Orlando homeowners trying to fight and defend foreclosure without a foreclosure defense attorney should know that it can be harmful to your financial health. A new program requires banks and servicing agents that foreclosed on Orlando homeowners to undergo audits to determine if the homeowner suffered financial harm as a result of the foreclosure process. This program allows homeowners who believe they were financially harmed during the mortgage foreclosure process to request an independent review and potentially recieve compensation.
This independent foreclosure review program was announced on November 1, by the Federal Reserve Board, a federal bank regulator. Regulators are requiring fourteen banks and mortgage servicers to conduct this audit review program in compliance with their enforcement action against the banks. In April of 2011, the Federal Reserve board initiated enforcement actions requiring 10 banking organizations to address a pattern of misconduct and negligence related to deficient practices in residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing. As stated in its intial press release: “These deficiencies represent significant and pervasive compliance failures and unsafe and unsound practices at these institutions.”
Such abuses are unlikely to have occurred if the homeowner is represented by a foreclosure defense attorney. However, any Orlando homeowner, even if they were represented by a foreclosure defense attorney, who was subject to foreclosure during 2009 and 2010 may request this review. The regulators have set up a web site: www.IndependentForeclosureReview.com, where the review may be initiated. There is no cost for the review and you do not need to be represented by an attorney. Requests for reviews must be received no later than April 30, 2012.
Already, many are questioning how “independent” these reviews will be. The auditing firms are retained and paid by the banks and servicing companies they are reviewing. So far, the regulators have refused to release the identify of these firms. There are no appeals if you disagree with the auditor. One organization is requesting feedback from homeowners who go through the process so that they can monitor the program and report on its effectiveness.
The lack of transparency and accountability in this program suggests that it may be yet another government reponse that proves to be ineffective at helping large numbers of families who are struggling to save their homes. The date restrictions and criteria for review suggest the program is aimed at people whose homes have already been foreclosed, or who are substantially completed the foreclosure process.
This program, and the abuses in the mortgage foreclosure industry that it is designed to address, show how important it is to have a foreclosure defense attorney on your side from the start. Why wait for an ineffective government program to come to the rescue? If you are a homeowner in the Central Florida area, the better choice is to get help from an experienced and skilled Orlando foreclosure defense attorney at the beginning of the lawsuit, when much can be done to protect yourself from abuse and fraud. If you have been served with mortgage foreclosure papers, call my office for a free consultation with an Orlando foreclosure defense attorney to discuss your options.