The National Mortgage Settlement, Real Estate Law Center and You
Real Estate Law Center has kept a keen eye on the developments of the National Mortgage Settlement.
Announced in February 2012, the National Mortgage Settlement was an agreement by five of the nation’s largest mortgage providers — Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo, made with 49 states to provide $25 billion in relief to homeowners, as well to state governments, and the federal government. It is the largest settlement since the decision against big tobacco in 1998.
The settlement was a result of the robo-signing scandal. Bank officials signed foreclosure documents without a notary public, officials who had no authority to sign the documents authorized foreclosures with very little inspection of the documents without knowing the facts in the documents to be correct.
However, many media outlets such as the Huffington Post reported that despite the efforts of homeowners, banks ignored their requests for loan modifications. Of the 8 million homeowners who were foreclosed on in the last five years, experts estimate that millions will never see anything from the settlement. Others are only expected to receive payments of $500.
Other promises that banks made regarding streamlining the loan modification process and giving out one point of contact also did not come through. Homeowners desperate to keep their homes found themselves talking to different people in a financial institution to resolve their problems, often without reaching a resolution.
For homeowners who have tried to work with the banks and received only frustration, Real Estate Law Center has picked up the cause to hold the banks accountable.
The attorney generals involved in the National Mortgage Settlement were responsible for uncovering much of the predatory lending practices that Real Estate Law Center brings to light on behalf of its clients.
Most of the cases Real Estate Law Center files on behalf of its clients are mass tort lawsuits. Mass tort lawsuits are paid for by the clients, and because the fees are spread across many people, the cost involved for each household is cheaper than initiating an individual lawsuit against a bank. Most importantly, most of the award goes to the clients. This is in contrast to class action lawsuits, in which the lawyers pay for the lawsuit and keep the majority of the judgment.
Although Real Estate Law Center cannot assure that the outcome of all the cases will be the same, it has lowered payments for its clients by reductions in interest rates and principal amounts.
Though many homeowners felt voiceless during the mortgage and foreclosure crisis, and powerless even when states across the country announced the National Mortgage Settlement, Real Estate Law Center is ensuring banks take notice and listen. Real Estate Law Center gives homeowners who have been wronged by the predatory lending practices and shoddy foreclosure procedures the opportunity to make their case for what is fair.
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