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File: Prospective buyers look at a bank-owned house during a RE/MAX Central bus tour of foreclosed homes March 21, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Homeowners have until the end of July to apply for a review if they think the bank made mistakes at any point in a foreclosure process. Federal banking regulators are trying to get the word out online.
More than 4 million families qualify for a review because of possible mistakes in some part of the foreclosure process. Federal bank industry regulators sent out millions of letters to give borrowers notice.
If homeowners believe they suffered financial losses because of bank errors in the foreclosure process, they have to apply to have an independent panel look at their case.
Officials with banking regulatory agencies held a webinar to answer questions from housing counselors who are trying to help homeowners fill out all the paperwork. Homeowners qualify if they were in any part of the foreclosure process in 2009 or 2010.
“Anything from a modification, to a trial payment plan, to a short sale are all part of the foreclosure process," a speaker on the webinar said, "and the borrower should submit this form and give us some specifics. Have them be as specific as possible."
The feds have ordered the banks to bring in independent consultants to look over each case and determine whether "errors, misrepresentations or deficiencies" occurred. The question of how much money a homeowner might get for a banking error is still up in the air.
Federal regulators are answering questions in another webinar Tuesday March 6th and plan to post the information online.
Homeowners may feel like they are submitting their request into a kind of black hole. This is not a back-and-forth process. Once a homeowner submits all the paperwork, officials say the borrower will get just one note that their application was received.
They will hear nothing for months. Then they will get a final result of their review. Once the review is done, there is no process for appeal.
Banking regulators have set up a toll-free hotline to answer questions about whether you qualify for a review: 888-952-9105.