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Servicers Distribute $46B in Relief Since National Settlement

A year after the nation's largest mortgage servicers reached a monumental ""settlement"":http://dsnews.comarticles/robo-signing-settlement-finalized-2012-02-09 with 49 state's attorneys general and several federal agencies, the five servicers have reportedly provided assistance in the amount of $45.83 billion to 550,000 homeowners, according to the ""Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight"":https://www.mortgageoversight.com/.


The independent settlement monitor released his third progress ""report"":https://www.mortgageoversight.com/reports/ongoing-implementation/ since the agreement Thursday.

With the release of the report, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan specifically touted the efforts made through principal reductions.

""We have already surpassed our initial expectations, and the settlement is a testament to the fact that large scale principal reduction can be used as an important tool in our efforts to prevent foreclosures without incurring negative results,"" Donovan said.

The greatest portion of the total $45.83 billion distributed since the settlement went to ""relief to support home ownership."" About $24.7 billion went to these efforts.

Short sales made up another significant portion of servicers' efforts, totaling $19.5 billion.


First-lien modifications totaled $6.04 billion, and active trials in progress currently stand at $3.49 billion.

Refinance relieve totaled $2.209 billion, and forgiveness of pre-March forbearance reached $1.37 billion.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, servicers doled out $23.9 billion in consumer relief to 276,413 homeowners.

A little more than 33,000 homeowners received first-lien modifications amounting to about $3.86 billion in principal forgiveness.

Another nearly 120,000 homeowners received second-lien modifications or extinguishments, totaling $8.76 billion.

Relief through short sales in the fourth quarter totaled $6.41 billion and went out to 55,580 homeowners.

In addition to observing the consumer relief efforts of the five servicers (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial) in the settlement, the monitor accepts consumer and professional complaints through his website.

He has received 5,700 complaints from consumers across all states. For the first six months, the monitor received about 550 complaints per month.

Since November, complaints have averaged about 830 per month.

""This may be the result of greater awareness of my office, the result of persistent servicing issues, or both,"" the monitor stated in his report.

Common consumer complaints include issues with loan modifications, changes in single points of contact (SPOCs) or lack of follow-up by a SPOC, requests for the same documentation to be submitted multiple times, and ""questionable or undocumented fees.""

Complaints from professionals also often pertain to loan modifications and customer service issues, according to the monitor.


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