REAL ESTATE: Mortgage settlement check letters heading your way

Check your mailboxes.

Rust Consulting plans to send out the first wave of mortgage settlement relief checks on Friday, April 12, to provide a total of $3.6 billion in cash payments to 4.2 million borrowers whose homes were in any stage of foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 under mortgages serviced by 13 companies.

The payments will range from $300 to $125,000.

The settlement negotiated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board covers borrowers whose homes were serviced by these 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.

More than 90 percent of the total payments should be sent out by the end of April. The final wave of payments is expected in mid-July. Information about payments to those who had financing through Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will be announced soon.

Here’s how the notifications will work:

Rust Consulting, in most cases, will send a letter with an enclosed check.

Some borrowers may get a letter seeking additional information to process payments.

Borrowers can call Rust Consulting at 1-888-952-9105 to update contact information, or learn if they are covered by the agreement. They can check out this website:

Mortgage servicers cannot ask you to sign a waiver against legal claims. Legal action can still be taken on a wrongful foreclosure, if you accept the check.

All consumers have been warned NOT to call a different telephone number or respond to any other solicitation – especially those solicitors who ask for a fee to get relief payment. Fraudsters abound, so be on guard against those who are trying to capitalize on this wave.


California Attorney General Kamala Harris just put more balm on the wounds of wronged home buyers.

She recently announced a $1 million grant to the National Housing Law Project to maximize consumer benefits and minimize abuses of the new Homeowner Bill of Rights, which took effect Jan. 1.

The law restricts dual-track foreclosures, guarantees struggling homeowners a reliable point of contact with their lender, imposes civil penalties on fraudulently signed mortgage documents and requires loan servicers to document their right to foreclose on a property.

The grant, funded through the $18 billion National Mortgage Settlement, will be used to train California consumer and housing attorneys, create a library of litigation materials, and produce a report to analyze the impact the legislation has had in the state.


The economy is improving, and relief checks heading this way will take some sting away, but foreclosure actions are still in our midst.

To that, the Hope NOW Alliance and Making Home Affordable program will host a free, April 16 workshop at Los Angeles Convention Center to give homeowners a chance to meet face-to-face with their mortgage company and a HUD-approved counselor to find a solution to help avoid foreclosure or get refinancing assistance.

Participants in the 1 to 8 p.m. event include: Bank of America, Chase, Citi Mortgage, GMAC Mortgage, Homeward Residential, HSBC, Nationstar, OneWest, PNC, Select Portfolio Servicing, Seterus, US Bank and Wells Fargo.

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