Local News

NC homeowners to receive $21.5 million in mortgage relief

Posted June 17, 2014

Home foreclosures decline

— North Carolina homeowners with home loans through SunTrust Mortgage will receive as much as $21.5 million in relief from a national settlement with the lender, the state Attorney General’s Office announced Tuesday.

The settlement requires SunTrust Mortgage to provide direct payments to foreclosure victims as well as loan modifications and other relief for borrowers. SunTrust must also meet tougher mortgage servicing standards to prevent future problems for homeowners.

In addition, an estimated 2,449 North Carolinians who lost their homes through foreclosure will be eligible for direct cash payments totaling about $2 million. Consumers may be eligible for the payments if their mortgage was serviced by SunTrust, they encountered servicing abuses and they lost their home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2013.

Those eligible for the settlement payments will be contacted. The payment will depend on the total number of claims filed, the Attorney General’s Office said.

Tuesday’s settlement is based on a 2012 national settlement with mortgage providers Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo that has provided more than $50 billion to distressed homeowners.

In North Carolina, the national settlement provided $338 million for housing counselors, legal help, fraud detection and prosecution, and economic improvement as well as $33.57 million in direct payments to foreclosure victims.

“People who take out a mortgage expect and deserve fair treatment,” state Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. “Thanks to this agreement, deserving homeowners will get direct relief and future borrowers will get better protections.”

SunTrust, through the agreement, is also required to change how it services mortgage loans, handles foreclosures and ensures the accuracy of information provided in federal bankruptcy court. These changes are expected to prevent past foreclosure abuses, such as robo-signing, improper documentation and lost paperwork, the attorney general’s office said.

The agreement creates several new consumer protections and standards, including:

- Making foreclosure a last resort by requiring SunTrust to evaluate homeowners for other options first.
- Restricting foreclosure while the homeowner is being considered for a loan modification.
- Establishing new procedures and timelines for reviewing loan modification applications.
- Giving homeowners the right to appeal denials.
- Requiring a single point of contact for borrowers seeking information about their loans and maintaining adequate staff to handle calls.

Current SunTrust borrowers can contact the company with questions at 800-634-7928 or through a SunTrust support page.


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  • Allen Schuster Jun 18, 2014
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    If you lend, do so responsibly.

  • 50s Child Jun 18, 2014

    From what I've heard, SunTrust among others refused to answer calls and emails, sent borrowers on paper chases, claimed not to have received faxes, the list goes on. Maybe those people shouldn't have borrowed in the first place, and I'm very much aware that any who stood up to Clinton faced retaliation for pointing out that an ancient granny (the one who can't get ID to vote) has no way of repaying the loan she's insisting she "deserves". But once they announced modification programs, they just waited for the clock to run out instead of engaging with applicants.

    I used to do the paperwork for mortgage foreclosures and the LAST thing we wanted was another house, maybe not in a great neighborhood and almost certainly either trashed by angry borrowers or mortgaged with 1st, 2nd and 3rd mortgages, tax liens, etc., that no right-thinking person would ever buy. We did everything to keep from foreclosing. Don't know why SunTrust and the others seem so keen on taking back property.

  • Lorna Schuler Jun 18, 2014
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    Thank you. I see a lot of very snarky comments about folks losing their homes. I'm assuming that those doing so have never lost all sources of income in the home due to being laid off...or loss of half or better of the income due to the death of a spouse and thus have no clue as to how desperate it can get. And no, not everyone has PMI on their mortgage. And no, not everyone who works hard and is responsible is able to save up thousands to live off of in the event something catastrophic happens. That does not mean they are deadbeats, irresponsible etc, etc, etc.

  • glarg Jun 18, 2014

    "foreclosure victims"???

  • georgegray Jun 18, 2014

    I know that a lot of good, hardworking people have fallen on bad times and had their homes take away, but I also know what it's like to give up your cable television and cell phone, to eat beans and rice for 3 days a week, to turn off the air condition and use fans during August just to make my mortgage payments. Part of me wonders if I should have just kept the amenities and waited for the government to tell the bank it was their responsibility to help me make the payments.

  • lasm Jun 18, 2014

    CTYA, MEP,Scubagirl2,Thisismyscreenname:
    I agree that not all foreclosures were the results of "deadbeats". I also agree with CTYA, that you can't foresee the future of bad things happening (glad you were able to rise above & overcome it). However, a lot of foreclosures were the result of a law (because SOME thought EVERYONE had the right to own a home) that mortgages had to be granted to folks who really could not afford it. With these types of loans, the interest rate was to rise in later months to such a proportion that made it impossible for those folk to keep up payments. Keep in mind that these people were told and signed loans KNOWING about the rise in interest rates and they SIGNED & agreed anyway. Foreclosures on homes of people who could not afford to own such a home in the first place was inevitable. I blame the liberal law that started this mess and borrowers who signed and then cried "wrong", when they could not afford the loan (and they knew it) in the first place.

  • Martha Matthews Jun 18, 2014
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    Not everyone has money in the bank to cover a year's worth of mortgage payments. Your average citizen doesn't have that kind of bank account. Plus, what happens after that year when you lose a job, get sick and can't work, or whatever situation arises where you can't pay the mortgage, even if you really want to? And how about if you do try to work with the bank to get assistance on the mortgage through their loan modification program, or thru state assistance and are declined? We are not talking about people who try to scam the system to get whatever they can for free. We are talking people who had good jobs but as others have said, life has happened, and the annual income has been decreased to the point where they could not make the mortgage payments, and this very bank, SunTrust, declined to help them.

  • heard-it-all-before Jun 18, 2014

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    oh I dunno, maybe because rent is sometimes twice as high as a home mortgage and it's impossible to save 12 months salary? I didn't start saving until I got a house.

  • Tim Pearce Jun 18, 2014
    user avatar

    Ah haa.. !!! YES SunTrust.... Turned me down twice now. And hit me for a appraisal.

  • Tim Pearce Jun 18, 2014
    user avatar

    If you had a high rate and a double wide / manufactured home.. You're gonna find it very frustrating to get a refinance. There ought to be a program for me too !?!?!?! What gives ?