OLYMPIA – June 20, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) – Attorney General Bob Ferguson said the latest report by the national monitor on the progress of five servicers subject to the National Mortgage Settlement shows success, but much work remains.
“The monitor’s report is clear that progress has been made, but more work needs to be done,” Ferguson said. “The monitor is proving to be tough but fair, and working hard to improve servicer performance.
“This final phase of the settlement is focused on ensuring servicer compliance with the new servicing standards,” he said. “In this phase, we will hold the major banks accountable for treating homeowners more fairly in the loan modification process and make the entire process more transparent and efficient. We have made great progress but there’s still work to be done.”
The national settlement is just one part of Washington’s aggressive efforts to assist homeowners. The settlement, along with the Foreclosure Fairness Act and the mediation process, are valuable tools for consumers. The Attorney General’s Office continues to support the Washington State Bar Association and Northwest Justice Project’s Home Foreclosure Legal Aid Project. This program offers free support to homeowners facing nearly any type of mortgage difficulty.
The Attorney General’s Office recommends consumers take full advantage of these resources by obtaining the services of a HUD-approved housing counselor by calling 1-877-894 HOME (4663).
The office also cautions that borrowers should never pay for assistance with a home mortgage issue; housing counselors will assist homeowners for free. If homeowners feel they have been victims of loan modification scams, they should file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office.
Until all of the systems are in place and running efficiently, homeowners are best served by seeking assistance, rather than attempting to navigate the mortgage system alone. That is why the Attorney General’s Office continues to support housing counseling agencies, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and the Department of Commerce to make sure that homeowners are represented throughout every step of this process.
Washington, 48 other state attorneys general and the federal government settled the historic joint state-federal National Mortgage Settlement with the country’s five largest loan servicers (Bank of America, Ally/GMAC, Citi, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo) in February 2012.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Contacts: Janelle Guthrie, APR, Communications, (360) 586-0725 or Alison Dempsey-Hall, Dep. Communications Director, (206) 641-1335