NC homeowners to receive $21.5 million in mortgage relief
Posted June 17, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.