Ohio AG Files Suit Against HomeEq
Ohio’s attorney general, Richard Cordray, filed suit against HomeEq Servicing for not meeting the demands of its mortgage holders. HomeEq is the servicing arm of Barclays Capital. According to the lawsuit, Ohio borrowers with mortgages serviced by HomeEq have complained to the attorney general’s office about a lack of communication regarding their attempts at modifying their loans. Under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), HomeEq has started 657 trial modifications of the 40,969 loans in its eligible portfolio, according to the latest report from the US Treasury Department. Through HAMP, the Treasury allocates capped incentives to servicers for the modification of loans on the verge of foreclosure. HomeEq currently has a potential cap of $552m. Of the 657 trials started, HomeEq has converted none into permanent modifications. HomeEq did join the program in August, and the trial period lasts three months before becoming eligible for a permanent conversion. Many servicers have cited a lack of documentation at the beginning of trials, hoping to collect the necessary documents during the three months. According to the lawsuit, consumers have complained to the attorney general’s office that HomeEq has lost documents, failed to respond to borrowers’ request for assistance and filed foreclosures on those still in loss mitigation negotiations. Some complained that HomeEq offered a repayment or forbearance plan by word and not in written form and they required borrowers to sign unfair loan modification provisions, according to the suit. The attorney general asked that the court issue a permanent injunction against HomeEq for enforcing any provision in any agreement it has with borrowers that violates the Ohio Consumer Sale Practices Act. In the lawsuit, the attorney general seeks reimbursement for all consumers damaged by HomeEq’s practices, and that the court fine HomeEq $25,000 for each violation of the Ohio Revised Code. Write to Jon Prior.