MSNBC: $300 Checks are 'Cold Comfort' to Foreclosure Families

MSNBC: $300 Checks are 'Cold Comfort' to Foreclosure Families Most of them amount to $300 or a little more, those foreclosure-relief checks going out to millions of Americans who were caught up in mortgage-related abuses or wrongdoing by the biggest banks, a saga that is starting to get national television attention.
MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program today put a spotlight on the victims who become “eligible borrowers” under the Independent Foreclosure Review, a failed process to uncover specific wrongdoing.
It become so costly and out-of-control that regulators opted for a $3.6 billion payout system in January, categorizing borrowers according to the degree of financial harm. The payouts started April 12.
But how banks and regulators arrived at these categories is mostly a mystery.
“For families who endured years of anguish or lost their homes, critics say these payments are cold comfort,”  reads the introduction to the segment by NBC’s senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers. “The banks don’t have to admit wrongdoing and even if there’s evidence of illegal conduct, the government so far isn’t providing that information to homeowners.”
(See MSNBC segment below)
But even homeowners who never defaulted on their loans and were wrongly foreclosed upon are getting a few hundred dollars, even though such harm should qualify for the highest compensation of $125,000, according to borrowers, lawmakers and consumer advocates.
“Timothy, a trucker, says he’s been fighting to save his home since his servicer made a mistake declaring his family behind on the mortgage when they were not,” Myers said on the MSNBC segment. “He received a postcard saying he’ll get a check. He too expects $300.”
“It’s kind of like a slap in the face,” Timothy said. “We have been trying to work through this for three years now and we have lost lots.”
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Maryland, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was interviewed by Myers.
Cummings and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, have taken the lead in trying to get to the bottom of the failed foreclosure reviews and how regulators arrived at the various payouts, ranging from $300 to $125,000.
Cummings and other representatives are sponsoring a bill to create an “independent monitor” over the banks and the regulators.
“It makes me feel very emotional because I run into people like that every day, where they are getting a $300 check and losses amount to $250,000,” Cummings said. “The banks are in control of this process.”
Cummings and Warren have sent a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry, challenging the decision by their staff not to provide any documents from the scuttled reviews.
Staff from the regulatory agencies claimed these documents are the “trade secrets” of mortgage servicing companies and should be withheld even from members of Congress.
“The banks already admitted to wrongdoing and illegal activity,” Cummings said. (We asked the regulators): Can you tell us exactly which bank did what and how it was done? They said no. Because these are trade secrets… We cannot even get that information.”
Cummings said he hopes an independent monitor can make better progress.
“We’ve got a monitoring bill where we go back and we’ll look at this settlement, and actually bring some transparency to figure out exactly what went wrong. And try to hopefully bring some correction to these people who have been damaged.”

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15 thoughts on “MSNBC: $300 Checks are 'Cold Comfort' to Foreclosure Families

  • May 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm
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    I just finish watching this Video. I would like to take the time to Thank Mr. Cummings for speaking up for all of us who the Bank has done wrong. I too received $300.00 on Monday (3rd Wave) I think it is an insult to hardworking people like myself and many others all over this Country that was issued check in the wrong amounts.. We Lost our home, not because we were dead beats, I have a good job 27 years on the same job, Good Salary but because these so call BIG BANKS REFUSE TO MODIFY MY LOANS (AND MILLIONS OF OTHER LOANS,) I lost my Home in 2008. How can these same people who took our homes from under us destroy our CREDIT, then turn around and decide what our compensation should be, Something is definitely WRONG with this picture. This is AMERICA, where is the Justice who is looking out for us the CONSUMER, THE MIDDLE CLASS, THE BACKBONE OF THIS ECONOMY. This whole mess just makes me very sad and sick to my stomach. I cannot speak for anyone else but I refuse to purchase another home, this whole Mess has definitely left a real bad feeling in my heart. AMERICA’S GREED, GREED IS NEVER GOOD.

  • May 2, 2013 at 7:30 pm
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    This whole thing is messed up fro m start to finish and if its a secret it most not be right I was in second wave may second and I still don’t have my payment wonder how many others didn’t get there’s. Called to let them know and just get the run around the ifr is one hell of a joke that’s not very funny.

  • May 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm
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    Because of the greed of these banks, we lost our business, lost our home and lost every investment we had (all real estate related). Not one individual from the banks or Wall Street involved with this debacle has gone to jail. Not one Congressman or Senator has lost their job. Big money bought the Congress and now big money is playing the tune to which our Congress dances.
    How about we hold people who commit illegal acts responsible for their actions. I refuse to cash this check. It is an insult to all Americans who have been so damaged by the illegal activities of our banks and our congress.
    Good marks for Congressman Cummings and Senator Warren. At least they are speaking out about this American tragedy.

  • May 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm
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    There is a class action suit that the Dept. of Justice filed with WF. It is for discrimination against african-americans and hispanics. If you bought a home between 1-1-2004 – 12-31-2009, you may qualify. The deadline is 6-25-2013. If you obtained a loan with WF and you were given a 80/20 or some other type of loan instead of a prime loan and could of qualified for a prime loan if you had been considered for one, you may qualify for this suit. Call 1-866-329-5282, Epig Class Action & Claims Solutions, to get them to send you a packet. You fill the packet out and send it back to see if you qualify for this settlement.

  • May 6, 2013 at 8:38 pm
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    To borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure, There is strength in numbers, Sign the white petition the goal is 99,000.

  • May 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm
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    Received check BOA today for 800. should of been 6000 denied mod because Taylor Bean and then BOA stated they did not receive mod package which was sent to Taylor Bean and then BOA at least three times. BOA called and denied mod. Sold home for 42,500. Answer this why would the government let the bank that committed the fraud be responsible to pay the person who they committed fraud upon by determining the amount. Of course they are allowed to determine the amount because they have had plenty of time to shred the evidence. And they say crime dose not pay, it does just ask boa. Took 10 days to get here because Rust would not put the correct address on the payment. Thank God the mailman was on top of things and corrected the error and forwarded.

  • May 6, 2013 at 9:11 pm
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    Correction, Sign the whitehouse petition.

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