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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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June 09, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Some people got checks from the IFR for $3000 to $6000, and they will still get another check from NMS? I guess their is a pacific reason why some would get a larger amount.

waiting mother
June 06, 2013 at 2:45 pm

rust said my check was mailed out on May 17,2013 June 6,2013 still havent got it........????

May 30, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I filled out both cards (NMS) and (IFR). I received my IFR check in April, 2013 for the amount of $6000. I was shocked because I wasn't expecting anymore than $840. Cashed it no problem. Now I am awaiting a check from NMS.

May 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Is there a way to check the status of when a check should arrive?

May 28, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Anyone ask to fill out a w9 form before receiving their checks?

May 26, 2013 at 12:56 am

I got my check in April & it was for $500.00. I want to know how the amount was determined particularly when I was trying to short sell and thin I find out it foreclosed on without any notice.

Cleo Hogan
May 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I Received A Post Card,Stated To Watch My Mail For A Check..But I Have Not Gotten A Check Yet...ThAnks..Cleo

May 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I received a check from Rust Consulting about mid April for $3000. Took it to the bank the next day and cashed it with absolutely no problem. From my understanding, there will be another check issued the end of this month for the remainder from the second settlement.

May 06, 2013 at 11:26 am

What if you never received aost card or a check from rust consulting, but your home was foreclosed on while you were in bankruptcy.

May 05, 2013 at 11:51 pm

What if the envelope got thrown away or misplaced by mistake before you read this blog, will you reissued the check, I mean it was not expected and an unusual looking piece of mail.