Mortgage lenders are in the news again and again but this time it’s just not only Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the hot seat. If you purchased a home using any of the following lenders like GMAC (now Ally Financial), Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, or Citibank, you may want to take note. Last month’s settlement of $25 billion is proposed to aid homeowners who may have been subject to “robo-signing,” in loan and foreclosure practices. “Robo-signing” refers to the practice of mortgage providers signing or stamping documents without verifying any information. If you currently have a loan or experienced a foreclosure with one of these lenders, you may be eligible to receive assistance.
The new agreement, authorized in 49 states (not Oklahoma), strengthens the review process on loan modifications and foreclosures by requiring application reviews prior to beginning the foreclosure process. Excessive fees, insurance costs, and appraisal rates also received limits, and the agreement also provided avenues for principal reduction for struggling homeowners. This agreement does not apply to any FHA, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loans or foreclosures which is good for our area as most loans before the melt down weren’t made by either Freddie, Fannie or FHA in San Mateo County.
Homeowners with a mortgage on their primary home that represent a 20 percent or more reduction on property value and with a loan balance of less than $417,000 are targeted for these funds, although eligibility will be determined individually. Homeowners whose mortgage interest rates are above 5.25 percent may be able to refinance to lower interest rates, and homeowners experiencing unemployment or considering short sales may receive aid, as well.
Contact your lender directly to see if you are eligible or watch for a notification letter from your lender within the next six months. Incentives were provided to lenders who completed settlements within 12 months, and funds must be dispersed within three years. Click here to see actual details of the agreement.
Additionally, San Francisco’s Assessor has done extensive research on foreclosures that took place in the City over the past several years and feels that most were done fraudulently. What this means for you if you lost your home or bought one in San Francisco that was a foreclosure isn’t known at this time. We can be pretty sure this same thing happened throughout San Mateo County, too.
This is such a huge mess that it will take years and years to fix it. Right now Sacramento is busy trying to pass some bills to start the ball rolling to protect California residents. Keep your eyes and ears open about this as it could affect you if you lost your home or bought a distressed property. I’ll write more about this as we hear more.
Here are some homes for sale in San Mateo today.
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