ATLANTA -- Thousands of Metro Atlanta homeowners hit with foreclosures in 2009 or 2010 may soon be getting financial relief for possible missteps made by their banks.
The money is part of a settlement with 14 mortgage providers to set things straight.
The case involves mortgage files sitting on bankers desks, loan modifications that were never sent, documents signed with phony signatures and never read or reviewed - all from accusations that homeowners say cost them a fortune as they were thrown into foreclosure.
As a result of this case, there is now a federal government independent review process that will review foreclosures and determine who got mishandled and who should get money for what they went through.
Stone Mountain homeowner Alta McAfee says she was told she had a home mortgage modification. She said the next thing she knew she got a letter saying her home was in foreclosure.
"They basically threw me under the bus," she said. "I called them. I tried to explain to them. They didn't have any tracking number where they sent me the original modification papers. They didn't try to work with me."
Non-profit mortgage and foreclosure counseling groups like the D&E Group of Forest Park and Resources for Residents and Communities in Southeast Atlanta say homeowners were often mishandled and misled.
"They have gone through this process for an extended period of time. They have done not only what we asked them to do but what the services said to do and still not getting a response or they found themselves falling into foreclosure or their information was not updated correctly," said Tia McCoy of Resources for Residents and Communities. "Their information was reported as not complete when we know in actuality it was complete and we actually have the documentation to show that they received it."
In order to qualify for the review process, the homeowners must have suffered financial harm, their property has to have been sold in foreclosure, or the homeowner must have been kept within the foreclosure process, even if payments were made or the house was sold in a short sale. Homeowners who are still in foreclosure awaiting action by a lender are also eligible for the review process.