Deadline nears for foreclosed owners to apply

WASHINGTON – Jan. 11, 2013 – Florida foreclosure victims have until Jan. 18 to seek damages from five mortgage companies.

Borrowers who had their mortgages serviced by Bank of America, Ally/GMAC, Citi, JPMorgan Chase or Wells Fargo & Co. may qualify for part of a $25 billion settlement reached early last year by those companies and attorneys general throughout the country.

Only borrowers who were foreclosed on between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011, can qualify.

“It has to be brought to the attention of the people of Florida. The money is there and belongs to the people of Florida,” said Davenport homeowner Moe Chaoudi, who filed his claim months ago. “If these people are homeless or living in hotels or out-of-state, how are they going to reach these people?”

In Florida, approximately $170 million is available for cash payments to Florida borrowers. Attorney General Pam Bondi said she has mailed notices to Floridians who may qualify for settlement funds, but few of those people have submitted claims.

“Approximately two-thirds of the people to whom notices have been sent have not filed claims. It is imperative that those who may be eligible for cash payments under the settlement submit their claims by the Jan. 18 deadline,” Bondi stated recently.

The five mortgage servicers agreed to pay out the funds after being accused of illegally processing and signing some foreclosure-related documents. The civil-law enforcement action also accused the servicers of allowing widespread errors and abuses to exist in their foreclosure processes.

For those who do qualify for part of the settlement, checks are supposed to be mailed in mid-2013, according to Bondi’s office.

Details can be found online at or, or by calling 1-866-430-8358.

Copyright © 2013 The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.), Mary Shanklin. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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