Mortgage Settlement Forums Offered across Mid-Missouri

7 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Monday, March 26 2012 Mar 26, 2012 Monday, March 26, 2012 3:09:00 PM CDT March 26, 2012 in News
By: Courtney Tezeno

MOBERLY - A representative from the Missouri Attorney's General's office held a presentation at Randolph County Courthouse Monday explaining how to take advantage of a national mortgage settlement. The session was the first of more than 100 that will take place in every county in the state.

The robo-signing foreclosure scandal involving major banks across the nation sparked the states to pursue legal action against major lenders. Attorney General Chris Koster says that mortgage meltdown from last year affected every county in Missouri.

"It's going to bring about $200 million to help people who have been suffering through this mortgage crisis for the last several years. We're about helping by giving presentations now in 114 different counties this week trying to alert people as to what they need to do to participate," Attorney General Chris Koster said.

The five major banks targeted agreed to a settlement, including Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial (GMAC).

The attorney general's office is holding the forums to provide information to Missourians about the national mortgage settlement. Representatives will determine who qualifies for the settlement and sign those homeowners up to be part of the settlement. 

Those who are eligible fall in three areas:

  • Those foreclosed upon by one of the five major banks listed above between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011. They are eligible to receive a payment up to $2000.
  • Those 30 days of more behind on their mortgages, and those whose homes are worth less than what is owed and who have a mortgage with one of the 5 major banks.
  • Those whose home is worth less than what is owed, who are current on their payments, whose interest rate is higher than 5.25% and whose mortgage is owned by one of the five major banks. They may be eligible to refinance their mortgages so monthly payments are reduced by at least $100.

Moberly resident Charlene Barron faced many challenges leading up to her foreclosure. She underwent open heart surgery and was applying for disability at the time. She contacted the bank to make it aware of her condition. On the first attempt, she said it lowered her house payment by $20 which was not enough. Later, she tried to make a payment on her mortgage but received some disheartening news.

"They told me, no, we can't accept any payments. I was ready at that time to put my full house payment back in motion again and they just refused. And then the next thing I know I get another letter from the attorney's office out of St. Louis that my house is going to be foreclosed on," Barron said.

Barron said she is excited about this program and hopes no one else has to deal with what she called a living nightmare.

"I was excited if we could get some relief out of it. I even had a dream that maybe we could get back into our home but I know that's probably impossible. I'm just thankful that there's some help out there and that people are investigating this," Barron said.

For more information on the Missouri Mortgage Settlement visit this website.

To find the schedule for the rest of this week's forum go here.

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