The national mortgage servicing settlement reached in February expanded on provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which allows military members to put certain civil obligations on hold, such as mortgage payments.
Through the settlement agreement, the five largest servicers (Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Ally) must provide specific relief to eligible servicemembers.
One of the enhanced protections from the settlement requires the five banks to provide short-sale agreements and deficiency waivers to eligible servicemembers who receive permanent change in station orders. The $25 billion settlement also allotted $10 million toward the Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund, along with other benefits.
“Veterans Day is a reminder to honor the service members who have and continue to dedicate their lives to protecting this country,” said Smith in a release. “The national mortgage settlement has particular provisions specific to service members, and we want to make sure they’re aware of them. I also want to know if any of our nation’s veterans are experiencing wrongful treatment from their mortgage servicer, as it will help me better oversee the settlement and ensure they find appropriate counsel for their issue.”
There are two online forms for military members and their supporters to use when submitting mortgage servicing complaints. One is for servicemembers and can be accessed at mortgageoversight.com/service and another is for advocates of servicemembers and can be found online at mortgageoversight.com/military.
According to a release from the office, Smith will use the information from the complaints to investigate trends and help the monitor know how servicers are treating customers.
“It is my responsibility to help make this settlement meaningful for borrowers,” Smith said. “That obligation is especially important for the men and women who serve in our military. I hope that this information will be helpful to them, and they will let me know if they do not see improvements.”
Smith was appointed to oversee the implementation of the national mortgage servicing settlement in March.
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