Independent Foreclosure Review: Borrower Outreach Mailing and Response Data
The Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) is required by the enforcement actions issued by federal banking regulators in April 2011. These actions were issued against 14 banking organizations for deficient practices in residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing. Under these actions, servicers were required to retain independent consultants to conduct a comprehensive review of foreclosure activity to identify whether borrowers who were in the foreclosure process during 2009 and 2010 suffered financial injury due to errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies. If the review finds that financial injury occurred, the borrower may receive compensation or other remedy. Borrowers who believe they were financially harmed during the mortgage foreclosure process by the errors of one of these mortgage servicers can request an independent review if a foreclosure action was initiated, pending, or completed during 2009 or 2010 on a mortgage loan on their primary residence.1 To request a review, potentially eligible borrowers must submit a Request for Review Form by postal mail or online at www.IndependentForeclosureReview.com . Borrowers have until December 31, 2012 to submit a form requesting an independent review.
Broad outreach by mail and mass media has been used to raise awareness of the IFR. Outreach efforts were launched on November 1, 2011, when the servicers mailed letters about the IFR to over 4 million borrowers who were identified as potentially eligible for an independent review. Since that time, the regulators have required the servicers to execute enhanced outreach plans that include a more targeted approach to reaching borrowers. The Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are making public the IFR mailing and response data by geographic location to assist with targeted outreach to potentially eligible borrowers. A downloadable file containing each state’s count totals can be searched by county, parish, or independent city, along with the uniquely identifying Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code.2 Additionally, mailings and responses are searchable by county, parish, or independent city within a state, using the accompanying search function.
The data released reflect the numbers of borrowers meeting the initial eligibility criteria (mailings) and submitting Request for Review forms (responses) by geographic location. The figures for mailings and responses do not represent the total number of financially harmed or remediated borrowers; rather, they offer a local snapshot of borrower outreach and responses. The data are collected regularly by the IFR’s third party central intake administrator, and are current as of September 27, 2012.
Request for Review Form mailings were concentrated in areas that were hardest hit by the housing crisis.3 These areas were identified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, beginning in February 2010, either because their unemployment rates were at or above the national average or house prices had fallen more than 20 percent since the housing market downturn. For example, counties in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida received a sizeable share of the mailings. The data are collected regularly by the IFR’s third party central intake administrator, and the data files below are current as of September 27, 2012, when 234,323 borrowers had requested an independent review. As of December 6, 2012, 322,771 borrowers had requested an independent review, which represent an increase of nearly 38 percent since September 27, 2012.
1. More information about the enforcement actions, including guidance that will be used in determining the compensation or other remedy that harmed borrowers will receive, and resources for borrowers and housing counselors is available at http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/independent-foreclosure-review.htm. Return to text
2. A FIPS code is a five-digit number assigned to a place for information processing. The code begins with a two-digit state number, followed by a unique three-digit place code. For example, California’s state code is 06, and the county code for Los Angeles is 037. Therefore, the FIPS code for the county of Los Angeles is 06037. Return to text
3. For the list of Hardest Hit Fund states, see the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website at http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/financial-stability/TARP-Programs/housing/hhf/Pages/default.aspx Return to text