If I worked at the Department of Justice, I would post the following on its new website, www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com.
TO ALL THOSE HOMEOWNERS FEELING VICTIMIZED BY THE MORTGAGE MESS WHO WANT TO FILE CLAIMS UNDER THE RECENTLY SIGNED $25 BILLION ROBO-SIGNING SETTLEMENT, PLEASE BE ADVISED:
- Do not send any congratulatory cards to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan. While he appreciates your praise, he is very tired and will embark on a much-needed vacation to Vanuatu (no, he’s not in the running for a spot on Survivor.)
- Because of the complexity of the agreement we are in discussions with Professor Irwin Corey. He will produce a You Tube video explaining, in simple English, how complex this agreement really is.
- Remember you must be one of the “lucky million” whose mortgages are serviced by the five participating banks. If you are part of that unlucky near-majority whose mortgages are owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (and therefore not covered by the settlement), or by parties not bound by this agreement, please accept this advice: Keep calling.… Be persistent, do not let the fact that you are being kept on hold for hours be a deterrent to your quest for a loan modification or principal reduction. Remember, servicers are just people too.
- If you live in Oklahoma: Sorry, you’re screwed. Your Attorney General is more worried about moral hazard and wouldn’t sign the agreement.
- If you think you are eligible to receive compensation for the extreme stress and dislocation caused by a foreclosure, please be advised that you may receive forms in the mail telling you how to go about collecting your money. This may take time, since we need to determine where you now live.
- Be prepared to submit documentation, in triplicate, telling us why you think you deserve this money. Submission of materials pertaining to auto repossessions; extended stays in motels or homeless shelters, or frequent trips to food banks will not constitute a valid proof of claim.
- Please read the fine print. If we shower you with our largesse you will be required to sign away any future claims you may want to file against our valued partners in this agreement: the banks.
- Please be patient. The agreement may take up to three years to implement. Be advised, if you are elderly or infirm, you can not pass on your right for compensation or relief to next-of-kin.
- Have a nice day
Joel Sucher, a filmmaker with Pacific Street Films in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., is working on "Foreclosure Diaries," a documentary about the financial crisis.