Bank Regulator Issues Guidelines For Protecting Homeowners in Foreclosure
The federal agency regulating national banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has recently set rules for how to protect homeowners at risk of foreclosure.
The rules state that, before foreclosure, banks must do the following:
- Ensure that all required legal notices were sent to the homeowner (such as the appropriate notices of the right to obtain a loan modification under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 244, Section 35B)
- Check whether the homeowner had entered into a loan-modification agreement
- Adequately address all homeowners’ complaints
- Ensure that the homeowner is not in bankruptcy, and thus protected from foreclosure
- Communicate to the homeowner that he or she is not being considered any longer for loan modification or loss mitigation options.
If you believe that these rules have been violated, you should contact an attorney licensed to practice law in your jurisdiction. Homeowners may be able to take legal action under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93A.
These rules apply to all banks regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi, Chase, OneWest and IndyMac, PNC, and HSBC.
The full list of requirements is available at the OCC website: http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/srletters/sr1309a1.pdf