Nearly 1,500 additional members of the armed services have been identified as being eligible for more than $186 million in reimbursements that ignored the legal protections of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the Justice Department announced.
Together with other compensation announced in February, a total of 2,413 service members and their co-borrowers are eligible to receive over $311 million. The five mortgage servicers are
- JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A. (JP Morgan Chase);
- Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and Wells Fargo & Co. (Wells Fargo);
- Citi Residential Lending Inc., Citibank, NA and CitiMortgage Inc. (Citi);
- GMAC Mortgage LLC, Ally Financial Inc. and Residential Capital LLC (GMAC Mortgage); and
- Bank of America N.A., Countrywide Home Loans Inc., Countrywide Financial Corp., Countrywide Home Loans Servicing L.P. and BAC Home Loans Servicing L.P. (Bank of America).
The compensation results from the SCRA portion of the 2012 settlement known as the National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) and an earlier settlement with Bank of America. It takes into account foreclosures that took place between Jan. 1, 2006, and Apr. 4, 2012, where the servicer obtained a foreclosure without a judicial proceeding or where the servicer obtained a default foreclosure judgment without filing a proper affidavit with the court stating that the service member was in military service.
“While this compensation will provide some financial relief to more than 2,400 service members and their families, the fact is no one serving our country in the Armed Forces should ever have to worry about losing their home to an illegal foreclosure,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Stuart F. Delery.
For mortgages serviced by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, and GMAC Mortgage, the identified service members will each receive $125,000, plus any lost equity in the property and interest on that equity. Eligible co-borrowers will also be compensated for their share of any lost equity in the property.
To ensure consistency with an earlier private settlement, JP Morgan Chase will provide any identified service member either the property free and clear of any debt or the cash equivalent of the full value of the home at the time of sale. They will also have the opportunity to submit a claim for compensation for any additional harm suffered, which will be determined by a special consultant, retired U.S. District Court Judge Edward N. Cahn.
Payment amounts have been reduced for those service members or co-borrowers who have previously received compensation directly from the servicer or through a prior settlement, such as the independent foreclosure review conducted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board.
The following chart shows the number of service members who will be compensated by each of the servicers for both non-judicial and judicial foreclosures:
What to do
Borrowers should use the following contact information for questions about SCRA payments under the National Mortgage Settlement:
- Bank of America borrowers should call Rust Consulting Inc., the settlement administrator, toll-free at 1-855-793-1370 or write to BAC Home Loans Servicing Settlement Administrator, c/o Rust Consulting Inc., P.O. Box 1948, Faribault, MN 55021-6091.
- Citi borrowers should call Citi toll-free at 1-888-326-1166.
- GMAC Mortgage borrowers should call Rust Consulting Inc., the settlement administrator, toll-free at 1-866-708-0915 or write to P.O. Box 3061, Faribault, Minnesota 55021-2661.
- JPMorgan Chase borrowers should call Chase toll-free at 1-877-469-0110 or write to P.O. Box 183224, OH-7160/DOJ, Columbus, Ohio 43219-6009.
- Wells Fargo borrowers should call the Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Military Customer Service Center toll free at 1-877-839-2359.
Service members and their dependents who believe that their SCRA rights have been violated should contact an Armed Forces Legal Assistance office. To find the closest office, consult the military legal assistance office locator at http://legalassistance.law.af.mil and click on the Legal Services Locator. Additional information about the Justice Department’s enforcement of the SCRA and the other laws protecting service members is available at www.servicemembers.gov.