Veteran Foreclosures

by Freddy Groves

Veterans weren’t forgotten in the recent $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement. In fact, veterans were treated much better than civilian counterparts who’d had their homes foreclosed. In the lawsuit leading to the settlement, it was determined that the four biggest mortgage servicers violated the Servicemen’s Civil Relief Act, the law that outlines the rules under which mortgages must be handled for veterans.

Those banks will now have to pay veterans $116,785 each, plus equity that was lost in the property after it was wrongfully foreclosed, plus any interest. That number might end up being higher JP Morgan Chase will need to provide the veteran with his or her property “free and clear of any debt or the cash equivalent of the full value of the home at the time of sale.”

Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally will have to give a refund to any veterans charged more than 6 percent interest on a mortgage after receiving a request to lower that rate, plus triple that amount. The agreement expands and beefs up the rules for SCRA. Previously a bank was prohibited from foreclosing on a veteran-owned property if the mortgage was taken out before the veteran began military service. Now the rule will additionally state that no matter when the mortgage began, if the veteran received Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay and was away from home within nine months of foreclosure, the veteran is protected from foreclosure.

If you believe you are covered by this settlement, get your paperwork in order and call for military legal assistance. Go online to and look in the Legal Services Locator for the Armed Forces Legal Assistance office nearest you. Also see for information, or call the Justice Department at 1-800-896-7743.

Write to Freddy Groves in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to
(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.

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