Advocates Call for Extension on Foreclosure Review Deadline

By EGP Staff Report

A program to allow foreclosed on homeowners, or homeowners facing foreclosure to seek a review of their distressed mortgage will come to an end on Dec. 31 unless federal officials agree to extend the deadline, a move being backed by a number of housing advocates.

The foreclosure review program has so far reached only a small fraction of those potentially eligible, homeownership advocates said during a recent telephone briefing, according to a news release distributed by the Greenlining Institute. Because the program has failed to reach its intended participants, the program’s deadline should be extended, they said.

Attempting to address evidence of widespread mishandling of home foreclosures, the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in April 2011 created the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) program to deal with mortgages serviced by 27 leading companies that went into foreclosure during 2009 and 2010, estimated to be 4.4 million mortgages.

So far, not one decision has been made and no compensation has been given, and only about six percent, or 260,000 of those believed eligible to receive an independent review have actually begun the process to determine if they deserve compensation for mistakes or abusive practices.

“Millions of foreclosures may have been handled wrongly, and this program is an important source of potential help – but only if people know about it,” said Greenlining Institute Community Reinvestment Director Preeti Vissa. “Last June, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found major problems in the government and banks’ efforts to publicize and reach out to affected homeowners. While some efforts have been made to fix those problems and there has been improved outreach, there just hasn’t been time to effectively get the word out to the millions of homeowners at risk.

Alan Jenkins, Executive Director of The Opportunity Agenda, said “We cannot let arbitrary deadlines prevent us from rebuilding the American Dream.” He said federal authorities need to drop the deadline and allow applications to be submitted “for as long as needed.”

“Fully addressing the fallout from bank misconduct in the foreclosure crisis is crucial to our economic recovery, and to families across America,” said Jenkins.

Tunua Thrash, executive director of the West Angeles Community Development Corporation in Los Angeles, said very few of the people coming to them for help have even heard of the program. “It’s not fair to slam the door on people before they even know help is available.”

Those who believe they may be eligible can request an independent review online at www.independentforeclosurereview.com, or call 1-888-952-9105 for more information.


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December 13, 2012  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

Comments

5 Responses to “Advocates Call for Extension on Foreclosure Review Deadline”

  1. RoseMary Andrus-Mitchell on December 13th, 2012 3:20 pm

    I agree with Alan Jenkins about the deadlines, they are just not fair. However, I sent my review in January 2012, and I read in another article that payments will not be paid until after the close of Dec. 31, 2012. So if the deadlines keep people from compensation that doesn’t seem fair either. Initially I was told it will take several months for the review, now I have just about reached a year. I want my case to be decided throughly, with no more mistakes caused by the bank, but I lost my house 2 1/2 years ago and it has been very hard. Thank you for allowing me to comment.

  2. Linda L Costley on December 13th, 2012 9:54 pm

    I also sent in my review in January, the original deadline was April 30, 2012. It was extended to July 31, then September 30. and now to December 31. Changing the deadline four times has not resulted in an increase in claims, why would it make a difference now?

  3. Sean on December 14th, 2012 10:01 am

    We also think the deadline should be extended and have started a petition on change.org, requesting that the deadline is extended until two months after they have released the results of at least 215,000 cases:
    https://www.change.org/petitions/postpone-the-deadline-for-the-independent-foreclosure-review-until-215-000-cases-have-been-released

  4. John on December 19th, 2012 2:08 pm

    People like Sean are from legal industry ( lawyers, etc) who offer assitance for $$$. Extending deadlines means more $$$ for them. Please stop the extension. After too many extensions – We’re still waiting for the result for over a year now!

  5. Irene Sanchez on January 6th, 2013 1:29 pm

    I was foreclosed on twice on the same house, when i applied they said i was not approved because my bank was Ocwen, after audit was done we found it should have
    been approved, they the banks didnt care, now after deadline i find out i should have been approved.

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