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Suntrust Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does this settlement mean for me?

Under this settlement, SunTrust is required to pay $40 million nationwide to borrowers whose homes were foreclosed between 2008 and 2013, and to provide $500 million worth of first- and second-lien mortgage loan modifications to homeowners at risk of default to help them keep their homes. If you are a homeowner whose loan is serviced by SunTrust Mortgage, and if you are currently struggling to pay your mortgage, are facing foreclosure, or already lost your home to foreclosure, it is possible that this settlement may help you. Not every homeowner will qualify for relief under this settlement. Those who do qualify may receive various forms of relief depending on their circumstances. Available forms of relief include: payments to borrowers who were wrongfully foreclosed upon; reduction of unpaid principal balances; refinancing for borrowers whose homes are worth less than the money they owe; and the opportunity for short sales and other relocation assistance.

How will I know whether this settlement affects me?

This settlement is with SunTrust Mortgage. If your loan was serviced by SunTrust and you lost your home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2013, and you meet other criteria, the settlement administrator will mail you a Notice Letter and Claim Form. You are not required to release any legal claims you may have in order to receive payments from this settlement. If you need to update your address, please file an update with our office by using the Consumer Complaint Form on our website.

For loan modification options, you may be contacted directly by SunTrust. You may also contact SunTrust to learn more about specific loan modification programs and find out if you will be impacted by this settlement. You may reach SunTrust at 800-634-7928 or SunTrust's contact form.

What is a mortgage servicer and how do I know if SunTrust services my loan?

The company that you make your monthly payment to is your mortgage servicer. A mortgage servicer administers mortgage loans, including collecting and recording payments from borrowers. A servicer also handles loan defaults and foreclosures, and may offer programs to avoid foreclosure and to help homeowners who are behind on their payments.

You can find out whether SunTrust services your mortgage by calling SunTrust at 800-634-7928 or contacting SunTrust's contact form.

How do I know if I am eligible for payment as a foreclosure victim?

The settlement administrator will mail Notice Letters and Claim Forms to borrowers who lost their homes due to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2013 if their loans were serviced by SunTrust and if they meet other criteria. Borrowers who receive payments will not have to release any legal claims in order to receive payments from this settlement, and will be free to file their own lawsuits in court. Borrowers who believe they are eligible for these payments and who need to update their address may file an updated address with our office by using the Consumer Complaint Form on our website.

If I am eligible for payments as a foreclosure victim, how much will I get?

The amount of money that each borrower gets depends on how many borrower make an approved claim for payment after the settlement administrator mails Notice Letters and Claim Forms to eligible borrowers. The money will be divided equally among those borrowers.

SunTrust has already begun the foreclosure process on my home. Will the settlement stop the foreclosure?

No. The settlement does not order SunTrust to stop all foreclosures. However, you may be eligible for a loan modification, and there are important limitations on what foreclosure actions SunTrust can take while you are pursuing a loan modification. For example, if you complete an application for a loan modification, SunTrust cannot proceed with a foreclosure until it has fully reviewed your application. You may contact SunTrust about potential loan modification options at 800-634-7928 or by SunTrust's contact form.

I lost my home to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2013. How do I provide my current contact information to the settlement administrator?

California residents can contact the Public Inquiry Unit of the California Attorney General’s Office by submitting an Online Complaint Form or by sending a letter to:

Office of the Attorney General
Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550

Is SunTrust required to modify my loan?

No, SunTrust is not required to modify any particular loan. Although the settlement generally orders SunTrust to give a total of $500 million in loan modifications to borrowers who qualify, it does not dictate which borrowers get this relief. In other words, any particular borrower does not have a “right” to a loan modification under this settlement. You may contact SunTrust about potential loan modification options at 800-634-7928 or by SunTrust's contact form.

How can I get help getting a loan modification under the settlement?

For help, you may contact a free HUD-Approved Housing counselor. You may also contact SunTrust directly. You may want to pursue both these options at the same time. You can find a list of California agencies that provide HUD-approved counseling, or by calling 1-800-569-4287. These counselors are free and do no take money. Be wary of anyone who offers you these services for a fee and be sure to fully examine their reputation and business practices before paying any money.

You may also contact SunTrust directly about potential loan modification options at 800-634-7928 or by SunTrust's contact form.

Are payments taxable?

Whether you owe taxes on your payments depends on your individual circumstances. Please check with your tax advisor for any tax questions.

Can I still sue SunTrust?

Yes. Whether or not you receive relief under the settlement, you still have the right to sue SunTrust.

Can you give me advice on if I have legal claims against SunTrust?

No. The Attorney General’s Office is not able to give you legal advice or any other advice on this matter. If you would like legal advice, please consult a private attorney or a legal aid attorney if you qualify. You may obtain a referral to a certified lawyer referral service by contacting the California State Bar at 1-866-442-2529 (toll-free in California) or at www.calbar.ca.gov. Click on the link for “Lawyer Referral Services” on the bottom left hand corner of the page.

You can also download the California State Bar Association’s booklet about how to find the right attorney at www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets/HiringaLawyer.aspx. If you cannot afford a private attorney, you may consider contacting your local legal aid office. For a referral, visit www.lsc.gov and click on the Find Legal Assistance tab.

What laws did SunTrust violate?

We believe that SunTrust violated federal and state laws against unfair and deceptive practices. SunTrust’s unlawful conduct hurt consumers who have had home loans serviced by SunTrust. For example, SunTrust made borrowers pay improper fees and charges, caused unreasonable delays and expenses when borrowers asked for help to avoid foreclosure, and wrongly refused to give borrowers loan modifications that could have helped those borrowers stay in their homes.

How does this settlement hold SunTrust accountable?

This is an action that addresses SunTrust’s servicing of loans, including the handling of foreclosures and requests from borrowers for help in avoiding foreclosure, and will result in SunTrust providing substantial relief to consumers.

This action, brought by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and state attorneys general, will require SunTrust to pay foreclosed-upon consumers $40 million and provide $500 million worth of first- and second-lien mortgage loan modifications to homeowners at risk of default to help them keep their homes.

This settlement will also require SunTrust to follow standards for servicing loans that will better protect homeowners who are behind on their payments or in foreclosure. Most of these standards are the same as those in the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement by the state attorneys general and federal government with the five largest mortgage banks.

This settlement has been filed in federal court, and if approved by the court, it will be backed by a federal court order. The federal agencies and state attorneys general will be able to sue SunTrust if it does not follow the settlement’s terms, and could seek penalties from SunTrust. In addition, a special independent monitor will oversee the settlement. The monitor, who will work from a strict set of objective measuring standards, will oversee the carrying out of this settlement and will report to the states and the federal agencies on SunTrust’s compliance. This will provide another layer of oversight over SunTrust. Finally, there will be a monitoring committee made up of state attorneys general and the CFPB, which will work closely with the independent monitor.

Is SunTrust still subject to the Homeowner Bill of Rights and the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rules?

Yes. SunTrust will be required to comply with the servicing standards in this settlement for a period of three years. SunTrust must also comply with the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), which went into effect in January 2013. For more information about HBOR, please visit www.oag.ca.gov/hbor. SunTrust must also comply with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) mortgage servicing rules, which went into effect in January 2014. For more information about the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rules, please visit http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulations/2013-real-estate-settlement-procedures-act-regulation-x-and-truth-in-lending-act-regulation-z-mortgage-servicing-final-rules.

Is SunTrust required to make any settlement payments to state or federal government agencies?

SunTrust is paying $10 million to the federal agencies that negotiated the settlement. Separately, it is paying $418 million to the United States government to settle federal claims regarding SunTrust’s origination, underwriting, and insurance endorsement of loans on behalf of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that led to HUD losses. The state attorneys general are not getting any money.

Will taxpayers ultimately pay for this settlement?

No. The settlement money is coming from SunTrust only and will not be paid by taxpayers.

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