Monday, March 26, 2012

Postcard: Independent Foreclosure Review

Did you receive a postcard about the Independent Foreclosure Review?

The Minnesota Homeownership Center and members of the Homeownership Advisors Network have participated in a mailing to thousands of Minnesota families that may have been involved in a foreclosure or tried to work on a loan modification in 2009 or 2010, to let them know that they may be eligible for financial compensation or another remedy.

Here's a copy of the postcards that have been mailed:

Front of Postcard - Click to Enlarge
Back of Postcard - Click to Enlarge

While the Center doesn't have exact numbers... we do know that homeowners, or former homeowners, requesting a formal review of their bank's foreclosure procedures have been far less than the regulators anticipated.  In a nutshell: families that may be eligible for some sort of payment may be leaving money on the table.

Federal banking regulators (the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, simply known as the OCC, the Office of Thrift Supervision and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System have created a process by which homeowners may request an independent review of their foreclosure process if they meet two major criteria:

  1. They were part of a foreclosure action on their primary residence any time from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010;
  2. Their loan was serviced by one of the 14 participating mortgage servicers.  (See list below).
If the review finds that financial injury occurred because of the servicer’s errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure process, the customer may receive compensation or other remedy.

NOTE:  "Foreclosure Action" can mean anything from receiving a notice of intent to foreclose (even if your payments were brought up to date) all the way through having lost the home at a foreclosure or Sheriff's sale.  Even homeowners whose loan entered any point of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010... and are still delinquent, but the Sheriff's sale has not yet taken place, are eligible.

NO.  However it is important to remember that NO ONE should charge you a fee to help 'facilitate' or 'improve your odds' of receiving compensation.  NEVER PAY FOR HELP.

No.  Your bank or servicer may have their own internal review process.  However, if your mortgage loan meets the initial eligibility criteria, you should submit a Request for Review Form to ensure your foreclosure action is included in the Independent Foreclosure Review process.

Your mortgage must have been serviced by one of the 14 participating mortgage lenders/servicers or their affiliates:
  • America’s Servicing Co.
  • Aurora Loan Services
  • BAC Home Loans Servicing
  • Bank of America
  • Beneficial
  • Chase
  • Citibank
  • CitiFinancial
  • CitiMortgage
  • Countrywide
  • EMC
  • EverBank/EverHome
  • Mortgage Company
  • Financial Freedom
  • GMAC Mortgage
  • HFC
  • HSBC
  • IndyMac Mortgage Services
  • MetLife Bank
  • National City Mortgage
  • PNC Mortgage
  • Sovereign Bank
  • SunTrust Mortgage
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wachovia Mortgage
  • Washington Mutual (WaMu)
  • Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
  • Wilshire Credit Corporation


Step One:  Call the Minnesota Homeownership Center: 651-659-9336
or Toll Free: 866-462-6466 with any questions.

Step Two:  Visit the Independent Foreclosure Review website:

As always... if you're struggling with your mortgage - or know someone who is - the Minnesota Homeownership Center serves as a FREE resource to Minnesota homeowners.  Call us today with questions about the Independent Foreclosure Review... or other programs, resources and assistance available to prevent foreclosure, TODAY

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Manufactured Housing in Minnesota

New Fact Sheet Available!

Used Under Creative Commons License
Foto by Archerland2005
Manufactured homes (often called mobile homes) are built entirely in a factory and have a permanent structure that allows for them to be transported. The homes are usually placed on land owned by the homeowner or leased at a mobile home park.  Mobile home design and aesthetics have changed dramatically in the past few years and most no longer resemble the ‘trailer’ look of years past.  They can be an affordable housing option for Minnesotans, but there are some VERY important considerations to make before you decide to purchase a manufactured home.

For that reason, the Minnesota Homeownership Center has created a new Fact Sheet that covers:

  •  Advantages and Disadvantages to purchasing a manufactured home
  •  Living in a resident-owned or cooperative mobile home park
  •  Financing the purchase of a manufactured home
  •  Steps to take when purchasing

To view the complete fact sheet… and others that can help you in your goal of homeownership, visit the Center’s website, here.

As always the Center highly recommends that if you’re thinking of purchasing your first home in Minnesota, whether manufactured housing or traditional site-built housing, that you first make an appointment with a Homeownership Advisor (Housing Counselor) who will be able to work with you to create a plan to reach your goal of homeownership.  They’ll also help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a homeowner and make sure that you know about any down payment or entry-cost assistance programs you might be able to access.

The Minnesota Homeownership Center exists to promote and advance successful homeownership in Minnesota… speak with a Homeownership Advisor today so that YOU can be successful in the purchase of your first home.  Counseling services are FREE and confidential.