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Foreclosure review deadline extended

Government officials have decided to extend the deadline for protesting suspect foreclosure proceedings to Dec. 31 of this year. The deadline for filing an application for an unbiased review of foreclosure actions had been July 31, but administrative leaders have opted to allow more time for homeowners to file claims.

The federal government had mandated that several mortgage companies retain consultants to evaluate foreclosure actions. Those requirements followed a series of investigations that revealed suspicious lending and foreclosure practices, some of which included the "robo-signing" scandal.

Experts say that if your home was involved in a foreclosure during the months between January 2009 and December 2010, you could be eligible to receive a full review. If the independent consultants uncover problems, you could recover significant financial compensation because of the bank's inappropriate lending practices.

You could receive a lump-sum payment from the bank if you were financially wronged, or the bank could be required to halt its efforts to foreclose on your property. Additionally, your incorrectly damaged credit reports could be fixed, and loan modification options will be made available to those who qualify.

The only stipulations for the program are that the foreclosed property must have been your primary residence. In addition, the bank that managed your mortgage must be among the 14 companies required to participate in the government-mandated program. Only 228,000 people had requested mortgage reviews by the end of July, which is why administrators decided to extend the deadline. Currently, more than 192,000 of those applications are under consideration.

Among the errors that could have been perpetuated during the mortgage scams, some banks have argued that people owed more on their mortgage when they had actually paid. For example, the bank may have contended that you owed $250,000 when you only owed $200,000. Even though you may have filed all appropriate paperwork, the bank may still have foreclosed.

Every homeowner who has been subject to foreclosure should consider obtaining one of these free reviews.

Source: The Washington Post, "Federal regulators allow more time for reviews of foreclosures," Michelle Singletary, Aug. 21, 2012.

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