Foreclosures to Get Review

Contributions by Molly C. Herndon and Carolyn Bird

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced in November 2011 consumers may request an Independent Foreclosure Review of foreclosure cases that occurred between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010. The deadline to request a review is approaching. This process was ordered after regulators found unsound lending, servicing and foreclosure practices among large lending companies. Foreclosures against homes owned by service members will also be reviewed to determine if the action was in violation of the Service Members Civil Relief Act. The deadline to file a request for review is April 30, 2012.

Borrowers who faced foreclosure during these two years on their primary residence can request a review of the case if they believe they suffered “financial injury” as a result of the process. Financially injurious situations include, but are not limited to:

  • The mortgage balance at the time of the foreclosure was more than was actually owed on the property.
  • Fees were charged, or mortgage payments were inaccurately calculated, processed or applied.
  • The borrower followed the guidelines of a Modification Agreement with the lender, but the foreclosure sale still took place.
  • The foreclosure action took place while the borrower was protected by bankruptcy.
  • The foreclosure proceeded against a Military service member and was in violation of the Service Members Civil Relief Act protections.

Borrowers who faced foreclosure during these two years and believe the process resulted in financial injury may request a review if their loan was secured from one of the lenders listed below:

  • America’s Saving Company
  • Aurora Loan Services
  • Bank of America
  • Beneficial
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • CitiFinancial
  • Citi Mortgage
  • Country-Wide
  • EMC
  • EverBank/ Everhome
  • Freedom Financial
  • GMAC Mortgage
  • HFC
  • HSBC
  • IndyMac Mortgage Services
  • MetLife Bank
  • National City
  • PNC
  • Sovereign Bank
  • Sun-Trust Mortgage
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wachovia
  • Washington Mutual
  • Wells Fargo

The review process will determine if errors were made during their foreclosure process, and, if financial injury was sustained, the borrower may be eligible for compensation.

To assist clients in determining their eligibility, prior to the April 30 deadline, call (888) 952-9105, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more details about this review process, visit IndependentForeclosureReview.com and OCC: Correcting Foreclosure Practices.

Military Caregivers: Understanding the invisible wounds of war

With the war in Afghanistan and Iraq coming to a close, servicemen and women are returning home to their long awaited family and friends. While their homecoming is bitter sweet, the challenges of reintegration from combat to civilian life can be stressful on these service members and their families.

During deployments service members experience long periods of extreme stress, endure intense battlefield activity that poses personal harm and involves the taking of life, experience their own injuries, and witness the injuries and deaths of others.

The effects of war may have an impact on the mental and emotional well-being of your returning service member. Many survivors of a traumatic event return to normal with time, whereas others take longer to heal–these individuals may develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is an anxiety disorder or condition that can be characterized as a silent, invisible injury common in military personnel who have been exposed to traumatic events while performing their military responsibilities.

If your loved one recently returned home from war, look for signs and symptoms that he or she may be exhibiting PTSD.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nightmares
  • Unwanted thoughts or memories
  • Panic attacks
  • Angry or irritable
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Scared
  • Confused

Living with a service member who suffers from PTSD can be difficult, learn how you can better understand this invisible wound and strategies for helping and coping with the situation by going to Caring for Those with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Also, watch Veterans’ Voices on PTSD and hear stories from veterans who have experienced PTSD. These veterans share their emotions, actions, and symptoms caused by PTSD and what they did to overcome the invisible wounds of war.