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See a foreclosure check envelope

By Holden Lewis ·
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Posted: 10 am ET

This is what the envelope looks like when you receive a check resulting from the foreclosure settlement between the federal government and more than a dozen big banks.

I don't know about you, but I frequently get junk mail that looks like this: letters from private companies that are designed to fool you into thinking that they're from the government. In this instance, it's a letter from a private company that truly is working with the federal government.

The foreclosure review check is from Rust Consulting. Don't mistake it for junk mail.

Caution: Contents are not as described

The return address is from "Paying Agent -- Rust Consulting, Inc." in Faribault, Minn.

Below the return address, the envelope reads: "Important payment agreement information enclosed." But from what I hear, the letter contains almost no information. It doesn't explain how the payment amount was decided.

Nearly random amounts

In my blog post describing how some of the initial checks bounced, a reader comments: "I received a check for $500, with no explanation as to how they came up with that amount." And, she adds, $500 is inadequate to recompense her for what the bank did.

The settlement was between the banks and two federal agencies: the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve. These regulators are coddling the banks and aren't protecting borrowers, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., noted last week during a committee hearing.

The payouts vary from $300 to $125,000, with most people getting payments of $300 or $500. That's pennies on the dollar, Warren complained during the hearing. Regulators had let banks hire "independent" consultants to investigate irregularities in foreclosures in 2009 and 2010, but the consultants were slow, so the foreclosure reviews were scrapped. Instead, borrowers will get checks, whether or not their banks did something wrong. The borrower's actual financial loss doesn't enter into the equation.

Where to call

If you want to confirm that you qualify for payment, or if you need to update your address so the check is sent to the right place, call Rust Consulting at (888) 952-9105. You can talk to a representative after listening to automated messages for several minutes.

Follow me on Twitter @HoldenL.

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Stacey Demarest
March 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm

I got a whole 500 dollars. Lost my first home with my husband and baby, tried to go to the auction tobuy back but surprisingly wells fargos attorneys purchased it ...somehow for over 95000 then it was worth. Maybe bc it was a federally "protected loan" .GET FHA best for young first time home buyers. Thanks for the rebo signing and constant paperwork misfiling so I could have a chapter 7 on my perrfect credit. Thanks wells Fargo , good thing for the amazing memories with my family. Love that criminals get to keep making millions and thx for the 500 bucks.

March 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Here is what happened to me. In February 2014, I got the tax form to claim $1,000 on my taxes for a check that was mailed to me in November, 2013. Problem is I never got the check. From that tax form I called Rust Consulting. They verified my name and my loan number over the phone (less than a minute wait time), explained that they were cancelling the previous check and would be mailing a new check out. I'd receive it in about six weeks and to call back if further problems. The customer service rep was very professional, and he was very polite and nice. It was one of the few customer service experiences I've had like that in a very long time!

Griselda Silva
January 08, 2014 at 3:13 am

I was also suppose to receive money, but never did. I also have called the number provided, and all i get is that they cant give out any information. I think this is all a scam and the attorneys are keeping a lot of this settlement monies.

I have a sister that lost a home in about 2009 that received $30K i lost more than 1 home from 2009-2011 to Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase, and til this day i haven't gotten what was told i wold get

Dale Byrd
December 11, 2013 at 11:07 am

I never gotten my so call check in mail. Thank GMAC forclose
F me over ....