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Problem NJ mortgage loan servicer will pay millions in settlement

New Jersey-based PHH Mortgage Corporation -- the nation's ninth biggest non-bank entity that services residential mortgages -- has been in business for years with the stated goal of helping homeowners.

Instead, it has hurt a number of them, and will now pay a price for that.

Indeed, the exaction levied upon PHH in a recent multi-state settlement it agreed to is notably heavy. The servicer will pay out $45 million in various fines and penalties.

Importantly, $30.4 million of that will reportedly be refunded back to borrowers who were adversely affected by various PHH irregularities linked with loans and account maintenance. The remainder will be returned to mortgage regulators in a number of states. Collectively, the settlement involved about 90% of all states across the country.

As noted, many New Jersey borrowers were harmed by PHH actions and policies. More than 280 who took loans over a four-year period were eventually foreclosed upon and are now eligible for a minimum payment of $840. Scores of hundreds of others qualify for smaller refunds.

A second and earlier settlement inked between the State of New Jersey and PHH applicable to a different timeframe also resulted in restitution payments totaling about $3.6 million for harmed homeowners.

Notwithstanding some regained financial traction for many in New Jersey and nationally in recent years, many homeowners continue to struggle with home payments owing to many and varied reasons. A New Jersey resident facing stark home-related financial challenges can reach out to a proven Middlesex County debt-relief attorney for guidance and, when necessary, strong legal representation.

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