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Will Homeowners Benefit from Mortgage Mess Settlement?

Lisa Epstein, a homeowner-rights activist and founder of, a social network of more than 3,000 distressed homeowners, is skeptical that the review will be substantial or truly independent.

“They came out with weak, conciliatory try-to-do-it-better consent agreement that offers no hardcore investigation,” Epstein says. “It’s trying to sweep up the confetti while the parade is still happening.”

She says a thorough investigation needs to examine both the borrowers’ records and the servicers’ records. “There can be two different stories,” she says. “A lot of people may look delinquent for the servicer, but they have records of payment.”

‘How Many Times Can You Be Outraged?’

One such borrower is Nicole West, a homeowner in Jensen Beach, Fla., who has been fighting a foreclosure on the home where she has lived with her husband and two children since the early 2000s. Their four-year-long saga has been highlighted by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.).

She says she has Western Union records of more than $43,000 made in wire payments to her mortgage servicer in 2007 in an effort to get current on her loan. West claims that the money was never applied to her debt. She concurrently tried for a loan modification, but her property was placed under threat of foreclosure, she says. That practice is called dual-tracking. West is currently working with a lawyer to fight the foreclosure proceedings on her home and expose the fraudulent procedures.

West called Wednesday’s settlement a poor excuse of a solution and a slap on the wrist for the banks. “There is a phrase called ‘outrage fatigue,’ because how many times can you be outraged before you are done?”

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