Homeowner Preservation Program Q & A

New Mexico Attorney General’s Office

Consumer Protection Division


NATIONAL MORTGAGE SETTLEMENT

Questions & Answers

New Mexico Attorney General Gary King has joined a $25 billion multistate settlement with the nation’s five largest banks; Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi and GMAC/Ally.  The settlement seeks to end problematic mortgage servicing practices and to help distressed homeowners.  Substantial changes will be implemented in the servicing standards used by the named lenders.  Implemented through the Attorney General’s Office, monetary relief will be offered to New Mexico homeowners utilizing a number of different programs to assist homeowners and prevent foreclosure.  New Mexico's estimated share of the settlement is $91.7 million.   


Can I get help from the settlement?

Generally, there are four ways that you might receive help:


  • Help for homeowners suffering financial hardship.

  • Cash payment for those who lost their homes in a foreclosure.

  • Refinance program for homeowners who owe more on their home than it is worth.

  • Help specific to service members and veterans.


How do I get more information on the relief that may be available?

Read the information provided in this flyer.  Contact your servicer at the following numbers for more details about the program and more information about your eligibility:


  • Bank of America - 1-877-488-7814

  • JPM Chase - 1-866-372-6901

  • Citi - 1-866-272-4749

  • GMAC/Ally - 1-800-766-4622

  • Wells Fargo – 1-800-288-3212


Did you lose your home to foreclosure?

If your loan was serviced by Bank of America, Wells Fargo, GMAC/Ally, Citibank or Chase and you lost your home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011 you may be eligible for a payment under the national mortgage settlement.  To find out if you are eligible call toll-free: 1-866-430-8358 (hearing impaired: 1-866-494-8281). The line is staffed Monday through Friday (6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mountain. There is a January 18, 2013 deadline to file your claim.


What are the programs that I may be eligible for?

HELP FOR BORROWERS IN FINANCIAL HARDSHIP

I am having trouble making my mortgage payments. Can I get any assistance from the settlement?

If your loan is serviced by one of the five banks listed – Bank of America, GMAC/Ally, Citi, Wells Fargo, or JPMorgan Chase - you may be eligible for assistance in the form of a loan modification, forbearance or forgiveness of principal, short sale, waiver of deficiency in loan balance, or other relief.  


What are the requirements for obtaining relief or assistance?

The type of relief you may obtain will depend upon your individual circumstances; however, a few basic requirements for eligibility include:


  • Your loan must be secured by a (one to four unit) single family property.

  • For loan modifications, the property must be occupied and you must be thirty days delinquent or otherwise qualify as being at imminent risk of default due to your financial circumstances. (The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office does not advise consumers who are current on their payments to become delinquent in order to qualify.)


Is the relief I may obtain limited to first lien mortgages?

No. Your bank may also offer relief on second liens.


I am unemployed. Is there any relief available for me?

If you are unemployed, you may be eligible for forbearance on loan principal or forgiveness of loan principal. Please contact your bank for information.


CASH TO CONSUMERS WHO LOST THEIR HOMES TO FORECLOSURE

This limited, flat fee payment is for borrowers who went through foreclosure and lost their homes.  This payment is not intended to compensate the homeowner for the loss of their home and does not require the release of any individual claims the homeowner may have.  Each homeowner who qualifies may still proceed with other remedies if the foreclosure action was wrongful.  


Who is eligible for a cash payment?


  • You lost your home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011.

  • Your loan was serviced by one of the following servicing banks: Bank of America, JPM Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo or Ally Financial/GMAC at the time you lost your home.

  • You made at least three payments on your mortgage loan.

  • Your property securing the mortgage loan was not vacant or condemned at time of the foreclosure sale.

  • Your property was an owner-occupied, (one to four unit) residential property.

  • Your unpaid principal balance did not exceed $729,750 for single family home or the limits set for owner-occupied multi-unit property.


Do I need to contact someone to apply for a cash payment?

No. A claim administrator will be selected and all eligible borrowers will be notified by letter. However, you can contact the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-678-1508 so that your name can be added to a list of potential recipients, or you can add your own information by visiting the website www.nmag.gov and clicking on the “National Mortgage Settlement Form” button.


How much will I receive?

Individual amounts will be determined by the number of eligible homeowners who apply. It is estimated that the payments will be in the range of $1,250 to $2,000 per claimant.


REFINANCE FOR “UNDER WATER” BORROWERS

Is my loan eligible for refinance?

If your loan meets all of the following criteria, you may be eligible to refinance under this program:


  • You owe more on your home loan than the value of your home. In other words, your home mortgage is “underwater.”

  • Your loan is a first lien mortgage owned by one of the five banks participating in this settlement: Bank of America, JPM Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank or GMAC/Ally Financial.

  • Your loan was originated on or before January 1, 2009.

  • Your loan is current and has not been delinquent for 12 months or more.

  • You have a fixed rate, adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) or interest-only loan that had an initial period of five years or more.

  • You have not received a loan modification within the past 24 months.

  • You have not been in bankruptcy within the past 24 months.

  • Your loan has not been in foreclosure within the past 24 months.

  • The loan must have a current interest rate of at least five-point-two-five percent (5.25%.)

What loans are excluded for refinance under this program?

The following loans are not included in the refinance program: FHA or VA loans, second mortgages or home equity loans. Also, loans for manufactured homes, for unoccupied property or loans owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are also not eligible.


What are the terms of the refinance?

The amount of the reduction in your interest rate and other terms will vary depending on your loan and what your bank is offering. You will need to contact your bank for more details.


How do I apply for a refinance?

Eligible borrowers will be notified by the banks but you may contact their banks directly. (See bank contact information above)

BENEFITS PARTICULAR TO SERVICE MEMBERS AND VETERANS

The settlement contains a number of specific provisions designed both to protect service member’s rights under the law and to provide them with additional benefits.  Some of those include:


  • Service members who were had their home foreclosed upon in violation of the Service members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) since January 1, 2006, may be eligible for a payment equal to the lost equity plus interest, and an additional $116,785 or an amount determined by banking regulators, whichever is higher.

  • Service members who between January 1, 2008 and the present, were charged an interest rate in excess of six percent (6%) after a valid request to lower the rate. They may be eligible for a payment equal to a refund with interest, plus triple the amount of the refund, or $500, whichever is greater.