Charleston – October 12, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Darrell McGraw warns West Virginia borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure to avoid scammers offering help with the National Mortgage Settlement. McGraw reminds all consumers never to pay anyone to file a claim in a case brought by his office. Help from the Consumer Protection Division is always free.
In March of 2012 McGraw’s office announced a settlement in which the nations’ five largest mortgage servicers, Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, agreed to resolve claims brought on behalf of consumers by the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia. The $25 billion settlement set aside $3.6 million in payments for West Virginia borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2011 while their loans were being serviced by one of the five banks.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous organizations soon began offering “help” to eligible borrowers. For a hefty “contingency fee” of up to 20% of the expected payment, fringe companies offer to help consumers submit simple claim forms, but this is unnecessary according to the Attorney General’s office. “It’s not complicated,” said McGraw. “The claims process is simple and easy, so don’t be fooled by outfits claiming you need their help with a settlement resulting from my office’s enforcement efforts.”
This month, McGraw’s office mailed legitimate claim forms with easy-to-use instructions to 5,222 West Virginia borrowers who are eligible to file claims. The customized, one-page claim forms are simple to complete and any borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim can contact the settlement administrator, toll free, at 1-866-430-8358 or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-368-8808. The deadline to submit all claims is January 18, 2013.
McGraw’s office recently learned that a San Antonio, Texas, company called Murray LLP ran TV and Internet ads directing consumers to its website, www.bringaclaim.com to charge eligible borrowers a 20% fee to submit a one-page claim form in the National Mortgage Settlement.
Attorney General McGraw warns all homeowners to be aware of settlement-related scams. Do not provide personal information or pay money to anyone who advertises, calls or emails you claiming that they are providing settlement related assistance. If you believe someone is conducting a settlement related scam, contact the West Virginia Attorney General at 1-800-368-8808.
For more information about eligibility and filing a claim:
Email: administrator (at) nationalmortgagesettlement (dot) com
Call toll free: 1-866-430-8358 (hearing impaired: 1-866-494-8281). The line is staffed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Phone: (800) 368-8808