California borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure may be eligible to receive a settlement payment from the Foreclosure Refund Process that Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced would begin this week.
Claim forms are being to approximately 432,584 eligible California borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011, according to Harris. Those borrowers will be eligible for a settlement payment under the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement.
Through October 12, California borrowers will receive packets containing a letter from the California Department of Justice, a claim form and answers to frequently asked questions.
The deadline for all claims is January 18, 2013. But according to the press release announcing the start of the process, eligible California borrowers should complete the claim form and return it as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or file the claim form online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com.
Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013. The actual payment amounts will depend on the total number of borrowers who decide to participate.
Eligible borrowers do not need to prove financial harm to receive a payment and they may receive payment from the settlement even if they participate in another foreclosure claims process or lawsuit against their mortgage service provider.
A state and federal investigation found that five mortgage service providers routinely signed foreclosure-related documents without a notary public and without personally verifying the information on the documents were correct. The foreclosure settlement was signed in April 2012 by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the mortgage service providers that agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general of 49 states and the District of Columbia. The settlement will provide as much as $25 billion in payments for 2 million borrowers nationwide
The Attorney General does caution the public to be aware of settlement-related scams. Borrowers who have questions or need help filing a claim or for those borrowers who believe they qualify for this settlement but did not receive a notice should contact the settlement administrator, toll-free, at 866-430-8358, or send questions by email to email@example.com