American Bankruptcy Institute
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Fall behind on mortgage payments? Is there relief?

On behalf of Bankruptcy Law Firm of Clare Casas on Wednesday, March 19, 2014.

Consumers, who have been the victims of illegal mortgage foreclosure practices may soon benefit from a national settlement between the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 49 states and Ocwen Financial. The company provides mortgage services and is the largest non-bank mortgage service provider in the United States. Many consumers across the United States, including in Florida, who fall behind on mortgage payments are often left at the mercy of non-bank mortgage companies such as Ocwen Financial. The company has a mortgage servicing division in Florida and has been denying customer applications for loan modifications, failing to honor previous modification agreements and charging unauthorized mortgage fees.

According to one disgruntled consumer, he has always honored his mortgage payments. Apparently without his knowledge, the automatic mortgage payments made from his bank stopped for a period of four months. During this time, he still received the emailed confirmation of payment. When he became aware of the problem, he contacted Ocwen to arrange to bring his mortgage account current.

Despite numerous communications in many forms, he says he has only met with empty promises to look into the matter. At the same time, he has been charged with penalties and additional fees and interest. Thereafter, he was threatened with foreclosure. According to the settlement, Ocwen must now provide relief to the overall value of $ 268 million to consumers adversely affected by its wrongful conduct.

Consumers, in Florida and elsewhere who fall behind on mortgage payments should be protected from losing their homes due to the negligence or unscrupulous conduct of a mortgage servicing company. Consumers who are concerned about repaying their mortgage may benefit from consulting a recognized credit counselor or other professional for advice rather than falling victim to unscrupulous practices. To be forewarned is always advisable, and in this way, homeowners can become knowledgeable about their rights as consumers, particularly with regard to mortgage financing and servicing.

Source: Los Angeles Times, Mortgage servicer to pay $268 million to Californians, Scott Reckard, March 17, 2014

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