Independent Foreclosure Review. Frequently asked questions and answers  

1. I DID NOT SUBMIT A REQUEST FOR REVIEW FORM. IS IT TOO LATE TO REQUEST A FORM?

We are no longer accepting any Request for Review Forms postmarked after December 31, 2012.

2. DOES PARTICIPATION IN THE INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW PREVENT ME FROM TAKING OTHER ACTION AGAINST MY SERVICER?

No. Your participation will not prevent you from pursuing any other option you may have related to your foreclosure.

3. WHAT KINDS OF FORECLOSURE ACTIONS WERE PART OF THE INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW?

Foreclosure actions include any of the following events that took place related to a primary residence between the dates of January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010:

Your mortgage loan may be covered by the Agreement even if your property did not go all the way through foreclosure sale.

4. WHAT IS THIS AGREEMENT ABOUT? I JUST HEARD/READ SOMETHING ABOUT WHAT COMPENSATION MAY BE PROVIDED TO CONSUMERS. WHERE CAN I GET OR FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGREEMENT AND PAYMENTS THAT I READ ABOUT IN THE PRESS?

In January 2013, agreements between 13 mortgage servicers and federal banking regulators were reached that has ended the Independent Foreclosure Review program for the participating servicers. In July 2013, GMAC Mortgage also reached an agreement with the Federal Reserve Board that ended the Independent Foreclosure Review. In August 2013, EverBank entered into an agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to end the Independent Foreclosure Review. At this time, the Independent Foreclosure Review continues for OneWest Bank.

5. DOES THE AGREEMENT MEAN THAT MY MORTGAGE LOAN FILE WILL NOT BE REVIEWED BY A NEUTRAL PARTY OR INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT?

At this time, the Independent Foreclosure Reviews will continue for OneWest Bank.

6. MY SERVICER WAS PART OF THE INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW. WHY IS MY SERVICER NOT INCLUDED IN THE AGREEMENT?

At this time, the Independent Foreclosure Review continues only for OneWest Bank. All other servicers who were part of the Independent Foreclosure Review have entered into a payment agreement with federal banking regulators that ended the Independent Foreclosure Review for those servicers.

7. I SUBMITTED A REQUEST FOR REVIEW FORM, IS THERE A COST?

The Independent Foreclosure Review program is free. Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a service related to the Independent Foreclosure Review.

8. IS A MORTGAGE SERVICER THE SAME AS A BANK?

A mortgage servicer is the company that services, or processes, your mortgage loan. The mortgage servicer can be a bank that offers many services, including mortgages, personal finance, checking, or investments. The mortgage servicer can also be a company that offers only mortgage-related services.

9. HOW DO I KNOW WHO SERVICED MY MORTGAGE?

The company you send your monthly mortgage payments to is your mortgage servicer. It is not necessarily the company whose name is on the actual foreclosure documents, although in most cases, it is. If your property has gone through a foreclosure sale and you don't remember who your servicer was, we suggest you look for canceled checks, bank and mortgage statements or other records to find the name of your servicer.

10. WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM NOT COVERED BY THE INDEPENENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW?

You can still have your mortgage concerns considered by calling or writing your servicer directly. You may also contact the servicer’s regulator – for more information see www.occ.gov or www.federalreserve.gov. Homeowners may also contact a HUD-approved nonprofit organization that helps homeowners in distress. Information about HUD-approved nonprofit organizations that can provide free assistance is available at www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/get-started/housing-expert or by calling 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).

11. WHAT IS DEFINED AS A "PRIMARY RESIDENCE"?

A primary residence is the place where a person lives or resides the majority of the calendar year. A primary residence is also the address that would appear on your federal income taxes, your voter registration or any type of license. A person can only have one primary residence at any given time.

12. I JUST READ SOMETHING CALLED THE FINANCIAL REMEDIATION FRAMEWORK. Does that apply to my servicer?

Yes, that Framework applies to the Independent Foreclosure Review. However, the Independent Foreclosure Review only continues for OneWest Bank.

13. WHEN WILL ONEWEST COMPLETE THE FORECLOSURE REVIEW PROCESS?

At this time, it is expected that OneWest borrowers will begin to receive the results of their reviews and remediation in the first quarter of 2014.

14. WHEN WILL EVERBANK BORROWERS BEGIN TO RECEIVE PAYMENT UNDER THE AGREEMENT?

EverBank borrowers should expect to receive their payments shortly after the first quarter of 2014.

15. WHEN WILL GMAC BORROWERS BEGIN TO RECEIVE PAYMENT UNDER THE AGREEMENT?

Payments to the majority of GMAC Mortgage borrowers were mailed at the end of January 2014. The remaining payments, which required additional information from borrowers in order to process, are expected to be mailed over the coming months.

16. I WAS WORKING WITH MY BANK TO PREVENT A FORECLOSURE SALE. SHOULD I CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THEM IF I PARTICIPATED IN THE REVIEW?

Continue to work with your servicer. Participating in the review will not impact any effort to prevent a foreclosure sale. The Independent Foreclosure Review is not intended to replace current active efforts with your Servicer.

17. WHO IS PAYING FOR THE REVIEW/IS THE SERVICER PAYING FOR THIS?

As part of the consent order with federal banking regulators, the participating servicers are required to pay the costs associated with the Independent Foreclosure Review.

18. HOW DO I KNOW THIS IS LEGITIMATE?

The Independent Foreclosure Review is monitored by federal banking regulators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, to ensure a fair and impartial process. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Reserve and Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System websites, www.occ.gov and www.federalreserve.gov provide more information on the Independent Foreclosure Review.