About 520 Arkansans will receive a refund from PPH Mortgage, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said today in announcing that she and 49 other attorneys general had settled a $45 million settlement with the New Jersey-based mortgage company. The settlement also includes $160,000 to the Arkansas Securities Department for violations of certain state regulations.
PPH is the ninth-largest nonbank residential mortgage originator and servicer. The suit dealt with impropriety in loans from 2009-2012. (You may remember from 2009 to 2012 that paying mortgages was a bit hard because the entire country was reeling from a housing market crash.) Even with the settlement the company is still liable for any wrongdoing that may have occurred after 2013.
A bit more, from the release, on the payments (in case you qualify):
The settlement includes $30.4 million in payments to borrowers who were foreclosed upon or referred to foreclosure. Borrowers who were subjected to PHH foreclosures during the eligible period will qualify for a minimum $840 payment, and borrowers who faced foreclosures that PHH initiated during the eligible period, but did not lose their home, are eligible to receive at least $285.
And here is what Rutledge had to say:
“This agreement sets servicing standards that PHH must provide to protect consumers going forward,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This settlement holds PHH accountable for failing to timely apply payments, maintain accurate account statements, threatening foreclosure and other deceptive and unfair activities conducted by the business.”
According to the complaint filed by the state attorneys general, PHH “threatened foreclosure and conveyed conflicting messages to certain borrowers engaged in loss mitigation.”
Per the office of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, PHH also allegedly charged unauthorized fees for default-related services.
According to Bondi’s office, the state AGs complaint alleged that PHH failed to:
* Maintain adequate documentation to determine whether PHH had standing to foreclose
* Appropriately respond to certain borrowers’ complaints and reasonable requests for information and assistance
* Timely and accurately apply payments made by certain borrowers
* Properly oversee third party vendors retained for servicing and foreclosure operations
* Preserve accurate account statements
*Adequately process borrowers’ applications for loan modifications