Thursday, July 5, 2012

Foreclosure review too complicated to be effective, agency says

The "independent foreclosure review" mandated in a settlement with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and a number of other banks has not been effective because the process to seek a review is too complex, a government watchdog agency reported Thursday.

People whose homes were in foreclosure in 2009 or 2010 are eligible for an independent review of their case if they felt they were mistreated by one of a number of mortgage servicers. They were mandated as part of a settlement reached in April 2011.

About 4.5 million people were sent letters, but the response rate has been only about 5 percent.

The Government Accountability Office said that is in part because no consumer groups were consulted on the process and the letters were written above the average U.S. reading level, possibly making them "too complex to be widely understood."

The letters also did not give specific information on how borrowers who were wronged could be compensated, the GAO report states.

The GAO recommended that the site be updated with clearer language and more information on compensation for borrowers. It also said servicers should analyze trends on who is responding to the review and reach out to groups not responding in large numbers.

The OCC and the Federal Reserve said they are taking more steps to reach out to eligible borrowers. The deadline to apply for a review was extended last month to last through September.


John said...

"the letters were written above the average U.S. reading level"

You mean like how most legislation is written above the average reading level of the Representatives and Senators who vote on them?

We need to reform public education in this country to focus on excelling at the basic fundamentals like reading, writing and math. Once we've done that, THEN we can talk about all the other stuff they are trying to teach.

Teach a person to read, and instill in them a love of reading... and you will rarely have to teach them anything else!