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Report Highlights Status of Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement

News Release, April 30, 2014: “The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released a status report on Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) Payment Agreements that required the large mortgage servicers to provide $3.9 billion in payments to 4.4 million eligible borrowers and $6.1 billion in other loss mitigation and foreclosure prevention assistance. Because servicers entered agreements at different times, regulators directed the creation of four separate settlement funds.  The OCC report focuses on Qualified Settlement Fund 1, which includes payments from Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust (regulated by the Federal Reserve Board), U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo.  As of January 24, 2014, Qualified Settlement Fund 1 had disbursed 3,948,415 checks, totaling $3,385,814,432.  Of those checks, 3,280,458 (83 percent), totaling $2,903,932,623 (86 percent), have been cashed or deposited as of April 8, 2014…In general, independent consultant findings regarding the reviews that were completed or had a significant portion of the work finished at the termination of the IFR were consistent with the deficiencies and weaknesses examiners identified during the 2010 horizontal review of large and midsized mortgage servicers.  Besides those deficiencies and weaknesses, the findings identified additional loss mitigation related errors. Errors and process weaknesses identified most often by the consultants during the IFR included:

  • Improper loan modification denials and untimely execution, aggravated by rapidly increasing modification request volume without adequate staffing and changing program guidelines during 2009 and 2010;
  • Untimely communication and inadequate recognition of bankruptcy protection by servicing departments;
  • Violations of Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)  protections; and
  • Fee errors arising from servicer process weaknesses, especially servicers’ lack of oversight of external parties who provided services such as legal representation and property management.”

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