The LA Times is reporting that Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase Bank say they have each satisfied their obligations under the multi-bank $25 billion mortgage settlement agreement. Wells Fargo claims that it is 90 percent of the way to meeting its obligations.
This self-reported information will not be credited officially until Joseph J. Smith Jr., the national monitor for the settlement, reviews the data. So far Smith has certified completion only by Residential Capital, a subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc. (formerly GMAC).
As a foreclosure defense attorney, I view this as a major signal that Bank of America and Chase are about to get much more difficult in their foreclosure and loan modification approaches. Up until now, they have been under some scrutiny in light of the global settlement. However, if they are released from any kind of oversight or any restrictions imposed by the settlement terms, it’s going to be back to business as usual. So, if you have a loan that is either owned or serviced by Bank of America or JPMorgan Chase, it’s more important than ever to get out in front of any difficulties you may have with your mortgage. Do not simply sit back and assume you will get a modification at the 11th hour before a foreclosure. It can and does happen, but the more lead time you give yourself, the better.