Hooray! We have a Mortgage Settlement - $26B worth but who gets help and where does the rest of the money go? NO ONE KNOWS yet, and no one know who is covered and will get assistance of any kind!
What we do know is that the 5 major servicers, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Ally Financial (the old GMAC), CitiBank/CitiMortgage etc, and Wells Fargo are funding the settlement (there may be others later).
We DO KNOW that if you live in Oklahoma you opted out of the settlement, and if your loan is owned by FannieMae (FNMA) or FreddieMac (FHMC) YOU ARE NOT INCLUDED. Below is a link to the website for the Settlement where you can check to see if your loan is owned by either of these GSEs (Gov't Sponsored Enterprises).
We also know that 1. if your case falls into the included category and you lost your house in what would be deemed an improper foreclosure you may be entitled to $2,000+/-. 2. If your mortgage payments are current but your house is worth less than you owe, you may be eligible for a refinance to a low rate. 3. If you need a modification, you might get a Principal Reduction so you owe less and therefore your payment may be lowered. (No items 2 and 3 ARE NOT reversed - seems like they should be however).
Nothing will be ready for 6-9 months, and most of the programs will be administered through the States' Attorneys General's Offices - the program will be implemented over the next 3 years.
Some perspective on the Settlement amount: 2011 - Bk of Amer earned $17B after loan loss reserves ("net" income $1.4B); JPMorgan "Net" Income $19B; Citi "Net" Income $11B; Wells Fargo $16B. Just these 4 banks had a "Net" Income of $47B for 2011 and that is without stripping reserves for the Settlement that have already been put aside and reduced income.
Last - the official word is "Wait, you will be contacted" or, if you are in the foreclosed category being handled by your State's Attorney General, contact that office through the link provided on the National Mortgage Settlement site.
Author's Copyright by Richard I. Isacoff, Esq., February 2012