Beginning Today, Big Banks Required To Improve Service On Home Loans

Getting a mortgage modified should be significantly easier as of today – assuming five of the nation’s largest lenders deliver on promises they made in a $25 billion settlement signed six months ago.

Today is the deadline for Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial to implement hundreds of improvements to customer service for home loans.

The dollar figure was the sexy part of the settlement with state attorneys general when it was first announced: Five of the country’s biggest banks agreed to spend $25 billion forgiving debt and helping homeowners avoid foreclosure.

But today marks the really big deal for people on the front lines of the foreclosure mess.

“I think the servicing standards are a lot more important than people give them credit for,” says Mike Cherry, president and CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling in Springfield, Missouri.

The settlement set today as the deadline by which the banks must be following 304 new rules for dealing with mortgages. (Remember, this whole settlement was sparked by the discovery that banks had been almost robotically approving foreclosures without actually verifying the loan documents.)

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