A Fresh Set Of Mishaps In Settlement Checks Sent To Wronged Homeowners

A few weeks ago we reported on the trouble some victims of wrongful foreclosure had cashing the checks sent to them that were supposed to make up for troubles they’d been through. And now it seems those homeowners aren’t done being frustrated, as some are reporting that a new round of checks have been written out in the wrong amounts. Sigh.

The New York Times‘ DealBook blog cites officials brief on the situation, who say that the company responsible for issuing some of the checks biffed and sent out about 100,000 checks for less than the amount homeowners were supposed to get. It could add up to millions of dollars owed under the deal the government and big banks finally signed off on.

Federal regulators are on the case, and ordered the consulting group to shape up its act. The company said in a statement yesterday that the snafu was part of a “clerical error” and that it had “corrected the error and plans to mail supplemental checks to affected borrowers as soon as May 17.”

This is just the latest mixup with the consulting company, which has been put in charge of the very important task of getting these homeowners their money after years of dealing with shady foreclosure practices. So it kind of looks bad for the government that it’s picked such a mistake-prone company to dole out over $3.6 billion in settlement money.

As such, those on Capitol Hill say there are investigations into the settlement.

“This is the worst settlement I have seen in my life,” said Representative Elijah E. Cummings, who’s leading the charge (or at least one of them) and looking into the mixed up settlement goings-on.

Making it especially hard on the homeowners is the fact that many of them have no idea how much they’re supposed to be getting, so how are they supposed to know when their checks aren’t in the right amount?

“Borrowers are not being told how their compensation under the settlement is determined,” Cummings notes, “so it’s impossible for them to know whether they are receiving the correct amount, which just adds insult to injury.”

One bright spot? Regulators claim homeowners have so far successfully cashed or deposited about two million checks, close to half the total issued. At least some people are getting their money, and it’s to be hoped, in the right amount.

More Errors in Checks Meant to Aid Homeowners [New York Times]