Foreclosure settlement checks are coming and will be bigger than expected.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that Ohioans who lost their homes through foreclosure will receive about $1,480 each through the National Mortgage Settlement.
The checks will be mailed between Monday and June 17, he said.
Overall, Ohioans will split more than $48 million.
“The National Mortgage Settlement concluded that mortgage servicing was so broken in this country, nearly everyone who lost their home to foreclosure suffered some sort of servicing abuse,” DeWine said. “While the settlement can’t make Ohioans who lost a home to foreclosure whole, this compensation can provide some relief to those facing financial hardship.”
The settlement was finalized last year with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers after investigations into mortgage fraud and abuse. It set aside $1.5 billion for 1.7 million borrowers nationwide who lost their homes from 2008 through 2011.
The National Mortgage Settlement — a joint effort of the federal government, 49 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia — mailed claim forms to borrowers last fall. The deadline to apply was Jan. 18.
In Ohio, 32,547 claims were accepted on behalf of 33,876 borrowers. Loans with multiple borrowers, such as co-signers or couples who are now divorced, will split the money.
There were 55,086 eligible cases in Ohio, but not everyone filed a claim.
Authorities originally estimated that victims would receive a minimum of $840, but the final amount is larger because of a smaller number of claims being filed.
“Something is nice and better than nothing,” Steve Baughman, a housing specialist at Fair Housing Contact Service in Akron, said about the final amount. “But it might not nearly compensate them for all they went through.”
Ohio also received more money to distribute than originally expected because state residents filed claims at a greater rate than elsewhere in the country, DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said.
He noted that Ohioans had filed claims at a 58 percent rate by January, compared to 50 percent nationwide.
The payments do not prohibit borrowers from filing civil lawsuits against servicers alleging wrongful foreclosure, authorities said.
The five mortgage companies involved are GMAC (now Ally), Bank of America, CitiMortgage, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
Eligible people who did not file a claim can still file online at https://NationalMortgageSettleme.... Late claims are not guaranteed payment, however.
By Rick Armon - Akron Beacon Journal (MCT)
©2013 the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)
Visit the Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio) at www.ohio.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services