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Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on 8/02/2013 

1. The check I received from the Independent Foreclosure Payment Agreement has now expired, what do I do?

Checks issued as part of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement expire 90 days after they are issued as a means to limit fraud. If your check has expired and you would like to have the check reissued, please contact the paying agent, Rust Consulting, at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET.

2. What is the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement? 

Thirteen mortgage servicing companies subject to enforcement actions for deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing have reached an agreement in principle with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to provide more than $9.3 billion in cash payments and other assistance to help borrowers. The sum includes $3.6 billion in direct cash payments to eligible borrowers and $5.7 billion in other foreclosure prevention assistance, such as loan modifications and forgiveness of deficiency judgments. The servicers participating in the settlement includes Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.

For the participating servicers listed above, fulfillment of the agreement would satisfy the foreclosure review requirements of enforcement actions issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of Thrift Supervision in April and September 2011. As a result of this agreement, the participating servicers would cease the Independent Foreclosure Review, which involved case-by-case reviews, and replace it with a broader framework allowing all of the Independent Foreclosure Review eligible borrowers of the participating servicers to receive compensation significantly more quickly. The Independent Foreclosure Review Process continues for the servicers that did not enter into the settlement. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System continue to closely monitor the servicers’ implementation of all corrective actions related to unsafe and unsound mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices required by the enforcement actions issued in April 2011.

In July 2013, GMAC Mortgage also reached an agreement with the Federal Reserve Board that ended the Independent Foreclosure Review.  The Agreement reached in July with GMAC Mortgage added more than 232,000 borrowers and required approximately $230 million in direct cash payments to those borrowers.

In August, EverBank agreed to pay approximately $37 million to more than 32,000 eligible borrowers and $6.3 million to HUD-certified organizations or other tax-exempt organizations that have as a principal mission providing affordable housing, foreclosure prevention and/or educational assistance to low- and moderate-income individuals and families.  Recipient organizations shall be approved by the OCC.  View FAQs regarding the EverBank agreement.

3. Where can I find a copy of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement agreement? 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System have reached an agreement in principle with the participating servicers. This agreement will be memorialized into amended consent orders for each of the participating servicers. The amended consent orders will be made publicly available the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s website, www.occ.gov, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s Web site, www.federalreserve.gov once they are finalized.

4. How do I know the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement is legitimate? 

You can find the joint press release the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System issued regarding the Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement here.

5. What servicers are included in the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement?

The servicers participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement include: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo (collectively the "participating servicers"). In July 2013, GMAC Mortgage also reached an agreement with the Federal Reserve Board and in August EverBank reached agreement with the OCC that ended the Independent Foreclosure Review for those servicers.

6. What servicers are not included in the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement?

The servicer not participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement is OneWest. The independent consultant retained by OneWest continues with the review process.

7. How many borrowers are included in the Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement?

Nearly 4.2 million eligible borrowers will receive cash payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement.

8. Does the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement mean that a neutral party or independent consultant will not review my mortgage loan file? 

Yes. Under the terms of the settlement, mortgage loan file reviews being conducted by each of the independent consultants for the participating servicers will stop, except in very limited circumstances. At this time, the Independent Foreclosure Review will continue for OneWest.

9. Did the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System conclude that all borrowers eligible for the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement were the victims of financial harm? 

No. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors entered into the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement to redirect efforts to compensate Independent Foreclosure Review eligible borrowers as quickly as possible. The Independent Foreclosure Review settlement ensures that more borrowers will receive monetary compensation more quickly.

10. Who will receive payments as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement?

Borrowers whose primary residence was in foreclosure between the dates of January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010, with one of the participating servicers will receive a cash payment under the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement. The participating servicers are: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, EverBank, GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, US Bank, and Wells Fargo or their affiliated mortgage companies.

11. What happens if I did not submit my Independent Foreclosure Review request for review form by the December 31, 2012 deadline? 

All eligible borrowers of the participating servicers will receive compensation under the settlement, regardless of whether a borrower submitted a request for review form. Borrowers will be contacted with additional details by the end of March 2013. No further action on the part of the borrower needs to be taken to receive payment.

12. How much will I receive as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement? 

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System are in the process of determining compensation amounts. After the compensation amounts have been determined, the agencies will make information about the distribution plan publicly available. Please continue to regularly check the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Web site, www.occ.gov, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s Web site, www.federalreserve.gov, for additional details regarding compensation amounts.

13. Will I be prevented from taking other action against my mortgage loan servicer if I receive a payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement?

No. Receiving a payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement will not prevent you from taking any action you may wish to pursue related to your foreclosure. 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.

14. Do I need to do anything to receive a payment from the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement? When will I be contacted about my payment resulting from the Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement?

No. A paying agent will administer cash payments to eligible borrowers on behalf of the participating servicers. No further action on the part of the borrower needs to be taken to receive payment. The paying agent will contact eligible borrowers with more details by March 31, 2013.

15. How do I verify that I’m eligible for a cash payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement? 

You can verify that you are an eligible borrower by contacting RUST, the Independent Foreclosure Review Administrator, at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET.

16. How will the Paying Agent contact me if I have moved? 

You can contact RUST, the Independent Foreclosure Review Administrator, at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. ET or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET to provide your updated contact information.

17. Can I appeal the determination of the compensation amount I receive as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement if I am dissatisfied with the payment? 

No. The payment amount is final, and there is no appeal process of the compensation payment amounts distributed to you as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement. However, receiving a payment as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement will not prevent you from taking any action you may wish to pursue related to your foreclosure.

18. If I’m currently going through foreclosure, will the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement affect, stop, or delay my foreclosure action? 

No. The Independent Foreclosure Review settlement will not affect, stop, or delay your pending foreclosure sale date. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System encourage you to continue to work directly with your servicer. The Independent Foreclosure Review settlement will not affect any other efforts you are making with your servicer to prevent a foreclosure sale, and it is not intended to replace your current active efforts with your mortgage loan servicer.

19. I am currently working with my mortgage loan servicer on a loan modification. How will the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement affect my work with my mortgage loan servicer related to a loan modification? 

The Independent Foreclosure Review settlement will not affect any options you may be pursuing with your servicer. The Independent Foreclosure Review settlement is not intended to replace your current active efforts with your servicer.

20. I submitted a request for review form with attached documentation and my mortgage loan servicer is one of the Participating Servicers. What will happen to the records that I provided? Will the records and documentation that I submitted be destroyed or returned to me? 

RUST Consulting, as the Independent Foreclosure Review Administrator responsible for processing the submission of request for review forms, will not destroy any information you submitted nor will they return the information you submitted to you. Any information that you previously submitted will be handled according to the Independent Foreclosure Review Privacy Policy posted here. The handling of all Independent Foreclosure Review information is also subject to the direction of the federal regulators.

21. How will my tax obligations or public assistance benefits be affected by the payment I receive from the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement? 

Any payments received as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement may affect your taxes or public assistance benefits. If you have questions about the impact of this payment on your tax liabilities or public assistance benefits, the Office of Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of the Governors of the Federal Reserve System encourages you to consult a qualified tax advisor, individual or organization prior to cashing the check that you receive.

22. If my servicer is not participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review Settlement, when will I receive notice of the outcome of my file review? 

The independent consultants for those servicers not participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement are continuing to review mortgage loan files for financial injury. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System remain committed to getting remediation to borrowers as quickly as possible. Please continue to regularly check the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Web site, www.occ.gov, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System’s Web site, www.federalreserve.gov, for additional details regarding the status of the Independent Foreclosure Review.

23. How are military servicemembers affected by the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement? 

All eligible servicemembers whose mortgage loan was serviced by one of the Participating servicers will be included under the Independent Foreclosure Review settlement even if a request for review form was not submitted by the December 31, 2012 deadline.

24. I have been told that I am not eligible to receive a payment under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement, but I think I should be eligible. What can I do? 

In order to be eligible, your primary residence needed to have been in any stage of the foreclosure process at any time between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010, with one of the participating servicers.  If you believe you meet these eligibility requirements, contact Rust Consulting, who can check your eligibility status against their records, at 1-888-952-9105.  If your servicer is supervised by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Rust has told you that you are not eligible, you may contact the OCC Customer Assistance Group at http://www.helpwithmybank.gov.

The servicers participating in the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement, that are regulated by the OCC include:

  • America's Servicing Company
  • Aurora Loan Services
  • BAC Home Loans Servicing
  • Bank of America
  • Beneficial
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • CitiFinancial
  • CitiMortgage
  • Countrywide
  • EverBank
  • GMAC Mortgage
  • HFC
  • HSBC
  • MetLife Bank
  • National City Mortgage
  • PNC Mortgage
  • Saxon Mortgage
  • Sovereign Bank
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wachovia Mortgage
  • Washington Mutual (WaMu)
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • Wilshire Credit Corporation

If your servicer is supervised by the Federal Reserve -- Goldman Sachs (Litton Loan Servicing LP), GMAC Mortgage, Morgan Stanley (Saxon Mortgage), SunTrust, HSBC (HBIO), or JPMC (EMC) -- and Rust has told you that you are not eligible, you may contact the Federal Reserve's Consumer Help Line.

Correcting Foreclosure Practices > IFR Settlement FAQs