A massive review of as many as 4 million foreclosures nationwide began Tuesday as mortgage servicers seek out borrowers whose cases contain flaws.

The review could impact thousands of Floridians, who as part of the federally-mandated program may be compensated if a review finds they suffered financial harm because of defects in their case.

Letters began being mailed Tuesday to eligible homeowners who were in some stage of foreclosure in 2009 and 2010 alerting them that they can request the free evaluation. A homeowner hotline has also been established at 888-952-9105.

If a homeowner in an active foreclosure chooses to participate, the foreclosure will be put on hold until the review is complete.

Auditors are looking for problems such as robo-signing, inaccurate fee charges and foreclosures that occurred while a homeowner was working on a loan modification.

“Robo-signing may or may not result in financial injury but certainly is one of the things they will be looking for,” said Bryan Hubbard, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which announced the launch of the program Tuesday.

While homeowners can obtain the review with no strings attached, it has yet to be determined whether they will have to waive rights, such as the ability to sue the servicer, before they can receive compensation, Hubbard said.

Homeowners must request the review no later than April 30, 2012.

The program is part of a consent agreement reached in April by bank regulators and 14 of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers that included an overhaul of foreclosure practices. It stemmed from last fall’s revelations that deficient foreclosure documents were used to repossess homes. Most of the nation’s major lenders suspended foreclosures as paperwork was reviewed and re-filed as necessary.

Boca Raton-based foreclosure defense attorney Ron Kaniuk said he recommends homeowners request the audit, although he questions whether a review conducted by bank-chosen auditors will favor homeowners.

“I’m skeptical of any program implemented by the banks and servicers to examine their prior errors, omissions and intentional or unintentional criminal acts,” Kaniuk said. “But it does present an opportunity to try and get some relief to homeowners.”

The names of the companies hired to conduct the reviews will be released in the next few weeks, Hubbard said. When asked why not now, he said the comptroller’s office just wasn’t prepared to do so yet.

That sounds fishy to Fort Lauderdale attorney Shari Olefson, who represents banks in foreclosure cases.

“If I really wanted to increase public confidence and create transparency, I would start off by saying who the auditors are,” Olefson said. “I think it’s a good gesture, but everything is just too little, too late.”

The letter going to homeowners is also being kept secret in an attempt to thwart scammers from mimicking the document, Hubbard said.

Article retrieved from:  www.4closurefraud.org