Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee released the following statement announcing that ten banks and mortgage companies will pay $3.3 billion in cash to borrowers and $5.2 billion in mortgage relief to settle federal regulators' investigations into alleged foreclosure abuses:
"The actions of banks and corporations like Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo have forced more than 4 million families to foreclose their homes. No compensation, no amount of money, no measure of justice is enough to make it right for a family who's had their piece of the American Dream wrongly taken from them. This agreement comes out to an average settlement of $15,000 for each victim who was affected between 2009 -- 2012.
"As a result of this agreement, the participating servicers would cease the Independent Foreclosure Review, which involved case-by-case reviews, and replace it with a broader framework allowing eligible borrowers to receive compensation significantly more quickly. Eligible borrowers will receive compensation whether or not they filed a request for review form, and borrowers do not need to take further action to be eligible for compensation.
"A payment agent will be appointed to administer payments to borrowers on behalf of the servicers. Eligible borrowers are expected to be contacted by the payment agent by the end of March with payment details. Borrowers will not be required to execute a waiver of any legal claims they may have against their servicer as a condition for receiving payment. In addition, the servicers' internal complaint process will remain available to borrowers.
"I am an advocate for legislation and regulation that will better monitor the activities of corporations that risk constituents' well-merited dollars. The American people deserve better treatment. They are owed a more effective regulated system that will protect them from corporations that gamble away their hard-earned money. It is essential that those Americans displaced by this crisis be treated fairly and placed back into their homes
"For questions call 1-888-995-HOPE."