(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced an agreement with American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. (AHMSI) to settle a 2009 lawsuit filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court that alleged AHMSI violated Ohio consumer law by providing inadequate services to consumers seeking loan modifications.
"This agreement will help Ohio homeowners receive fair, improved and faster treatment when negotiating a loan modification or trying to avoid foreclosure," Attorney General DeWine said. "We are pleased that American Home Mortgage Servicing has worked with our office to reach this settlement and to help Ohioans."
In the settlement, the Attorney General and AHMSI agree to mortgage servicing standards that will apply to all AHMSI-serviced Ohio loans. The servicing standards include:
• Borrowers who complete a loan modification application will be assigned a single point of contact with AHMSI.
• AHMSI will implement a specific timeline for all loan modification requests.
• AHMSI will temporarily suspend foreclosures when a borrower completes a loan modification application and will implement an internal review process for denied loan modifications.
• AHMSI will no longer assert that consumers have no right to claims against lenders or holders of notes.
AHMSI also has committed to working with various federal and Ohio programs designed to assist homeowners in distress. Such programs include Ohio’s Restoring Stability (Hardest Hit Funds) Program and programs sponsored by HOPE NOW, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, and the Ohio Governor’s Office.
Additionally, when the Attorney General forwards a complaint to AHMSI, AHMSI will respond in writing to the Attorney General no later than 30 business days after receiving the communication.
Consumers who have complaints about AHMSI should file a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515. The Attorney General will monitor AHMSI complaints and its compliance with the 30-day turn-around period established in the agreement.
Ohioans facing foreclosure should contact Save the Dream Ohio at 888-404-4674 or www.savethedream.ohio.gov. Save the Dream Ohio is a state program that provides free housing counseling and direct referrals for free legal assistance to Ohio homeowners.
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller: 614-466-3840
Signed Agreement (PDF)