Okla. AG announces more mortgage protection settlements

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Updated: 5/13/2013 11:36 am Published: 5/13/2013 11:35 am

Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced the opening of Phase II of homeowner compensation from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund.

The deadline for Oklahoma families to apply is Dec. 31. The compensation is for families who were harmed during the mortgage modification or foreclosure process with five mortgage servicers involved in the settlement.

The new phase extends the time frame for when harm occurred to include 2012.

“Fortunately for Oklahoma, we are the only state in a position to help our homeowners with direct meaningful relief,” Pruitt said. “By launching a Phase II for compensation, we can help those families who may have missed the deadline last year or who were not aware of the opportunity.”

Oklahoma crafted its own agreement with Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC and Wells Fargo, which allowed the Attorney General to provide direct compensation.

In October, the AG’s Public Protection Unit, which manages the state settlement, mailed the first installment of checks to more than 100 Oklahomans. The amount awarded to Oklahoma families ranges from $5,000-$20,000.

“It is very exciting to be able to provide these Oklahoma families some meaningful relief for the harm caused,” Pruitt said.

More than 700 Oklahomans applied for relief from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund during Phase I, with an average payment so far of $11,173.

For Oklahomans who are still in their homes and need help to avoid foreclosure, the AG’s Office has created a program called Resolution Oklahoma that provides free legal assistance. Assistant attorneys general have found that homeowners have better outcomes during the mortgage and foreclosure process when they have legal representation.

The first part of Resolution Oklahoma is in partnership with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma to provide free legal assistance for lower income and older Oklahomans. The program is provided by a grant from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund.

The second part of Resolution Oklahoma is for homeowners who do not qualify for income-based assistance. These homeowners can apply for a voucher worth up to $5,000 in legal services through the AG’s Office.

The voucher application must be completed by homeowners and their attorneys of choice and submitted to the AG’s Public Protection Unit for approval. Once approved, the attorneys will provide the services needed and submit the invoices to the AG’s Office for payment after the work is complete. All homeowners can apply for assistance through Resolution Oklahoma, no matter their mortgage company.

Voucher applications are available online at www.oag.ok.gov, by e-mail at PublicProtection@oag.ok.gov or by calling (405) 521-2029.

To contact Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, call (888) 534-5243 or go online to www.oklaw.org.

For more information on the Treasury federal settlement, call 1 (888) 952-9105 or go online to www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/foreclosure-prevention/correcting-foreclosure-practices.html.

To access the main federal settlement, contact your mortgage servicer at one of the following numbers:

Bank of America: (877) 488-7814
Citigroup: (866) 272-4749
GMAC: (800) 766-4622
JPMorgan Chase: (866) 372-6901
Wells Fargo: (800) 288-3212

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