Phase II of Compensation from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund now open Free legal help available through Resolution Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY ? Attorney General Scott Pruitt Monday announced the opening of Phase II of homeowner compensation from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31 for Oklahoma families who were harmed during the mortgage modification or foreclosure process with five mortgage servicers involved in the settlement. The new phase also extends the time frame for when harm occurred to include 2012. An updated application is available at www.oag.ok.gov or by calling (405) 521-2029.
?Fortunately for Oklahoma, we are the only state in a position to help our homeowners with direct meaningful relief,? Pruitt said. ?By launching a Phase II for compensation, we can help those families who may have missed the deadline last year or who were not aware of the opportunity.? Oklahoma was the only state to craft its own agreement with Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC and Wells Fargo, which allowed the Attorney General to provide direct compensation. In October, the AG?s Public Protection Unit, which manages the state settlement, mailed the first installment of checks to more than 100 Oklahomans. The amount awarded to Oklahoma families ranges from $5,000-$20,000 ? a maximum that could be more than 20 times the money awarded under the federal settlement. The latest estimate shows residents in other states could receive as little as $840, and no direct payments have been made under the federal settlement.
?It is very exciting to be able to provide these Oklahoma families some meaningful relief for the harm caused,? Pruitt said. More than 700 Oklahomans applied for relief from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund during Phase I, with an average payment so far of $11,173. Along with direct payments to residents from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund, Oklahomans also qualify for portions of two federal settlements. The first federal settlement requires banks to work with homeowners on short sales, principle write-downs and mortgage modifications. So far, Oklahomans have received an average of $30,737 in mortgage assistance with this settlement.
A second federal settlement from the U.S. Department of Treasury?s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is providing direct payments of $300 to homeowners who qualify. For Oklahomans who are still in their homes and need help to avoid foreclosure, the AG?s Office has created a program called Resolution Oklahoma that provides free legal assistance. Assistant attorneys general have found that homeowners have better outcomes during the mortgage and foreclosure process when they have legal representation. The first part of Resolution Oklahoma is in partnership with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma to provide free legal assistance for lower income and older Oklahomans. The program is provided by a grant from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund.
The second part of Resolution Oklahoma is for homeowners who do not qualify for income-based assistance. These homeowners can apply for a voucher worth up to $5,000 in legal services through the AG?s Office. The voucher application must be completed by homeowners and their attorneys of choice and submitted to the AG?s Public Protection Unit for approval. Once approved, the attorneys will provide the services needed and submit the invoices to the AG?s Office for payment after the work is complete.
All homeowners can apply for assistance through Resolution Oklahoma, no matter their mortgage company. Voucher applications are available online at www.oag.ok.gov, by e-mail at PublicProtection@oag.ok.gov or by calling (405) 521-2029.
To contact Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, call (888) 534-5243 or go online to www.oklaw.org.
For more information on the Treasury federal settlement, call 1 (888) 952-9105 or go online to www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/foreclosure-prevention/correcting-foreclosure-practices.html.
To access the main federal settlement, contact your mortgage servicer at one of the following numbers: Bank of America: (877) 488-7814 Citigroup: (866) 272-4749 GMAC: (800) 766-4622 JPMorgan Chase: (866) 372-6901 Wells Fargo: (800) 288-3212
OKLAHOMA CITY ? The Attorney General?s Office and Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma (“LASO”) are providing free legal help to homeowners who are facing mortgage issues or foreclosure, and Huddleston Law Offices has been retained by LASO to assist and consult with LASO staff and homeowners that call LASO.
The program ? Resolution Oklahoma ? is designed to help Oklahoma residents stay in their homes or seek the best outcome for their situations. The program is provided by a grant from the Attorney General?s Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund.
The fund was created last year, following a settlement by the AG?s Office with five of the nation?s largest mortgage servicers. Mortgages do not need to be with one of the five servicers to apply for the Resolution Oklahoma program.
?We signed a separate Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement so we could craft solutions that were best for our state,? Attorney General Scott Pruitt said. ?Throughout this process, we found homeowners fared better with the help of an attorney. Through Resolution Oklahoma, we will be able to provide this critical legal assistance to Oklahoma families.?
Oklahomans with lower incomes or seniors should first contact Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma to determine if they qualify for income-based assistance under Resolution Oklahoma. Homeowners who do not qualify for income-based need from LASO can then apply for a Voucher worth up to $5,000.00?in private attorney legal services through the AG’s Office under the Resolution Oklahoma program.
The voucher application must be completed by homeowners and their attorneys of choice and submitted to the AG?s Public Protection Unit for approval. Once approved, the attorneys will provide the services needed and submit the invoices to the AG?s Office for payment once the work is complete.
Voucher applications are available online at www.oag.ok.gov, by e-mail at PublicProtection@oag.ok.gov or right here: AG Financial Aid Application.
To contact Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, call?(888) 534-5243?or go online to www.oklaw.org.