As a secondary measure to contact eligible Rhode Islanders who may have been improperly foreclosed upon between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011, the National Mortgage Settlement Administrator is sending emails with important information about how to file a claim for funds under the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement.
"We recognize that while many homeowners eligible for a payment may have moved since their last contact with the mortgage service provider, email addresses are more permanent and may be the only way to contact those eligible," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "It is important that eligible Rhode Islanders not discard the information."
This week and next, approximately 5,500 Rhode Islanders will receive an email alerting them to expect a claim package in the mail containing information on how to submit a claim for payment. The email will also provide contact information for the National Mortgage Settlement Administrator should the claim package not arrive.
Those borrowers who are eligible had mortgages serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. They are the nation's five largest mortgage servicers which agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia.
The settlement, which took effect in April, earmarked approximately $1.5 billion in payments for two million borrowers nationwide who lost their homes to foreclosure during that period and had their loan serviced by one of the settling servicers. The exact payment will depend upon the total number of borrowers who decide to participate.
Forms mailed to qualified borrowers must be returned by January 18 Kilmartin urged eligible Rhode Island borrowers to complete their claim forms and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or file them online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The deadline for all claims is January 18, 2013. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013.
Free claim form assistance available The one-page claim forms are simple to complete. However, borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim can contact the settlement administrator, toll-free, at 1-866-430-8358, or send questions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The information line is staffed Monday through Friday from (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central).
Payment won't stop other legal claims Kilmartin noted eligible borrowers do not need to prove financial harm to receive a payment, nor do they give up their rights to pursue a lawsuit against their mortgage servicer or to participate in the Independent Foreclosure Review Process being conducted by federal bank regulators. More information about that program is available at www.independentforclosurereview.com.
Eligible borrowers may get a payment from this settlement even if they participate in another foreclosure claims process. However, any payment received may reduce payments borrowers may be eligible to receive in any other foreclosure claim process or legal proceeding.
Eligible borrowers not notified should contact settlement administrator Borrowers who believe they may qualify for a payment, but did not receive a notice because they have moved, should contact the settlement administrator directly to provide that information:
Call toll-free: 1-866-430-8358. The line is staffed Monday through Friday from (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central).
Beware of scams Borrowers should not need to pay anyone to file their claim. Kilmartin warns all homeowners to beware of settlement-related scams. Do not provide personal information or pay money to anyone who calls or emails you claiming that they are providing settlement-related assistance. If you believe someone is conducting a settlement-related scam, contact the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General Consumer Protection Unit at 401-274-4400 or visit www.riag.ri.gov.