Following in the wake of larger banks, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase and more, SunTrust recently ponied up $550 million to help assist with payouts to wrongfully foreclosed property owners throughout the country.
The payout by SunTrust comes as a result of a settlement between 48 state attorney generals and the bank. Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi joined in the suit and Florida’s share appears to be just over $40 million that will be awarded to over 8,000 homeowners in the state.
As part of the settlement the bank was released from any further charges related to their fraudulent foreclosure practices including lost paperwork and “robo signing”. The settlement also comes with additional conditions including that SunTrust will 1) designate a single point of contact for homeowners; 2) freeze foreclosures while the borrower is seeking to work out an alternative option; 3) making foreclosure a last resort; and 4) allow homeowners the right to appeal denials of loan modifications.
The settlement will be administered by an independent party to ensure compliance with the terms. Critics of the settlement believe that it is coming too late in the foreclosure process when many homeowners have already been foreclosed without the assistance of the plans such as these. Additional issues include the fact that it is extremely difficult to track down Borrowers who have been foreclosed, but never provided forwarding addresses.
Overall, Florida’s foreclosure numbers continue to decrease, but reports show that a staggering number of homes remain in some form of pre-foreclosure. The eye of the foreclosure storm appears to have passed, but we are not out of the woods yet as banks set their targets on finishing foreclosures that have staggered in the court system.
If you are in any stage of the foreclosure process, call the experienced foreclosure attorneys at DeWitt Law Firm today for a free consultation.