Independent Foreclosure Review agreement payments under way

Mailings and $3.6 billion in payments coming from banks through Rust Consulting.

Payments to 4.2 million eligible borrowers under the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) Payment Agreement began on April 12. About 148,000 Michigan homeowners could potentially qualify for payments.

Borrowers with questions regarding payments should contact the Paying Agent—Rust Consulting, Inc. at 1-888-952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. or Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The payments are part of agreements between federal regulators and 13 servicers to provide $3.6 billion in cash payments to borrowers whose homes were in any stage of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010 and whose mortgages were serviced by one of the following companies, their affiliates, or subsidiaries: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. A full list of companies and their affiliates or subsidiaries covered by the agreement are at Independent Foreclosure Review.

Checks will be sent in several waves. The first wave of 1.4 million checks was sent on April 12. The final wave is expected in mid-July 2013. More than 90 percent of the total payments to borrowers at those 11 servicers are expected to be sent by the end of April.

The payment categories and amounts are available on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve websites.

Borrowers eligible for these payments would have been in some stage of foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 and their loans would have been serviced by one of the firms listed at the websites listed above.

These mailings are the real thing although they may look like a scam. Beware of anyone who asks you to call a different phone number than the number below or to pay a fee to receive a payment under the agreement. Michigan State University Extension does provide foreclosure scam prevention information in its education classes.

If you need additional help with foreclosure prevention, please contact the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline at 888-995-HOPE (4673) (or at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov) and they can put you in touch with a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved nonprofit organization that can provide free assistance. MSU Extension provides free housing counseling at its Macomb, Lapeer, Ionia and Washtenaw, and Wayne County offices to surrounding areas. Michigan State Housing DevelopmentA Authority-certified housing counselors may be located using the MSHDA website.