End is near for filling out Oklahoma mortgage settlement applications

by Richard Mize Published: September 5, 2012
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Inquiry numbers

So far, the attorney general's office has received almost 700 calls from people asking about the state's settlement; 405 restitution claim forms have been mailed to people requesting them; and 73 consumer complaints “alleging modification-related wrongdoing” — covered under the national settlement — have been forwarded to the five loan servicers.

“In an effort to reach the greatest number of potential claimants, we also sent letters to 126 consumers who had filed foreclosure or modification-related complaints with our office before the settlement to make sure they were aware of the new Oklahoma settlement, and encourage them to fill out a restitution claim form,” Clay said.

National settlement

There is no way to compare consumer response to the state settlement in Oklahoma with response in other states to the national settlement because the agreements are so different, said Tom Bates, chief of the attorney general's Public Protection Unit.

Some states, he said, earmarked their share of the national settlement for things that are unrelated to housing.

In the national settlement, the five banks reported that they had provided $10.56 billion in consumer relief to 137,846 borrowers through June, most of it, $8.7 billion, in the form of payment foregone from short sales — selling homes for less than was owed on them.

Oversight report

That's according to the federal Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, set up as part of the agreement, which issued its first report this week.

Joseph A. Smith, a former North Carolina banking commissioner who leads the office, also said much progress had been made in new loan servicing standards required by the national settlement, such as a single point of contact for each borrower, improved customer service, more consumer-friendly loan modification practices, protection for members of the armed services and tenant rights.

The national settlement “can contribute to reconstruction of our country's system of mortgage finance and restoration of the mortgage market to health,” Smith said in the report, available at tinyurl.com/SettlementFirstTake.

“I believe we have made a good first step; more hard work remains,” he said.

The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight's website is www.mortgageoversight.com/.

by Richard Mize
Real Estate Editor
Real estate editor Richard Mize has edited The Oklahoman's weekly residential real estate section and covered housing, commercial real estate, construction, development, finance and related business since 1999. From 1989 to 1999, he worked...
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