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Many Claims Unfiled in Robo-Signing Foreclosure Settlement

The Indiana Attorney General's Office says the number of claims returned matches national averages for similar settlements.

Indiana residents who were foreclosed upon between January 2008 and December 2011 due to robo-signing will receive a share of $31.4 million awarded to the state. About 37,000 claim packets were sent to eligible Indiana residents whose homes were wrongfully foreclosed, giving them the opportunity to take their share of the $31.4 million dollars, but only about 21,000 packets were returned.

Indiana Attorney General’s office spokesperson Erin Reece says a similar settlement in 2009 produced a 50-percent return rate, compared with a 57-percent claim rate this time, which she says is close to the national average.

“You’re talking about 37,000 notices went out to borrowers that were eligible. However, that 37,000 number isn’t…you can’t put one person per notice because a lot of the notices are duplicates, because there were duplicate addresses for the same individual…so that number may actually be higher,” she says.

Joseph Smith is with the federal office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, which monitors consumer relief and mortgage law compliance. He says the banks have spent a lot of time and money adopting new standards.

“It appears from their reports to the states they have done a lot of work on relief to consumers. So I think their actions show they are taking this settlement seriously, and that they are going to work at it to try to comply,” he says.

The exact amount each homeowner will get is still undetermined, but will exceed the minimum payment of $840-dollars per person. Payment can be expected by the middle of this year.

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