Banks Complete Consumer Relief Obligations Under National Mortgage Settlement

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Intended to address widespread foreclosure abuses that occurred at the height of the housing crisis, the National Mortgage Settlement reached a milestone this week. Joe Smith, the settlement monitor, announced that all five of the named banks have satisfied their consumer relief and refinancing obligations under the agreement. In total, the banks provided more than $50 million in credited relief nationwide, which translates to $20 billion in gross relief under the joint state-federal settlement. 

Tennessee received an estimated $240 million in relief including $180 million in refinances, principal reductions, and approved short sales.  Under the terms of the settlement, the majority of the credited relief went to help homeowners lower their mortgage payments and take them out of foreclosure. Over 4,000 Tennessee homeowners received some type of assistance under the settlement with an average individual benefit estimated at over $40,000.

The settlement included the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers:  Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, GMAC/Ally Financial and Wells Fargo.  After investigating complaints about foreclosure abuses from homeowners throughout the state, Tennessee participated on the multistate executive committee for 2012 settlement. 

“We are pleased to see that Tennesseans have received substantial benefits under the National Mortgage Settlement,” says Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper.  “In working with homeowners throughout the state, we have seen firsthand how the settlement has allowed struggling homeowners to lower their monthly payments and avoid foreclosure.”

The settlement’s monitor will continue to review the banks’ compliance with the settlement’s servicing standards. The standards require the five banks to evaluate homeowners for all options to foreclosure, including the federal Making Home Affordable Program, on a fair and timely basis. With the servicing standards still in effect, the Tennessee Attorney General’s office will continue to work with homeowners who have disputes with the five banks.

The state of Tennessee has also set up a free mortgage assistance hotline for all homeowners regardless of who services their mortgage. If having trouble paying a mortgage, call 855.876-7283. For a list of free housing counselors in the area, visit

Laura Ketcham Joins Miller & Martin

The Chattanooga office of Miller & Martin PLLC welcomed its newest member, Ms. Laura F. Ketcham. Ms. Ketcham is a member of the firm's Commercial Department, focusing her practice in the areas of bankruptcy and creditors' rights, commercial finance and providing general business counsel. She has represented various stakeholders in commercial bankruptcy cases across the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Presents Business Calendar For Oct. 12-16

MONDAY, OCTOBER 12   ... (click for more)

Attorney Patrick Says Chattanooga Is "Most Logical Place" For Consolidating Volkswagen Lawsuits; Hearing Set Dec. 3

Attorney Gary Patrick said Chattanooga is "the most logical place for consolidating the Volkswagen litigation because it is the only location in the country where VW vehicles are being produced." Attorney Patrick, of the local firm of Patrick, Beard, Schulman and Jacoway, said a hearing is set Dec. 3 in New Orleans on the issue. A host of lawsuits seeking class action status ... (click for more)

Woman Stabbed To Death On Hooker Road; Man Injured; Suspect Being Interviewed

A young woman was stabbed to death on Hooker Road early Friday morning and a man was injured. At approximately 1:54 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a stabbing at the 4000 block of Hooker Road. There police located Angel Evans, 33, deceased. She was stabbed multiple times. A second person, Gerald Nelson, 24, was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening ... (click for more)

The Facts About Jail

Since Roy had such a positive reaction to Jeffrey Cross's wonderful (and wonderfully civil--how refreshing) email response to his column on the bike lanes, allow me to speak on the subject of the jail.  First off, Roy's right about some things:  It is overcrowded, underfunded, and understaffed.  This is no secret, it's in the Grand Jury report every term.  Here's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Must Learn To Tell

On July 4th of this year, FBI agents – acting on a tip -- arrested Alexander Ciccolo, a 23-year-old with known mental problems, as he carried a duffle bag full of automatic attack weapons. Moments before, he had bought the illegal firearms from an undercover informant outside of Boston. As agents later scoured his apartment, they found bomb-making equipment including a pressure ... (click for more)