Only a bit more than three years after the foreclosure crisis began, the government is stepping in to force banks to offer consumers two things: a formal complaint process (and toll-free number) and better standards for mortgage servicing.

The Wall Street Journal reports that, at the behest of The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, big lenders must create one process for all customers — no matter which bank serviced their mortgage — to levy complaints, or request a review of their foreclosure.

Only homeowners whose primary residence was foreclosed on are eligible to have their case reviewed, and only if their foreclosure took place between 2009 and 2010.

Outrage Over Improper Foreclosures Prompts Change

The decision to create this process was prompted by the discovery that 14 different lenders had foreclosed on homes even though they lacked the proper documents. “Robosigning” — when banks processed foreclosure documents without actually reviewing them or properly notarizing them — was perhaps the most egregious example of lenders’ negligence in the foreclosure process, and outrage over this practice helped prompt the new regulations, according to the Wall Street Journal.

A website and ad campaign will launch this fall to publicize the formal review process. reports that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the regulatory body created by the Dodd-Frank bill, has plans to standardizing mortgage servicing. According to Raj Date, the lack of transparency and standards in the mortgage industry are bad for consumers, and bad for the economy.

CFPB Uses Crowdsourcing to Create New Forms

The CFPB has introduced the Know Before You Owe tool, which uses consumer and industry feedback to help make mortgage disclosure forms more straightforward. With regulatory fixes coming into place, it seems less and less likely that America will see a collapse of the mortgage industry like we had in 2008. Bankers are likely upset that this also means we won’t see a bubble like we did the last decade.

Read More: Raj Date Calls Servicing Standards a CFPB Priority

Wall Street Journal: Foreclosure Complaint? Stand by For New Toll-Free Number

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  • Jack_bake2004

    Why should the banks be in trouble for “Robosigning” documents. All you have to do is look at the computer and see that someone is 6 months or more behind, and that’s the only thing that matters. If you don’t pay your mortgage then you deserve to lose your house. There are cases of people not paying for 24 months or more. That is outrageous. And for all the people who say it’s the bank’s fault, you are wrong as well. The consumer needs to take responsibility too. If you make $20,000.00 per year, do you really think you can afford a house that cost $300,000.00? That is just common sense. I’m not taking all responsibility away from the bank but consumers need to man up and take their share of responsibility as well. The banks didn’t put a gun to your head to make you sign that note promising to pay it back.

  • Anonymous

    @b6486e210e96acf15610505d3e8ae260:disqus  My understanding is that banks can — and have — occasionally foreclosed on the wrong people, or people who were not delinquent. There are regulations in place to make sure that they do not do this, but by sidestepping these regulations (robosigning), they make it more likely that mistakes can be made.