Colorado borrowers could be eligible for mortgage settlement money

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Colorado borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosures between Jan. 2, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011 might be eligible for payment under the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement.

Attorney General John Suthers sent a letter this week for eligible borrowers to file claims, which must be returned no later than Jan. 18.

Eligible borrowers had mortgages serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia.

The settlement, which took effect in April, earmarked approximately $1.5 billion in payments for 2 million borrowers nationwide. The exact payment will depend upon the total number of borrowers who decide to participate.

“This payment is intended as partial compensation for the mortgage servicers’ illegal conduct and servicing abuse,” Suthers said. “By participating, borrowers do not give up any legal rights. They’re free to participate in this settlement and also pursue other legal remedies such as filing a lawsuit or participating in a class action, if they so choose.”

Last week, the national settlement administrator mailed notification postcards to the eligible borrowers nationwide. In Colorado, packets containing a letter from the attorney general, claim forms, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions are being mailed to eligible borrowers beginning today and continuing through Oct. 12.

Suthers urged eligible Colorado borrowers to complete their claim forms and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or file them online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013.

Borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim may contact the settlement administrator, toll-free, at 1-866-430-8358, or send questions by email to administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The information line is staffed Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Borrowers who believe they may qualify for a payment, but did not receive a notice because they have moved, should contact the settlement administrator directly to provide that information.