Did your home go into foreclosure, or were you facing the threat of foreclosure, while dealing with the mortgage servicer PHH Mortgage Corp.? You may be eligible for a financial remedy. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reported that “Illinois residents who faced foreclosure or lost their homes due to alleged improper mortgage loan serving practices by PHH Mortgage Corp. are eligible to collect $1.5 million in cash payments as part of a nationwide settlement.” The company was sued by the attorneys general of every U.S. state except New Jersey, in addition to facing lawsuits from mortgage regulators. What else do you need to know about the settlement and its connection to the foreclosure crisis?
Alleged Improper Mortgage Servicing Practices By PHH Mortgage Corp.
What are the alleged improper mortgage servicing practices by PHH Mortgage Corp. that resulted in the recent settlement? According to the article, the company:
- Failed to properly apply homeowners’ loan payments;
- Failed to properly execute paperwork for foreclosures; and
- Failed to respond to borrowers’ requests for loan information.
As a result of these improper mortgage servicing practices, Attorney General Madigan and other attorneys general throughout the country contended that homeowners dealt with the uncertainty of foreclosure, and many actually lost their homes due to foreclosure. According to Madigan, “this settlement will provide some long-awaited relief to the homeowners who fell victim to PHH’s improper loan services practices.” Madigan went on to explain how, “under this agreement, PHH will be held accountable for its actions and must follow standards to prevent this conduct in the future.”
What kinds of remedies are available to homeowners under the terms of the settlement? If you lost your home through foreclosure and your mortgage was serviced by PHH Mortgage Corp., you may be eligible for a payment of at least $840. If you did not lose your home, but PHH initiated foreclosure proceedings, you may be eligible to receive a payment of at least $285. The alleged improper mortgage servicing practices occurred between 2009 and 2012, just as many Oak Park residents were still struggling to recover from the housing crisis. Upwards of 2,800 homeowners in Illinois could be eligible to receive a payment from the settlement.
Mortgage Servicing Rules from the CFPB
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final Mortgage Servicing Rule in 2016, and it clarifies the obligations of mortgage servicers. Common complaints about mortgage servicers include but are not limited to the following:
- Failing to apply mortgage payments in a timely manner;
- Improperly applying mortgage payments;
- Failing to apply mortgage payments altogether;
- Charging egregious fees to homeowners;
- Dual-tracking (which involves the mortgage servicer working with a homeowner on a loan modification while moving forward with foreclosure proceedings); and
- Failing to provide information to consumers about their mortgages or the state of foreclosure proceedings.
When mortgage servicers harm consumers, they can be held responsible.
Seek Advice from an Oak Park Foreclosure Defense Attorney
Homeowners should not have to face foreclosure as a result of improper mortgage services practices. If you were harmed by a mortgage servicer’s practices, or if you have questions about the PHH Mortgage Corp. settlement, an Oak Park foreclosure defense lawyer can help. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to discuss your case.
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