rust consulting

Rust Consulting: promise that a check is in the mail is real

March 26, 2013
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check in the mail Rust Consulting: promise that a check is in the mail is real

The Check Is in the Mail

If you are an active agent that works in the distressed property arena, you will undoubtedly receive phone calls or emails from past and present clients about an interesting little mailer that just hit mailboxes across America. The mailer is one piece and sealed on three sides; it’s small and white and looks a bit like a piece of junk mail that you’d throw away without opening. The thing is… it’s not junk mail. And for many folks that were involved in a loan modification, a short sale, or a foreclosure, it’s an alert stating that “the check is in the mail” (in about eight more weeks).

On March 18, 2013, approximately 4.2 million people were sent notices that they will receive remuneration as a result of an agreement between federal banking regulators and 13 mortgage servicers. The mailer comes from the paying agent, Rust Consulting (1-888-952-9105), and Rust Consulting is the only agency that should be contacted if (previously) distressed borrowers have any questions or concerns.

What Is Independent Foreclosure Review?

As you may recall, the Independent Foreclosure Review is part of the settlement associated with the robo-signing debacle of 2010 (title my own). As part of this review, thirteen mortgage servicers and their affiliates identified customers who were part of a foreclosure action on their primary residence during the period of January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2010.



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These 13 mortgage servicers sent solicitation letters to 4.2 million potential victims of robo-signing and other foreclosure-related (and potentially fraudulent) matters. These letters provided homeowners the opportunity to request an independent review of their foreclosure process (a.k.a. Independent Foreclosure Review). If the review found that financial injury occurred as a result of errors, misrepresentations, or other deficiencies in the servicer’s foreclosure process, the customer might receive compensation or another remedy.

The deadline to request an independent review was December 31, 2012.

Eligibility for Independent Foreclosure Review

According to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, borrowers were eligible for an Independent Foreclosure Review if they met the following criteria:

  • the property securing the loan was the borrower’s primary residence
  • the mortgage was in the foreclosure process (initiated, pending, or completed) at any time between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2010
  • the mortgage was serviced by one of the following mortgage servicers: America’s Servicing Company, Aurora Loan Services, BAC Home Loans Servicing, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citi (Bank, Financial and Mortgage), Countrywide, EMC Mortgage Corporation, EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company, Financial Freedom (OneWest), GMAC, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Services, National City Servicing Company, PNC Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Mortgage, US Bank, Wachovia Mortgage, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo, and Wilshire Credit

The Best Things in Life Are Free

Distressed borrowers did not have to hire an attorney or other consultant to assist them in their completion of the Independent Foreclosure Review paperwork. In fact, there were no costs associated with being included in the review; the review was a free program. According to Rust Consulting, “borrowers should beware of anyone requiring payments for assistance in connection with the Independent Foreclosure Review or any other foreclosure assistance program.”

As scams seems to arise under just about every rock, it’s a good idea to assure that your past clients that may be receiving a check in the mail are aware of what’s about to come. In fact, why not give your past clients a call and let them know. Since it’s been a few years since they were distressed borrowers, maybe they are ready to buy again?

Melissa Zavala is the Broker/Owner of Broadpoint Properties and Head Honcho of Short Sale Expeditor®, and Chief Executive Officer of Transaction 911. Before landing in real estate, she had careers in education and publishing. Most recently, she has been able to use her teaching and organizational skills while traveling the world over—dispelling myths about the distressed property market, engaging and motivating real estate agents, and sharing her passion for real estate. When she isn’t speaking or writing, Melissa enjoys practicing yoga, walking the dog, and vacationing at beach resorts.


  • http://freetraffictip.com Tinu

    I can count the number of times someone told me a company stating a check was in the mail was legitimate on one finger. Great news.

    • http://twitter.com/laniar Lani Rosales

      which finger? ….

      • http://freetraffictip.com Tinu

        I’ll never tell.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthonykallen Anthony Allen

    this is actually legit. check out federalreserve,gov i’m not doubting i will be getting a check. the question is what will be the amount?

    • http://www.facebook.com/fuzwuz Bobby Adams

      Me too. ????

  • Darren Stuart

    I understand the privacy requirements for telling borrowers what their payout will be via phone or IVR, but feel a website tied to SSN login could be created to eliminate the curiosity along with anticipated delivery date. This 6-8 weeks just adds more uncertainty as to the validity and management of the payouts.

    • http://twitter.com/TheOnlineTrib theonlinetribune

      Agree 100% Telling people they will receive “a” check in “an” amount but not specifying sets the program up for failure. I have dreams of zero’s but I know I wont have more than 5 total in my check, including the .00 I am curious as to what people do receive and why the checks vary so wildly or if they are based on property value. Tweet at #themortgagemess

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  • Eileen

    Here is an update that came out today. Hope it helps. http://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/news-releases/2013/nr-ia-2013-60.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/yen.whit Yen Whit

    I want my check from Rust to be directly deposited

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.i.spencer Stephanie Ingram Spencer

    I agree. We went through so much heartache having to leave our home but we did what had to be done. This would be a nice surprise. I would be happy with $300 at this point!

    • Thomas Tree

      I got $300.00

      • http://www.facebook.com/steve.overbey Steve Overbey

        Exactly when did you get a check. My form says 6 to 8 weeks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/guitargirlygirl Stephanie Steele Wagstaff

    When it says as high as 125K, the majority of that is going to Military who were foreclosed on when they were active duty.

  • http://www.facebook.com/guitargirlygirl Stephanie Steele Wagstaff

    There are a number of different categories of what you qualify for on these checks. So don’t be surprised if it is as little as $400. I’ve heard of one person, that is all she got. Definitely not enough to compensate the loss of her home. It goes as high as 125k though, which a majority of that goes to military who were foreclosed on while they were active duty because they are protected under the Serviceman Civil Relief Act. But be aware that there are scams out there. If they request you to pay a fee or anything like that, it is a scam. The checks will be coming from Rust Consulting. I read a post somewhere saying as long as you filled out the documents for it you should get it within 21 days seeing as how they have already mailed a chunk of them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Nickeb82 Nicke Pinkston

    I got mine today for $1000.00 I had to do alot of research to verify it was legit and it sure seems like it :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/steve.overbey Steve Overbey

      Did your check come by regular mail?

  • http://www.facebook.com/delrey.romero Marlene Cardona

    How can we find out what the amounts and timeframe is going to be? It seems there should be a place where they can look up our names, and the dollar amounts and WHEN? Most importantly, let us know! This is crazy!

  • Andrew

    I received the check yesterday for $300 and I wanted to make sure it is legit and that I am not seeing to something by cashing it. From what I can tell it is legit.

    • http://www.facebook.com/desireehayes Desiree Hayes

      Did you cash it? I got two today (we had two loans.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/desireehayes Desiree Hayes

    I just got two checks today for $300 each. Is this legit? Came by regular mail and it’s in an envelope that looks like a scam letter.

  • Jim D

    I received a check in the amount of $400, yesterday. Have been researching for the past 3 hours and I can`t find anything about this to be fraudulent. I can`t tell you how many times I have opened the mail, just to find a fake check with my name on it. I will probably do a few more day research, I am very skeptical. For those of you waiting for a check, and hearing stories of a major payout, Don`t get your hopes up. I will probably end up throwing my check in the garbage!

  • Michael L.

    I received a check two days ago for $3,000 and placed the funds into a savings account. A friend of mine from college in Florida received her check the same day. She said it was for $300. Not sure why the disparity in differences, but I’m not complaining. For what it’s worth, you will receive a 1099 at the end of the year for the money received. Don’t forget Uncle Sam will want his cut of the check.

    I still find it humorous that I received a check for a foreclosure when I elected to walk away from my house because I was underwater by over 65% at the time of foreclosure. I’m a certified real estate appraiser in Arizona – I understand residential home values about as well as anyone in my profession – especially when it came to my own house.

    I read some of the comments on here and I really don’t have much empathy for anyone. In reality, we didn’t pay our bills on our house for one reason or another (whether a loss in income/health/etc). If you don’t pay for something you don’t own outright, then the true owner will eventually reserve the right to take that item back (the bank in this case). It would be no different if you failed to make multiple car payments.

    The idea that people are complaining about getting an additional check for such and such amounts because they didn’t pay their bills in the first place is comical (and is sad at the same time). Maybe it’s the sue happy reality we live in or the common belief that we’re all entitled to a handout nowadays. There’s little to no personal responsibility anymore – maybe it all started with the implementation of participation trophies when we were kids. Who knows? However, 98% of us weren’t wronged by the banks… we didn’t meet our end of a financial obligation after we signed our name to a contract (don’t sign something if you don’t fully understand what it means). I realize there are some extenuating circumstances for some limited individuals (some homeowners in the military for instance), however most of us aren’t in that situation. We didn’t make a payment for what we owed. Plain and simple.

    The reality about my financial situation – I was never late on any other bill but the mortgage payment. I had gotten out of the Navy in 1999 and went to college right after. I graduated in the fall of 2004 with a degree in finance and had my first “full time” job by March of 2005 (I worked two “side” jobs up until I caught my first good job). In January of 2006, I purchased a newly constructed house for approximately $270K. At the time, I was making roughly $70K, but my income was definitely increasing as I was pretty hot at the national firm I worked for.

    Reality hit in February of 2007. I had to turn down a job relocation offer in Florida at the national firm I worked for because I was too upside down on my house (I was down approximately $100K in value when the offer came over and market rent was $1,100 less a month than my mortgage and HOA payments combined). I remember the VP of the company sitting down with me and discussing a strategic foreclosure with me and urging me to take the job in Florida (which I really wanted). A competing firm though in Arizona offered me a position which would bring my income to low six figures (and would also mean I wouldn’t have to walk from the house). I accepted the job with the competing firm in April in 2007. By December of 2007, I opened up my own firm realizing I didn’t have to share the fruits of my hard work with a partner who didn’t put the same hours in as me. In 2008, I was still making low six figures with my own firm, but I noticed my bank deposits were getting smaller by the month in the latter part of the third quarter of the year (no bueno). After the second huge dip in the real estate market in late 2008, I made the financial decision to stop paying my mortgage. Seven months later (June of 2009), the house went to auction and sold for approximately $68K. At the time, I was probably making closer to $70K again (income was getting a lot tighter). I rented a place for peanuts in a better location and have since moved on to bigger and better things.

    Ironically enough, even though I was never late on any other bill, the interest rates on all my existing credit cards at the time were raised (thought the move was shady to say the least, but I didn’t pay a bill that I OWED, so I had to live with the results of my actions). It was like they branded me with a Scarlet Letter “F”.

    Am I complaining about receiving a $3,000 check? Ugh… no. If anything, it helps cover the increased interest I paid on those credit cards over time. Did I do anything for the $3,000? Not really. Like a lot of people, I received the card in the mail and made a quick five minute phone call a month ago to verify the legitimacy of the information on the card after reading up on the internet about the legitimacy of the settlement. I was joking with a friend a month ago that even getting $50 back would be cool – needless to say, getting $3,000 back was a nice surprise. Just the reality of my situation.

  • Michael L.

    Amy… I’m trying to correlate you losing your cars and personal property because you didn’t make your mortgage payment. Not seeing it – help me out here. I didn’t lose my cars when I stopped making my mortgage payment. Heck, the last thing HSBC wanted was another debt of mine on their hands (they just wanted their mortgage money). I did eventually trade in my two cars for one car, but that was more a result of me trying to tighten my budget up since my income took a significant hit towards the end of 2008 through 2011. If you lived beyond your means, own up to it. I did… and I was making good money for a period of time. Don’t blame the author of the article – you want to talk about a profession where money is tight – write for a newspaper or a website. You’d probably make more money as a school teacher.

    The broken home/E-5 Seal comment is funny as well. You do realize your son is enlisted, correct? Anyone can enlist. Maybe if you had set the bar higher for your son when you were raising him, he would have gone to college and then entered the military as an officer (that is the sign of a home not broken). By the way, I was enlisted in the Navy for six years and spent most of that time on a submarine. I would consider myself a disappointment one day if I have children that would want to enlist in the military (not because I wouldn’t be proud of their patriotic drive – but because I would expect them to exceed my achievements in life). My parents were so proud of me when I enlisted and went in the nuclear power program. They didn’t realize the bar should have been set higher though (although my mom really wanted me to go to college – I wasn’t mature enough at the time nor did I have the grades in high school to warrant an academic scholarship – and we definitely didn’t have enough money to afford it). My dad had a GED. My mom had a high school diploma. Hopefully your son will do well in the Navy but will set the bar higher for his children one day. By the way, tell him to take full advantage of the GI Bill. It’s way better than what I paid into – I’m still paying off student loans.

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