WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that, as part of its settlement with BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, servicemembers whose homes were unlawfully foreclosed upon will each receive a minimum $116,785 plus compensation for any equity lost to compensate them for the bank’s alleged violation of the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Bank of America agreed to pay $20 million to approximately 160 servicemembers who were illegally foreclosed on between 2006 and the middle of 2009. Under the agreement, Bank of America agreed to provide information about its foreclosures from mid 2009-2010 and will pay damages in the same minimum amount to those servicemembers whose homes were illegally foreclosed upon to compensate for the loss of their homes. The review is on-going.
“The men and women serving our nation should not have to worry about a bank foreclosing on their home while they bravely serve our country,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will vigorously enforce the laws that protect servicemembers while they do the difficult and necessary work of protecting our country. We have and will continue to work hard to ensure that servicemembers receive the full protections of the law and relief they deserve in a timely fashion.”
On May 26, 2011, the department announced a settlement with BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, formerly known as Countrywide Home Loans Servicing LP, which resolved allegations that the bank unlawfully foreclosed on servicemembers’ homes in violation of the SCRA. This is the largest SCRA settlement ever reached by the department. The Department of Defense also provided critical assistance in identifying the servicemembers whose rights were violated.
Beginning on Nov. 14, 2011, letters will be sent to 157 servicemembers to notify them of the amount of money that they may receive under the settlement. The settlement agreement set a deadline for the end of November 2011 for the Justice Department to determine the amount of damages to which servicemembers may be entitled.
The SCRA provides critical additional consumer and other protections to the men and women serving our nation in the military – its enactment was a recognition that those who are making great sacrifices to protect us deserve our full support at home.
For more information on the Justice Department’s work to protect servicemembers, please visit www.servicemembers.gov.