Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has announced that Ohio is part of the $550 million multi-state settlement with SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. The settlement was agreed to by 49 states, the District of Columbia, The U.S. Department of Justice, and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“SunTrust may not have been the largest lender in Ohio during the mortgage financing crisis, but it was yet another company who abused loan servicing standards against vulnerable Ohioans,” DeWine said. “Just as with the National Mortgage Settlement, I am pleased additional homeowners will receive much-needed relief as part of this settlement.”
The settlement addresses mortgage origination, servicing, and foreclosure abuses by SunTrust. The settlement requires SunTrust to substantially change how it services mortgage loans, handles foreclosures, and ensures the accuracy of information provided in federal bankruptcy court. The terms will prevent past foreclosure abuses, such as robo-signing, improper documentation, and lost paperwork.
The agreement requires SunTrust to provide Ohio borrowers an estimated $1,813,267 worth of loan modifications or other relief. The modifications may include principal reductions and refinancing for underwater mortgages. The National Mortgage Settlement’s independent monitor, Joseph A. Smith Jr., will oversee SunTrust agreement compliance.
Additionally, approximately 800 Eligible Ohio borrowers whose loans were serviced by SunTrust and who lost their home to foreclosure from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2013 and encountered servicing abuse will be eligible for a direct payment from the national $40 million fund for payments to borrowers. The borrower payment amount will depend on how many borrowers file claims, but it is estimated that eligible Ohioans who file claims would receive a minimum of $800.
The agreement resolves potential violations of civil law based on SunTrust’s deficient mortgage loan origination and servicing activities. The agreement does not prevent state or federal authorities from pursuing criminal enforcement actions related to this or other conduct by SunTrust, or from punishing wrongful securitization conduct. Additionally, the agreement does not prevent any action by individual borrowers who wish to bring their own lawsuits.
The agreement will be filed as a consent judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Homeowners who have questions about this settlement or other foreclosure and mortgage servicing issues can call the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at (800) 282-0515. Ohioans can also contact SunTrust directly at (800) 634-7928 or at www.SunTrustMortgage.com.