CHARLESTON – October 29, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — For Putnam county homeowner Regina Laury, there is no doubt that Attorney General Darrell McGraw’s mortgage assistance outreach program is working. Laury, who filed a complaint with General McGraw against Citi and successfully obtained a loan modification, is very clear, “The Attorney General saved my home.”
In April, Attorney General McGraw entered into a settlement with Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, to settle allegations of loan servicing misconduct. McGraw was joined by the federal government and 48 states’ Attorneys General.
Soon after, Attorney General McGraw launched a statewide outreach campaign to educate the state’s struggling homeowners on their available options and intervening on their behalf through his Consumer Protection office. To date, over 800 West Virginians have filed complaints with McGraw in an attempt to avoid foreclosure and save their homes.
Over two-thirds of the complaints are coming from homeowners in Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Cabell, Kanawha, Putnam, Raleigh and Wood counties. Homeowners in the hard-hit Eastern Panhandle region are getting help from the recently opened Consumer Protection office in Martinsburg, saving residents a daylong trip to Charleston and offering one-on-one help with their mortgage complaints, regardless of who services their loans.
Additionally, 5,222 claim forms have been sent to West Virginia borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011, and are eligible for a cash payment expected to be approximately $1,500 to $2,000. Funds were set aside to make payments to borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure by one of the settling banks. Attorney General McGraw worked hard to make sure every household who is eligible has an opportunity to submit a claim. The exact payment will depend upon the total number of borrowers who send in their claim forms.
Attorney General McGraw also launched Project: Save Our Homes, advertising statewide, notifying homeowners of their rights and offering free help to all. In addition to developing thewebsite www.projectsaveourhomes.com, seventeen educational workshops were held throughout the state.
The settlement lasts three years, and banks can take months to complete their reviews, so it is still too early to know how many homes have been saved as a result of General McGraw’s efforts. However, currently, 181 foreclosure sales were postponed allowing time for loan servicers to properly evaluate homeowners’ applications for loan assistance. Without General McGraw’s intervention, these homes would have been sold before the application review process was completed.
To report a scam or file a complaint, West Virginians can reach the Attorney General’s Office by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-368-8808 or online at www.wvago.gov. For regular consumer news updates, follow AAGWestV@ on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
For more information about the settlement:
Phone: (800) 368-8808