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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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donald a. williams sr.
December 10, 2013 at 6:48 pm

my brother received an check from Rust Consuling Co., my brother and myself, own the property as owner and co-owner it only had his name on the . is this check for real or what , i need some confirmation please

December 07, 2013 at 12:29 am

I know that a second round of checks are due to be sent this month, as I received a letter stating that. Apparently not everyone received the initial letters, so we had to sign and send in for the December payments. Not sure what date in December they are due to be sent........ These are for the 1480 dollar payments.....

Jean J Daniels
November 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm

The second check was received. I did not received the first check that was sent on May 3, 2013. I have called three times and was told that there will be a check re-issued. The last call was November 1, 2013. No info was given to when the check was going to be re-issued

November 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I have received 2 checks, but I'm not sure what to do. Are these checks real or is it some kind of scam? Please anyone who can shed some light on this I would appreciate it. I have done some research, but still not sure and a little skeptical. Thanks for any information.

November 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

I was surprised to receive the $300 check. I am looking on line to confirm it is real and not a hook that say if I cash I am paying for a Florida timeshare.
I did short sale a townhome in Minnesota 2 years ago. 40% loss, but had a buyer wait almost a whole year for bank to approve. Townhome kept in great shape as it waited empty. Had to stop paying my mortgage in order for banks to decide to approve short sale. Could have save a couple of thousand dollars had I decided to do that earlier.
Moved to North Carolina, now in Virginia, working at different banks - being a regulator from the inside for them (Basel Accord, Mortgage, etc.).

Clydine Yarbrough
October 24, 2013 at 10:01 am

I have called Rust Consulting numerous times and get nowhere. Can't give me any information on when I can expect 1st check. Got one for $120.00 with info. that it was my second check, and that I had been sent a $400.00 check already, but I never received the first check for $400.00. Like I said, can't get any info. at all one when I will receive first check of $400.00???

October 18, 2013 at 3:43 pm

I received 1480.00 from the national mortgage settlement and waiting for a check from the independent foreclosure. I wonder why are the dollar amounts different.

September 18, 2013 at 10:48 am

I called Wells Frago line for IFR info, I should have gotten my check in April, and was told then it was scheduled to be sent the next day, BUT to my old address! I sent new address info a cpl wks later, and now 2 days ago, I finally am told that my check was sent out Sept 13th! Hopefully it doesn't take weeks to get here now!! Hoping it come today, my birthday!!

September 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

I received a check for $500.00 in April of 2013. Unfortunately the check listed both mine and my late wife's name on the check so I could not cash it. I called Rust Consulting and they provided me the paperwork to submit to have a new check issued. It has now been 5 months since I submitted the paperwork to them and all is my request is still under review. Really??? How long does it take to verify what I sent?

June 12, 2013 at 1:31 pm

My house was forclosed on in 2010. How do you know if you qualify for the check from Rust Consulting??? I know I am getting a payment from the NMS.