Friday, February 10, 2012

AG Secures Two Legal Settlements to Help New Mexico Families

Attorney General Gary King officially signed New Mexico on to a landmark agreement with the nation's largest mortgage servicers to address New Mexico foreclosure abuses and fraudulent practices. The settlement provides real relief to affected New Mexico borrowers and eliminates many of the unfair practices that contributed to mortgage-related financial losses in our. The agreement does not grant any immunity from related criminal offenses and will not prevent potential New Mexico criminal prosecutions in the future. Additionally, the pact does not prevent homeowners or investors from pursuing individual, institutional, or class action civil cases against the five servicers; Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, Ally (GMAC), and Wells Fargo.

  • $1 million for the State Financial Institutions Division.New Mexico borrowers will benefit from approximately:
  • $63 million in homeowner relief through loan term modifications, principal reduction, and other direct relief.
  • $12.5 million for refinancing for borrowers who are underwater and current on loans.
  • $16 million for state payments designated to:
a)---Payments to borrowers for mortgage servicing abuse [$4.5 million].
b)---Payments for state foreclosure prevention efforts, homeowner hotline, outreach and housing counseling [$11.7 million].

Mortgage servicer phone numbers for their customers who want to inquire about the settlement:

BofA: 1-877-488-7814

Citi: 1-866-272-4749

Chase: 1-866-372-6901

GMAC: 1-800-766-4622

Wells Fargo: 1-800-288-3212

More information will be made available as the settlement programs are implemented. For more New Mexico information on the proposed agreement:

New Mexico Attorney General’s Office: 1-800-678-1508
Information Form for NM Homeowners:


INFORMATION for Investors in New Mexico 529 College Savings Programs operated by OppenheimerFunds.

Late last week Attorney General King announced that another settlement, negotiated in part by his office, has begun returning money lost by NM account holders.

In 2009 AG King began the investigation into losses related to the New Mexico 529 savings plans, along with the AGs of several other states. A settlement was reached in mid-2010 that provided New Mexico more than $67 million that was to be distributed by the state Education Trust Board. Subsequently, several separate lawsuits were filed by NM 529 plan investors that held up distribution of the settlement monies until now.

The good news is that account holders will be receiving their money as early as next month, depending on when the account holders send in their releases.
Notices to affected investors have begun to go out, accompanied by a release letter. Once those release letters are returned, the families will receive distribution funds via one of three approved methods within 40 days.

VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION: For account holders who still have open accounts, their share will be placed into their accounts after receipt and processing of their release letter, which is being distributed with notice of the settlement. For account holders who have closed their accounts, they may choose one of three methods: (1) by re-opening a closed New Mexico 529 account; (2) by direct rollover to a qualified 529 Plan account that designated by the account holder; or (3) by check mailed directly to the account holder.

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