Oklahoma residents seeking restitution under the mortgage settlement reached between the state's attorney general and the nation's five largest mortgage servicers must apply for benefits by September 13, 2012.[IMAGE]
Attorney General Scott Pruitt ""filed the settlement"":http://www.oag.state.ok.us/oagweb.nsf/mortgageinfo.html Tuesday with the Oklahoma County District Court. The agreement between Pruitt and Bank of America, Citigroup, Ally's GMAC, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo was first announced on February 9th and gives the state $18.6 million to compensate residents who were harmed by ""unfair and deceptive practices"" related to mortgage servicing and foreclosure processing.
Pruitt stood all alone in rejecting the joint federal-state settlement reached with the same five servicers and signed onto by all 49 other state attorneys general.
Of the $25 billion agreed to under the nationwide settlement, Oklahoma would have received an estimated $10.2 million, most of which would have been ""paid"" in the form of credits for loss mitigation activities fulfilled by the servicers. Oklahoma's settlement is actual dollars, all of which is slated for direct payment to affected borrowers.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Pruitt explains the reasons for his dissension in the ""settlement FAQ"":http://www.oag.state.ok.us/oagweb.nsf/0/cb735b047ea8e142862579c0007752f4/$FILE/ATTWQ2R1.pdf/Oklahoma%20Mortgage%20Settlement%20FAQs.pdf issued by his office. The document stresses that the AG investigation was initiated to identify and remedy harm to borrowers resulting from such practices as robo-signing and dual-tracking.
It was not intended to implement housing policy by clearing the way for principal reductions for homeowners not affected by the servicing and foreclosure practices in question, nor was it intended to potentially punish hundreds of smaller banks who did not engage in unfair practices, according to the attorney generalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The federal government added these features to regulate the industry through litigation instead of legislation,Ã¢â‚¬Â PruittÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s office says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The federal settlement will do little to help the homeowners who deserve meaningful compensation for wrongful conduct.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Under OklahomaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s settlement, Bank of America will pay the state $8.4 million, Citigroup will pay $1.5 million, GMAC must hand over $935,000, JPMorgan is in for $4.0 million, and Wells FargoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s share is $3.8 million.
OklahomaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s settlement proceeds will be distributed by the AG's Public Protection Unit. Officials have been accepting applications since February 9, and have already received 65. The unit will distribute funds based on showing of actual harm. When applying for compensation, homeowners are instructed to provide all documentation of unfair and deceptive practices encountered in their specific case. Applications are available through the ""attorney generalÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s website"":http://www.oag.state.ok.us and office.
Pruitt points out that homeowners who were wronged during the foreclosure process will only receive $1,500 to $2,000 through the federal settlement. He says the Oklahoma settlement is Ã¢â‚¬Å“dedicated to helping harmed homeownersÃ¢â‚¬Â and will provide greater and faster compensation than the federal agreement.