“Independent” Foreclosure Reviews a Boon for Bank Consultants

In the wake of the housing market collapse, many Americans were left financially devastated. moneygrab.jpg

Interestingly, some have made a pretty penny, and they’re doing it being paid by the same banks they are supposedly working to regulate.

Miami foreclosure lawyers understand that the Office of the Comptroller of Currency had mandated that the banks bring on independent consultants to identify which homeowners were wrongly foreclosed upon, and in turn, compensate them.

However, not only has that process been snail-pace slow, the independence of these individuals has become the subject of a scandal of similar proportions to the crash itself. Not only are these “independent” consultants being paid by the banks, they have allowed the banks to weigh in on individual cases and have even been allowed to appeal the consultants’ final decisions in some cases.

In the end, questions have been raised about whether the costs to conduct the reviews has been worth in terms of the benefit they have returned. It appears the answer is no.

While the entire point of the program was to return money to wronged homeowners, in fact, the consultants salaries overshadowed any amount that has thus far been given back to homeowners, and with the program coming to a close, it doesn’t appear that will change.

For example, bankruptcy filings by the former GMAC mortgage servicer (which is now ResCap and supposed to be soon taken over by Ocwen), has said the company will pay the consulting firm some $12,500 for each of the 20,000 loans it is expected to review. That will amount to nearly a quarter-billion dollars. Meanwhile, the same company expects it will only pay out somewhere between $35 million to $60 million to wronged homeowners.

Other banks have reported similar payouts to consultants. One of the primary firms hiring out these consultants, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is charging somewhere between $235 to $630 AN HOUR for their services. Of course, their interests are in delaying the process as long as possible.

One of the other consultants reported that while the process has taken longer than initially anticipated, that’s largely because of the mess that’s been made of the bank records – which was at the core of the whole robo-signing debacle to begin with. So it’s believable, but again, with the consultant’s on the bank’s dime – and the bank’s time – there’s no rush to come to any conclusion.

What’s more, former Bank of America employees have come forward to report that part of their duties involved gathering information for these consultants and then making recommendations for these consultants, which they either then approve or deny. So what are they actually being paid for? And how independent could their results possibly be when the banks are the ones calling the shots?

At the end of the day, who’s advocating for the homeowners?

This just illustrates why you need an experienced Miami foreclosure lawyer on your side when you’re facing down these large financial institutions. Their resources are seemingly endless, as is their influence, and their ethics are nonexistent.

Call us today to see how we can help you.

If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on “Mortgage Wars,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.

Additional Resources:
Foreclosure Reviews: Exorbitant for Banks, Gold Mines for Consultants, Nov. 1, 2012, By Jeff Horwitz and Kate Berry, American Banker
More Blog Entries:
“Bull By The Horns” Offers Insider Details of Housing Crisis, Nov. 4, 2012, Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog