Politics & MoneyMortgage

Military members may get six-figure payday for wrongful foreclosures

Major banks will reimburse military servicemembers for any wrongful foreclosures done in the past five years.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C), and Ally Financial (GJM) will resolve Servicemembers Civil Relief Act claims in connection to the wider $25 billion foreclosure settlement, U.S. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said in a speech Friday.

These four banks will conduct a review overseen by the Justice Department to find any foreclosure violations of SCRA since Jan. 1, 2006.

Wells, Citi and Ally will pay a military family a minimum $116,785 plus any lost equity in a home wrongfully foreclosed upon.

These three banks will also review files for any interest charged above 6% on a mortgage, which would violate SCRA. Each will pay a refund plus interest on any amount charged above the limit or $500, which ever is larger.

Chase settled earlier with the Justice Department after it wrongfully evicted 14 servicemember families. The bank agreed to give back the home, or the cash equivalent if it was already sold as REO, clear of any debt along with a cash payout to be determined. It also set up a separate panel of military veterans last year to develop foreclosure prevention programs and other assistance.

Bank of America (BAC) also settled earlier with the Justice Department to pay more than $20 million to 157 servicemembers allegedly foreclosed on wrongfully between December 2006 and 2009. BofA will conduct a review as well, looking for any missteps between mid-2009 and 2010.

“From our first conversations, these servicers made it clear that they shared our goal of ensuring that any servicemember harmed as a result of a violation of the SCRA will receive full compensation,” Perez said. “With these agreements we will assure that will happen.”


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