One of the vestiges of the financial crisis is now officially in the past.
The National Mortgage Settlement, the massive mortgage servicing settlement between the federal government, 49 states (all excluding Oklahoma), and five of the nation’s biggest banks and mortgage servicers, is now done and complete.
The National Mortgage Settlement is no more. RIP.
The settlement, which was originally announced on Feb. 9, 2012, required Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and ResCap (Ally Financial) to provide $20 billion in consumer relief and $5 billion in other payments.
The settlement stemmed from allegations that those companies were “robo-signing” mortgage documents, including allegedly signing swaths of foreclosure documents without properly reviewing them, evicting homeowners who were still in the modification process, and other abuses.
As part of the settlement, the companies were also subject to mortgage servicing standards, and were required to comply to those standards for a number of years.
Their compliance with those servicing standards was monitored by the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, which announced early Wednesday morning that all of the servicers under its oversight have completed their servicing obligations and the monitor’s work is now complete.
Over the last few years, other mortgage servicers also came under the OMSO’s supervision while the original companies eventually fulfilled their consumer relief obligations in 2014.
Ocwen Financial and Green Tree Servicing eventually came under OMSO supervision when the two companies purchased servicing rights from ResCap when the company was reorganized through bankruptcy.
Green Tree Servicing eventually became Ditech Financial.
In late 2013, Ocwen entered into a consent order with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 49 states, which required it to provide $2.1 billion in consumer relief and comply with the National Mortgage Settlement’s mortgage servicing standards.
SunTrust also came under OMSO oversight when it reached its own settlement with the CFPB and 49 states. The 2014 settlement required SunTrust to pay $500 million in loss-mitigation relief to underwater borrowers, $40 million to consumers who lost their homes to foreclosure and $10 million to the federal government, along with being subject to NMS servicing standards.
HSBC was the last company to come under OMSO supervision, when in February 2016, it agreed to a $601 million settlement with a series of federal agencies and nearly every state over charges that the bank engaged in mortgage origination, servicing and foreclosure abuses.
Throughout the last few years, the OMSO, led by Joseph Smith, has overseen each company’s compliance with the NMS standards and has issued reports on each company’s fulfillment of their various obligations.
At different points, some companies were fined for violating the NMS standards.
But one by one, each of the companies under Smith’s supervision completed their obligations, culminating with SunTrust, which just finished its servicing requirements.
According to Smith’s office, SunTrust did not fail any compliance tests during the first quarter of 2018, and has now fulfilled its NMS obligations.
“SunTrust has completed its obligations under the NMS,” Smith said in a statement. “Therefore, this is my final report on SunTrust. SunTrust will continue to remain accountable to mortgage servicing-related rules issued and enforced by the CFPB.”
With SunTrust’s compliance achieved, Smith’s office will be shutting down by the end of the year.
“This report is my final report as Monitor under the NMS. It’s been an honor and pleasure to work with the dedicated public servants from around the country who served on the NMS Monitoring Committee,” Smith said.
“I believe that our work together and with the NMS servicer parties accomplished an important public good,” Smith concluded. “I hope reports like this one have enhanced the public’s trust and confidence in government and the financial system.”
A spokesperson for Smith’s office said that since the Office of Mortgage Settlement was created for the NMS, now that all of the servicers have met their obligations, the OMSO has “fulfilled its purpose and will be dissolved by the end of 2018.”