After over a year of back-and-forth negotiations, the five major banks–JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial—have finally reached a settlement on deceptive foreclosure practices of $25 billion with 49 states, according to Mark DeCambre, the New York Post.
Can you really put a price on the foreclosure fraud mess?
Homeowners in need of help with foreclosure have suffered substantially. Mixed opinions are going around on whether this deal will efficiently help them recover from the deceptive practices many of them have endured.
The deal had a previous deadline of Friday Feb. 3 before it was postponed to Mon. Feb 6, although, Tuesday night was when they ended up officially settling the deal.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman “finally found an accord he couldn’t refuse” and decided to join the settlement along with California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris–two of the most avid holdouts–reported DeCambre.
Just this past Friday Schneiderman filed a lawsuit against BofA, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo on accusations of fraud using the MERS system, an electronic-mortgage data base system created in the mid-1990s.
The U.S. is calling this deal “the largest federal-state civil settlement in our nation’s history,” with the banks committing to $20 billion in various forms of mortgage relief and an additional $5 billion to state and federal governments, according to a Bloomberg report.
The $25 billion has been broken down differently for each state. Now, time is the remaining factor in seeing if these efforts will help save the homes of the millions of homeowners affected.
Only 20 percent of homeowners successfully restructure mortgages through their banks, as shown in a study done by ProPublica. Whether or not the mortgage relief plans from this settlement help homeowners, a foreclosure lawyer and Mortgage Forensic Audit can create the kind of legal leverage needed to secure lower monthly payments and save homes.