Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Nearly 67,000 Nevadans who lost their homes to foreclosures will be eligible for checks of as much as $2,000 under a settlement agreement with the nation’s five largest banks, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday.
This week, Cortez Masto’s office began mailing information packets to people who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011. The packets will be mailed through Oct. 12. To be eligible for the payment, homeowners must return the forms by Jan. 18.
Cortez Masto, at a Las Vegas Sun editorial board meeting Monday with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, cautioned Nevadans to beware of people looking to charge them to apply for the funds.
“It’s free,” Cortez Masto said. “I’m concerned about scammers.”
She advised homeowners not to hire anyone to help them with the settlement process.
Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013.
The federal government and 49 state attorneys general, including Nevada's, entered into the settlement agreement with the nation’s five largest banks this spring. Those banks are Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.
The settlement earmarked about $1.5 billion in payments for about 1.8 million borrowers nationwide whose loans were serviced by one of the banks. The exact size of the payments, which previously were estimated between $1,500 and $2,000, will be determined by the number of borrowers who participate.
Donovan said investigations found that wrongful fees and other charges on homes averaged between $1,000 and $2,000. Those who believed they were wrongfully foreclosed upon still can pursue other legal claims.
“If you lost your home and shouldn’t have ... you can still get full restitution,” Donovan said.
Forms can be filed online at nationalmortgagesettlement.com.
Borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claim can contact the settlement administrator, toll-free, at 866-430-8358 or send questions by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The information line is staffed Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT.
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.