The five mortgage servicers included in the recent “National
Mortgage Settlement” have agreed to better address loan modifications,
billing-statement accuracy and provide single points of contact with borrowers,
according to a release from the office of Attorney General George Jepsen.
Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, CitiGroup and Ally/GMAC agreed to the provisions, and Bank of America and Wells Fargo even agreed to do more, according to settlement monitor Joseph A. Smith.
All five agreed to:
- Give homeowners 30 more days to respond to requests for additional documents before they may be referred to foreclosure or sale.
- Test whether servicers specify the reason for a loan modification denial in their communications with homeowners.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the servicers’ single points of contact who are responsible for assisting homeowners.
- Ensure the accuracy of monthly billing statements sent to homeowners.
In addition, Bank of America and Wells Fargo also agreed to:
- Reduce multiple requests for documentation.
- Refine and enhance customer communication regarding missing information.
- Conduct an early underwriting review for customers with potentially complex financial circumstances.
- Provide an improved escalation process for customers experiencing multiple documentation or clarification requests.
“The improvements Wells and Bank of America have agreed to make have the potential to build upon the requirements of the National Mortgage Settlement to make sure the path to a loan modification is working for Connecticut homeowners,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “We plan to continue discussions to ensure distressed homeowners receive a fair and prompt review when applying for a loan modification.”
Banks continue to offer loan modifications and other relief to qualified customers. Jepsen encouraged any Connecticut homeowner having difficulty with their mortgage to call 1-877-472-8313, the state Department of Banking’s Foreclosure Assistance Hotline, to learn about state and federal help available.
They should also contact their loan servicers to discuss the possibility of achieving an affordable loan modification or other foreclosure alternative.