While mortgage servicers do not directly issue home loans, they do collect and process borrower’s payments and are responsible for many anti-foreclosure measures, including loan modifications and other tools for homeowners. The lawsuit alleges that between 2009 and 2012 PHH Mortgage, based in New Jersey, failed in assisting borrowers to avoid foreclosures, failed to process loan modification applications and other vital documents, and did not properly maintain mortgage servicing and other files, among numerous other allegations.
According to the terms of the settlement, filed in the D.C. District Court, PHH will pay $45 million, with $30.4 million of that sum going directly to borrowers. The remainder of the funds will be used to cover costs of each of the 49 state’s investigations. PHH has also agreed to make changes to its servicing practices in its agreement with the Multi-State Mortgage Committee, a panel of state attorneys general and regulators set up to monitor mortgage markets after the 2008 financial crisis.
Notebly, the settlement does not release PHH from any potential liability for any alleged improper conduct from 2013 onward.
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office reported that an estimated 1,600 New York residents would be eligible for payments. For those who lost their homes due to foreclosure, the payments could begin at $840. For those who did not lose their homes but did go into foreclosures initiated by PHH during the relevant period, they could expect a minimum of $285.
Attorney General Mike DeWine of Ohio has stated that as many as 2,000 residents would be eligible for those payments.
The case is State of Alabama et al v. PHH Mortgage Corp., case number 1:18-cv-00009, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.