“My office has noted a significant increase in the number of consumer complaints and comments through the website since my last report. For the first six months of reporting, we averaged approximately 550 consumer submissions per month. From November 1, 2012, through February 1, 2013, we averaged roughly 830 complaints per month. This may be the result of greater awareness of my office, the result of persistent servicing issues, or both.”
“Complaints from consumers who are or were active-duty military appear to be on the rise.”
Ongoing Implementation: A Report from the Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement Joseph A. Smith, Jr.
This progress report is my third as Monitor under the National Mortgage Settlement. Like the reports I released in August and November, 2012, this report is not required by the Settlement. My first required reports concerning servicing standards compliance reviews will be submitted to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in the second quarter of this year. I have received the compliance reviews from the banks necessary for me to undertake this work, which my professional firms and I are in the process of doing. In addition, as more fully discussed below, I have determined that one bank has satisfied its consumer relief obligations, although it must still complete its mandatory solicitations of eligible borrowers.
This report is part of my ongoing efforts to inform the public about the steps the banks have taken to implement the settlement and my progress in its oversight. As such, it includes:
• Information about the relief distributed to customers under the settlement between March 1, 2012, and December 31, 2012.
• An update on the implementation of the servicing standards set forth in the settlement and the metrics I am using to
• A review of the complaints I have received from professionals and consumers across the nation.
• An updated timeline for future reports and milestones.
With the exception of my certification with regard to one servicer’s satisfaction of its obligations discussed below, the consumer relief activities discussed in this report represent gross dollar amounts that have not been subject to the detailed review required to receive credit under the settlement, nor have they been scored toward each bank’s total obligation. The $45.83 billion in cumulative consumer relief cannot be used to measure progress toward the $20 billion obligation in the settlement. This figure includes both completed consumer relief and active first lien trial modifications.
Since my last progress report, I have continued to receive valuable insight from counselors, lawyers, advocates, and other professionals around the country. This information has highlighted continuing areas of concern with the banks, such as dual tracking and issues relating to single points of contact. As a result, I have engaged the banks to address these complaints and will continue to use this feedback to inform my oversight responsibilities.
It is my continued hope that this report, like the ones that preceded it, will inform the public in a clear and accessible way about the settlement, answer questions that have been raised about it, and inform policymakers and the public as they discuss the future of the home mortgage finance system.
Joseph A. Smith, Jr.
Full report below…