACTICES EXPIRING!


Post Date: 12/18/2012

Eckley & Associates Video Article

BY: J. ROBERT ECKLEY
Real Estate and Construction Attorney
Eckley & Associates

December 1, 2012
©2012 ECKLEY & ASSOCIATES, P.C.

REPRINTED FROM "COUNSELOR'S CORNER", Ed. 62
Current Circulation: 75,004 per Month

Introduction: “Bad Boys Bit Bung” in 2011—Or So We Thought!

As was first reported in The Eckley & Associates, P.C. Newsletter of April 1, 2011, the “Bad Banks Bite Bung,” issue (see it now at www.eckleylaw.com) a number of Bad Boy Banks were forced by the Feds to sign a Consent Order in 2011 which promised, among other things, to find and compensate consumers who had been subjected to fraudulent, oppressive and phony loan practices and who had in general been victimized by poor loan underwriting and subsequent enforcement practices in the early parts of the national bailout.  In pertinent part, Eckley & Associates informed readers that the Banks were required to review all foreclosure actions from 2009 and 2010 and all loans and loan actions between those dates, determine how any borrower was disserved or damaged and establish remedial rights due to the dunned borrowers, set up and fund damage amounts and heavily publicize the availability of these payouts and the procedures for borrowers to apply for damages and other relief.

None of it happened according to the specifications of the Order and it is now revealed that the multi-million-strong mob of dunned consumers have only a few months to learn of their plight and make their claims.  The “program” went public in February 2012 and claimants have to December 31, 2012 to discover they were ripped off, discover that there is a fund and then get a form filed.  The strangely complicit Banks and Fed have set it up so it’s a little like catching the one and only train to a critical destination as it suddenly rips meteorically and unannounced past the boarding platform.  The chances of boarding this “train to justice” is, for most would-be and entitled passengers, slim to none.  And that appears to be the objective.

The List of Lenders and Servicers

The banks and servicers who were initially subject to the Consent Order or later joined in like Consent Orders are: America Servicing Co., Aurora Loan Services, BAC Home Loans Servicing Bank of America, Beneficial, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, CitiGroup, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Countrywide, EMC, EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Co., Financial Freedom, OneWest Bank, Ally Financial, 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., Wilshire Credit Corporation.

Not only were the Banks to establish a remedial plan, but in the future they were required to generate or implement:

"(the) Establishment of an easily accessible and reliable single point of contact for each borrower so that the borrower has access to an employee of the Bank to obtain information throughout the Loss mitigation, loan modification and foreclosure process";  "a requirement that written communications with the borrower identify such single point of contact along with one or more direct means of communication with the contact";

“(set) controls to ensure that a final decision regarding a borrowers' loan modification request (whether on a trial or permanent basis) is made and communicated to the borrower in writing, including the reason(s) why the borrower did not qualify…including net present value calculations utilized by the bank…by the single point of contact within a reasonable period of time before any foreclosure…"

"(set) procedures and controls to ensure that when the borrower's loan has been approved for modification…(i) that no foreclosure or further legal action predicate to foreclosure occurs, unless the borrower is deemed in default on the terms of the trial or permanent modification; and (ii) the single point of contact remains available to the borrower and continues to be referenced on all written communications with the borrower;"

“Establish policies and procedures to permit borrowers to make complaints about the modification or foreclosure process

(set) "policies and procedures to consider loan modifications or other Loss Mitigation activities with respect to junior lien loans owned by the Bank".

Did anyone see any of THAT happen?!

The interagency review and Consent Order also required Banks to increase oversight of third-party vendors engaged to conduct loss mitigation, loan modification and foreclosure activities and this included collection arms and law firms to see that they followed the plan. The Consent Order required Banks to develop procedures to bring third-party vendors into compliance with the same requirements the banks will be subject to and generally to keep a more watchful eye on vendors.

Did anyone see that one fly by, either!?

Last, the Consent Order required that the Banks and Servicers hire outside firms to find and review every foreclosure action they had pending from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2010, as well as residential foreclosure sales that occurred during this period then to identify borrowers harmed by the servicers' deficiencies and compensate them.  This was to be done without any requirement that the victim find them - they were to find the consumer victims.

Did you ever get your call or letter?  Did any of your clients?  Bet is:  That phone never rang and that mailbox never saw the shadow of such a letter.

And Now the Game-Plan Reveals Itself

Well, the Banks were to have these plans in place by the end of 2011 and to have started compensating in late 2011 or early 2012.  Sure enough, some advertising of the final program and how to reach it happened for the first time in February, 2012.  But now for the rub.  The Order was not very specific about how long applications for the compensation program would run.  Somehow the Banks and the Regulators have read into the Order that the entire period this application window is open for the millions of anticipated victim applications is just a few months.  Amazingly, it closes forever December 31, 2012, a total span of 40 weeks for an ocean of claims!  A blink of the public eye.  The game plan is obvious and once again revealed as corrupted by politics:  Yes, the Bad Boy Banks have to pay, and, yes, billions of dollars are available for victims of these crooked loans and practices….but they only have about 60 seconds once the Feds whispered “go” in February to find out about the program, somehow find the special form that must be used, gather all of their evidence of harm and put it all in or—after that--they lose……again and, this time, permanently!  “Your Government at work!”(?)

These Are the Program Access Points and Application Methods – Get Going Right Now to Avoid the December 31, 2012 Deadline!

If a Debtor believes that he or she was wrongfully foreclosed against in the above periods or that there were errors in his or her foreclosure in a home foreclosure by and of the above Banks or Servicers occurring between 2009-2010, the Debtor must request a free review or audit through a federal government program.  The Debtor or his representative needs to call 1-888-952-9105, or log to www.occ.gov/independentforeclosurereview
or http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/independent-foreclosure-review.htm to request the review prior to midnight of December 31, 2012.  Help in completing the Request for Review Form may be had at no charge by contacting a HUD-approved non-profit organization.  Those organizations may be found at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/get-started/housing-expert or by calling 1-855-778-0855.  As noted, The Request for Review must be completed and filed by December 31, 2012.  See more at https://independentforeclosurereview.com/ or by scheduling an appointment with Eckley & Associates, P.C. at 1-800-999-4Law.

Potential Awards:

The Review could award the Debtor a payment that includes refunded fees, stopping the foreclosure if it is still pending for any reason or payment of up to $125,000.00 plus equity loss.  IRS is notified of loss payouts and so they may have tax implications.  Accepting a payout does not waive any other legal remedies the Debtor may have.

Use of an Attorney:

This is a legal matter.  Though the process above is free through the same government that made it tough to enter, its quality and efficacy is unknown.  It is strongly suggested that one use an attorney well-versed in these claims in order to get together a viable application in the short time remaining!  Eckley & Associates assists in these applications and in taking other actions against the Banks which are not barred even when a Consent Order claim is also made.  As with all lawyers, a reasonable fee for professional services may be charged.  For professional assistance, contact us at curbbadbanks@eckleylaw.com

Conclusion:

Once again, it’s the Bum Shuffle:  First, the Bad Boy Banks rob us.  Then the Fed shows up and calls them ”Dirty”, beats the drum about “compensation” and “justice for all”. Second, the Gov and Banks set up a program “to make the consumer whole and make the past wrong right”.  And then they both promptly take it all away once again with an application program that begin so quietly and ends so abruptly as to leave multi-billions of dollars in claims in a ten-cent puff of smoke.  Once again, the aggrieved and victimized consumer is beaten up, bombed out, bamboozled and, of course, ultimately beached at midnight on December 31, 2012 by the same Bad Boy Banks—and this time with the complicity of the equally bollixed, “bought and sold” Bad Big Government that made all of this public rapine since 2006 possible in the first place.

‘Nuff said!