Remember the $25 billion settlement with Bank of America, Citibank, and other major mortgage servicers over fraud and other shoddy mortgage lending practices associated with the financial meltdown of 2008 and 2009? (Read about the settlement here and here.) The court-appointed monitor, Joseph A. Smith, Jr., has issued a final report and a slew of associated data on the settlement. In general, Smith says he's pleased as punch:
The reports I filed today show that the banks have satisfied their consumer relief and refinancing obligations required by the National Mortgage Settlement. In total, the banks provided more than $50 billion of gross relief, which translates into more than $20 billion in credited relief under the Settlement. More than 600,000 families received some form of relief. Among the five banks, 37 percent of credited total relief was in the form of first lien principal forgiveness, while second lien principal forgiveness made up 15 percent. Refinancing assistance made up 17 percent of total credited relief, and other relief, including assistance for short sales and deeds in lieu of foreclosure, accounted for 31 percent of credited relief. The Settlement required that a majority of relief for which the banks received credit take the form of first and second lien modifications and refinances, and my results show that, in many cases, the banks exceeded these requirements. My team spent 36,000 hours reviewing and testing the consumer relief and refinancing activities reported by the banks. Because of this extensive process, I’m confident in concluding that the banks have satisfied their obligations. My reports mark the end of the consumer relief portion of the Settlement. Because of the way this landmark agreement was designed, an unprecedented amount of relief has been provided to consumers quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, I believe the rigorous testing process should justify public confidence that the banks have fulfilled their relief commitments and that the Settlement has played a part in helping keep struggling borrowers in their homes.
Read the monitor's fact sheet for more basic information.