Countrywide, which is now owned by Bank of America, is making restitution payments to families who lost their homes from improper mortgages. The payments are intended to provide a small amount of relief to the families. While facing foreclosure and losing a home is one of the most difficult economic hardships a family or individual can go through, these payments may help to ease some of the stress.
Over forty attorneys general filed a multi-state lawsuit against Countrywide. This lawsuit resulted in consumer restitution payments of over $150 million. The Indiana State Attorney General will be sending out letters to thousands of families who had their homes foreclosed on by Countrywide. The letter will tell them that they can get a restitution payment from Countrywide worth at least $1,500. If you are a Countrywide customer and have questions or concerns, you can contact the company directly instead of waiting for a letter.
The settlement in addition to the restitution payments being made, also includes a mortgage loan modification program called the National Homeownership Retention Program. This program could provide over $8 billion in mortgage savings for homeowners. The goal of this settlement is to help as many families as possible keep their homes by modifying their loans. This could impact up to 5,000 Hoosiers by lowering their payments.
To be eligible for the restitution, the mortgage loan must have originated with Countrywide, the borrower needed to have resided in the property that served as collateral for the mortgage, the first payment on the mortgage was due between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007, and the property that was used to secure the loan was lost through foreclosure, a short sale, or deed in lieu of foreclosure. Homeowners in Indiana are not required to agree to a settlement, and they can choose whether or not to accept a settlement payment. Borrowers will have up to 90 days to sign and return a form that claims and releases Countrywide from any future private action or lawsuits related to the foreclosure. The minimum restitution that a borrower will receive is just under $1,500, but some borrowers may choose not to return the release to the lender. This means that if they go ahead with this plan, the people who owe money could get a bigger refund than the minimum amount they were expecting. You should only participate in the settlement program with Countrywide if you are okay with only receiving the minimum payment from the lender. This is an extremely powerful tool This tool is very powerful.