Independent Foreclosure Review. Frequently asked questions and answers  

1. WHAT WAS THIS AGREEMENT ABOUT? WHAT TYPE OF COMPENSATION WAS PROVIDED TO CONSUMERS? WHERE CAN I GET OR FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGREEMENT AND PAYMENTS THAT I READ ABOUT IN THE PRESS?

The Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement replaced the Independent Foreclosure Review requirement of the 2011 and 2012 Consent Orders issued by federal banking regulators against certain servicers that included case by case file reviews and instead provided cash payments to borrowers based on the type of possible financial injury they may have suffered. It resulted from agreements reached in 2013 between 15 separate mortgage servicers and federal banking regulators. The participating servicers agreed to pay an estimated $3.9 billion dollars to 4.4 million borrowers whose primary residence was in a foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010. The Payment Agreement also included an additional $6 billion dollars in other foreclosure prevention assistance, such as loan modifications and forgiveness of deficiency judgments.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) are the federal banking regulators that oversaw the Payment Agreement process. The regulators and the participating mortgage servicers negotiated the amount to be paid to borrowers. All checks have been issued and have now expired. The Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement payment process has now concluded.

You can find additional information about the Agreement on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's website, www.occ.gov or the Federal Reserve's website, www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/independent-foreclosure-review.htm.

2. WHAT KINDS OF FORECLOSURE ACTIONS WERE PART OF THE INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW? DID I QUALIFY FOR THE AGREEMENT EVEN IF MY HOUSE DID NOT GO ALL THE WAY THROUGH A FORECLOSURE SALE?

Foreclosure actions included 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 have been covered by the Agreement even if your property did not go all the way through foreclosure sale.

3. DID RECEIVING AN AGREEMENT PAYMENT PREVENT ME FROM TAKING OTHER ACTION AGAINST MY SERVICER?

No. Having received a payment under the Agreement does not prevent you from taking any other actions against your servicer regarding your foreclosure

4. WAS THERE A DEADLINE TO REQUEST A NAME ON THE CHECK TO BE CHANGED OR TO HAVE A PAYMENT SPLIT AMONG DIFFERENT BORROWERS ON THE LOAN?

As of December 31, 2016, all checks have expired and will not be honored if presented for payment. The deadline to request a payment to be reissued, or to request to change the name on a check, has also passed for all servicers. The Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement payment process has concluded.

5. I DID NOT RECEIVE A CHECK. HOW CAN I VERIFY IF I WAS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A PAYMENT UNDER THE AGREEMENT?

If your servicer was Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign (now known as Santander Bank), US Bank, or Wells Fargo, your loan was regulated by the OCC. Funds for uncashed payments have been transferred to your state’s unclaimed property division.

If your servicer was GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs/Litton Loan Servicing, Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage Services, or SunTrust, your loan was regulated by the Federal Reserve. Any funds remaining will be remitted to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

If your servicer was HSBC or JPMorgan Chase, your loan may have been regulated by either the OCC or the Federal Reserve. Any uncashed payment for loans regulated by the OCC have been transferred to your state’s unclaimed property division and any funds remaining for loans regulated by the Federal Reserve will be remitted to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

If your servicer was EverBank, to contact the payment agent, send a letter to: EverBank IFR Expedited Payment Agreement, PO Box 2730, Portland, OR 97208-2730. Please include your mailing address and phone number along with your Loan Number or Tracking Number. You may also contact EverBank directly by calling 1-800-669-7724.

6. WHAT CAN I DO IF I DISAGREE WITH THE PAYMENT AMOUNT I RECEIVED UNDER THE AGREEMENT?

The payment amount received is considered final, and there is no process to appeal the payment amount distributed to you as a result of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement. However, receiving a payment under the Agreement does not prevent you from taking any other action you may wish to pursue related to your foreclosure. Your servicer is not permitted to ask you for a waiver of any legal claims you may have against your servicer in connection with receiving this payment.

7. HOW WERE MILITARY SERVICEMEMBERS AFFECTED BY THE AGREEMENT?

All servicemembers whose mortgage loan was serviced by one of the 15 participating servicers and whose primary residence was in a foreclosure action in 2009 or 2010 were included under the Agreement. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides a range of protections for individuals entering or called to active duty in the military and for deployed servicemembers. For more information visit: militarypay.defense.gov/Benefits/ServicemembersCivilReliefAct. If a borrower's payment amount was based on his or her status under the SCRA, they were notified of that in the letter enclosed with their payments.

8. WHEN WILL I GET A CHECK AS PART OF THE AGREEMENT?

As of December 31, 2016, all checks have expired and will not be honored if presented for payment. The deadline to request a payment to be reissued, or to request to change the name on a check, has also passed for all servicers. The Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement payment process has concluded.

If your servicer was Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign (now known as Santander Bank), US Bank, or Wells Fargo, your loan was regulated by the OCC. Funds for uncashed payments have been transferred to your state’s unclaimed property division.

If your servicer was GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs/Litton Loan Servicing, Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage Services, or SunTrust, your loan was regulated by the Federal Reserve. Any funds remaining will be remitted to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

If your servicer was HSBC or JPMorgan Chase, your loan may have been regulated by either the OCC or the Federal Reserve. Any uncashed payment for loans regulated by the OCC have been transferred to your state’s unclaimed property division and any funds remaining for loans regulated by the Federal Reserve will be remitted to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

If your servicer was EverBank, all checks have expired and will not be honored if presented for payment, however, the uncashed payments have been transferred to your state’s unclaimed property division. To confirm which state your payment was sent to, please contact Epiq Systems, the Paying Agent for the EverBank agreement by sending a letter to: EverBank IFR Expedited Payment Agreement, PO Box 2730, Portland, OR 97208-2730. Please include your mailing address and phone number along with your Loan Number or Tracking Number. You may also contact EverBank directly by calling 1-800-669-7724.

9. WAS THIS A CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT?

No, this was not a class action settlement. Payments resulted from an agreement reached between banking regulators and your servicer. You can find additional information about the Agreement on the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's website, www.occ.gov or the Federal Reserve's website, www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/independent-foreclosure-review.htm.

10. WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGREEMENT?

You can find more information about the Agreement at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's or the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Systems' website, www.occ.gov or www.federalreserve.gov.

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

Two servicers, Financial Freedom and One West/IndyMac Mortgage Services, did not participate in the IFR Payment Agreement and have completed the IFR process, including payment to all eligible borrowers. Uncashed funds from these payments were escheated to the last known state of residence of the borrower beginning March 3, 2017. For information on which state your payment was escheated to, please contact OneWest Bank at 1-800-500-6097, Monday thru Friday, 8 am to 8 pm CT.

12. WHAT IS THE INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW ADMINISTRATOR GOING TO DO WITH THE INFORMATION PROVIDED? WILL THEY BE DESTROYING THE RECORDS, OR SENDING THE RECORDS BACK TO THE CONSUMER?

Information previously submitted by borrowers will be handled according to the Independent Foreclosure Review Privacy Policy that is available at www.independentforeclosurereview.com/PrivacyPolicy.aspx. The handling of all information is subject to the direction of federal banking regulators. The Independent Foreclosure Review Administrator will not destroy any information.

13. HOW WILL THIS PAYMENT AFFECT MY TAX OBLIGATIONS OR PUBLIC ASSISTANCE BENEFITS?

Any payments received under the Agreement may affect a borrower's taxes or public assistance benefits. If you have questions, we suggest you consult a tax advisor or qualified individual or organization. The Statement to Eligible Borrowers, available on this website at Tax Reporting Information, provides additional tax information.

14. WHAT HAPPENS IF I WAS NOT COVERED BY THIS AGREEMENT?

You can still have your mortgage concerns considered by calling or writing your servicer directly. If you are not satisfied with the response from your servicer, you may also contact the servicer's regulator – for more information visit the OCC site at www.helpwithmybank.gov or the Federal Reserve site at http://www.federalreserveconsumerhelp.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).

15. WHO IS THE PAYING AGENT FOR THIS MATTER?

Rust Consulting is the paying agent for all the participating servicers under the Agreement except EverBank. Epiq Systems is the paying agent for EverBank. Rust Consulting is a neutral third‐party independent administrator that focuses on processing requests and answering questions you may have. EverBank borrowers can contact Epiq Systems by sending a letter to: EverBank IFR Expedited Payment Agreement, PO Box 2730, Portland, OR 97208-2730. Please include your mailing address and phone number along with your Loan Number or Tracking Number. You may also contact EverBank directly by calling 1-800-669-7724.

16. 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.

17. DID THE SERVICERS PAY FOR THIS?

As part of the Agreement with federal banking regulators, the participating servicers were required to pay all administrative costs associated with the Agreement, and the servicers also funded the payments to borrowers.

18. HOW LONG DID I HAVE TO CASH MY CHECK?

Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement payments began mailing to eligible borrowers in April 2013 and as of December 31, 2016, all checks have expired and will not be honored if presented for payment. The deadline to request a payment to be reissued, or to request to change the name on a check, has also passed for all servicers. The Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement payment process has concluded.

If your servicer was Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign (now known as Santander Bank), US Bank, or Wells Fargo, your loan was regulated by the OCC. Funds for uncashed payments have been transferred to your state’s unclaimed property division.

If your servicer was GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs/Litton Loan Servicing, Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage Services, or SunTrust, your loan was regulated by the Federal Reserve. Any funds remaining will be remitted to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

If your servicer was HSBC or JPMorgan Chase, your loan may have been regulated by either the OCC or the Federal Reserve. Any uncashed payment for loans regulated by the OCC have been transferred to your state’s unclaimed property division and any funds remaining for loans regulated by the Federal Reserve will be remitted to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

If your servicer was EverBank, all checks have expired and will not be honored if presented for payment, however, the uncashed payments have been transferred to your state’s unclaimed property division. To confirm which state your payment was sent to, please call Epiq Systems, the Paying Agent for the EverBank agreement at by sending a letter to: EverBank IFR Expedited Payment Agreement, PO Box 2730, Portland, OR 97208-2730. Please include your mailing address and phone number along with your Loan Number or Tracking Number. You may also contact EverBank directly by calling 1-800-669-7724.

19. THE PERSON LISTED ON THE CHECK IS DECEASED. HOW CAN I HAVE A CHECK REISSUED TO ME AS THE BENEFICIARY/EXECUTOR/POWER OF ATTORNEY/ETC.?

As of December 31, 2016, all checks have expired and will not be honored if presented for payment. The deadline to request a payment to be reissued, or to request to change the name on a check, has also passed for all servicers. If the borrower’s servicer was Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign (now known as Santander Bank), US Bank, Wells Fargo, or certain loans of HSBC or JPMorgan Chase, the loan was regulated by the OCC. Funds for uncashed payments have been transferred to the states’ unclaimed property division of the borrower’s last known address. A borrower’s heirs should refer to a states’ escheatment process to determine their eligibility to claim funds.

20. DID THIS PAYMENT AFFECT MY BANKRUPTCY?

You should contact the attorney assisting you with your bankruptcy filing, if any, to discuss your individual situation.

21. HOW DID CASHING THIS PAYMENT AFFECT MY TAX REPORTING?

All payments received in connection with the IFR Payment Agreement may be subject to taxes depending on the borrower's individual circumstances. We cannot advise you on your tax liability. Please consult a tax advisor. Rust Consulting will report any income that is required to be reported. For checks mailed, you may receive a 1099 or other tax documents, as applicable. If you have not received any tax documents, you may call us at 1-888-952-9105, so we can tell you if you should be expecting tax documents. In most cases, tax documents will not be issued for payments that are less than $600. More information is available on this website at Tax Reporting Information.

22. DID YOU SEND ME A 1099 FORM WITH THIS CHECK? WILL YOU SEND ME A 1099 FORM?

Rust Consulting reports any income that we are required to report. If required, tax documentation, such as a Form 1099, is sent according to the timelines mandated by the IRS.

In most cases, tax documents were not issued for payments that were less than $600. However, all payments received in connection with the IFR Payment Agreement may have been subject to taxes depending on the borrower's individual circumstances. If you received a check greater than $600, but you have not received any tax documents, you may call us at 1-888-952-9105 so we can tell you if tax documents were sent. More information is available on this website at Tax Reporting Information.

If your servicer was EverBank, please contact Epiq Systems, the Paying Agent for the EverBank agreement by sending a letter to: EverBank IFR Expedited Payment Agreement, PO Box 2730, Portland, OR 97208-2730. Please include your mailing address and phone number along with your Loan Number or Tracking Number. You may also contact EverBank directly by calling 1-800-669-7724.

23. WHAT IS THE STATEMENT TO ELIGIBLE BORROWERS?

The Statement to Eligible Borrowers is available on this website at Tax Reporting Information. It provides information that may help you assess the possible federal income tax consequences of your payment. If you require advice regarding your individual situation, please consult a tax professional because we cannot provide individual tax advice.

24. WHEN DID EVERBANK BORROWERS RECEIVE PAYMENT UNDER THE AGREEMENT?

Payments to EverBank borrowers have all been mailed. Epiq Systems is the Paying Agent for the EverBank agreement and uncashed payments have been transferred to the state’s unclaimed property division of the borrower’s last known address. If you have any questions, you can contact them by sending a letter to: EverBank IFR Expedited Payment Agreement, PO Box 2730, Portland, OR 97208-2730. Please include your mailing address and phone number along with your Loan Number or Tracking Number. You may also contact EverBank directly by calling 1-800-669-7724.

25. WHAT ARE THE DETAILS REGARDING THE FEDERAL RESERVE’S 2016 REDISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS TO THOSE BORROWERS OF FEDERAL RESERVE REGULATED SERVICERS WHO CASHED OR DEPOSITED THEIR INITIAL CHECKS?

In a November 2015 press release, the Federal Reserve Board announced a plan to redistribute unclaimed funds under the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement to eligible borrowers who cashed or deposited their initial checks by March 31, 2016. The plan covered borrowers of mortgage servicers regulated by the Federal Reserve, which included GMAC Mortgage, Goldman Sachs/Litton Loan Servicing, Morgan Stanley/Saxon Mortgage Services, SunTrust and some borrowers of HSBC and JPMorgan Chase.

Redistribution payments were mailed in August 2016 and as of December 31, 2016, all checks have expired and will not be honored if presented for payment as the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement process has concluded. Any funds remaining will be remitted to the general fund of the U.S. Treasury.

26. WHY DID THE FEDERAL RESERVE ELECT TO DO A REDISTRIBUTION?

As stated in their November 2015 press release, the Federal Reserve’s intent was to distribute the maximum amount of funds to borrowers potentially affected by deficient servicing and foreclosure practices.

27. WHY DID THE OCC ELECT TO ESCHEAT THE FUNDS?

The OCC determined that uncashed payments for borrowers of OCC-regulated servicers should remain available to such borrowers, or such borrower’s rightful heirs, through the states’ escheatment processes.

28. ESCHEATMENT LAWS VARY FROM STATE TO STATE. HOW SOON WILL BORROWERS BE ABLE TO GET THEIR FUNDS UNDER THE ESCHEATMENT PROCESS?

Each state has different timelines. Eligible borrowers should refer to their state for details related to the state’s escheatment process to claim their funds.

29. WHAT IS THE LONGEST TIME THAT A STATE WILL HOLD BORROWERS’ FUNDS IN ESCHEATMENT BEFORE REMAINING FUNDS ARE TRANSFERRED TO THE STATE? WHAT IS THE TYPICAL TIME RANGE?

States and provinces act as the custodians of property until owners claim it. In most cases, states do not charge a fee for claiming unclaimed property. Some people and companies, known as heir finders or locators will try to charge up to 50 percent for helping people claim funds. Rather than pay service providers, individuals can check for unclaimed property and funds using MissingMoney.com for participating states (which includes all states except Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, South Carolina, and Wyoming) or work directly with the unclaimed property division of their state or province.

30. CAN YOU DESCRIBE HOW VARIOUS STATES PUBLICIZE THE AVAILABILITY OF ESCHEATMENT FUNDS?

It varies by state, and state treasurers and other officials who administer unclaimed property programs are better positioned to describe that process. States have returned almost $2 billion dollars to people annually.

31. WHAT DOES A STATE DO WITH ESCHEATED FUNDS IF A BORROWER DOES NOT REQUEST PAYMENT OF THEIR FUNDS?

States and provinces act as the custodians of property until owners claim it. There is no time limit within which eligible individuals must request unclaimed funds under the states’ unclaimed funds processes.