So, about that massive $25 billion mortgage settlement announced yesterday:Millions of homeowners are probably wondering if and when they’ll get a slice of that pie. The good news is yes, those checks will be coming.
The bad news is it could take up to three years, according to the settlement website.
Here’s all the info you’ll need to figure out whether you’ll be on the receiving end:
1. Your mortgage must have been held by one of the five banks involved: Ally, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
3. Oklahoma homeowners are also out of luck since the state opted out of the settlement.
4. You must have lost your home to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011. There are about 750,000 consumers who qualify and the deal has designated $1.5 billion for reimbursements. That puts the average cash payment at about $2,000 per borrower. You’ll receive letters with instructions on how to claim it in the coming months.
5. The settlement wasn’t just about dollar signs. It also mandates that the banks help struggling homeowners in a couple of ways: They’ve got to help borrowers struggling to make payments now with loan modifications, and underwater borrowers (those who owe more than their homes are worth) are entitled to refinance at today’s interest rates, which are at their lowest point in decades.
So, why the three-year waiting game?
It’ll take up to two months for the folks arranging the deal to appoint an administrator. He or she will be tasked with making sure all the terms of the settlement are executed properly. And then it’ll be another six to nine months before states attorneys general and the banks start selecting the homeowners entitled to checks.
Here are five numbers to call if you want more information:
- Ally/GMAC: 800-766-4622
- Bank of America: 877-488-7814 (Available Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. CT and Saturdays 8 a.m. CT – 5 p.m. CT
- Citi: 866-272-4749
- JPMorgan Chase: 866-372-6901
- Wells Fargo: 800-288-3212 (Available Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT)
Visit www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com for more details.