By Rick Rothacker
Feb 14 U.S. auto lender Ally Financial Inc has
satisfied a requirement to provide $200 million in home loan
modifications and other consumer relief under last year's $25
billion national mortgage settlement, the pact's monitor said on
Ally, along with its subsidiaries Residential Capital and
GMAC Mortgage, becomes the first of five mortgage servicers to
complete its portion of the mandated customer assistance.
Joseph Smith, the former North Carolina state banking
commissioner who is the monitor for the settlement, said he had
filed a report with the U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia certifying Ally had met the requirement.
Ally is 74 percent owned by the U.S. government after a
series of bailouts and is largely exiting the mortgage business
to focus on auto lending. ResCap, which housed most of Ally's
mortgage business, filed for bankruptcy in May and its
operations were sold off in an auction last fall.
The lender and its subsidiaries have been credited with
providing $257.4 million in consumer relief through loan
modifications, short sales, principal forgiveness and other
actions. The Ally units have only partially completed a
requirement to solicit borrowers for the program, and they
remain subject to servicing standards that were part of the
settlement, Smith said.
Ally, Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc,
JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co agreed
to the settlement a year ago to resolve allegations of
robo-signing and other foreclosure abuses. Smith said he would
release a report next week giving an update on how much relief
the servicers provided from March 1 to December 31.
Reuters reported this week that federal and state officials
are close to entering another round of settlements with
additional servicers to resolve foreclosure abuses. [ID: