PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - It's been three months since the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement was announced.
The news was exciting for millions of homeowners struggling to make ends meet: if your mortgage is through Wells Fargo, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, Ally or Bank of America, you could be getting relief.
But not everyone will qualify and it could take up to three years before you see any kind of reduced payments.
Darish Still, the president of Consumer Credit Managing Services, a local non-profit housing counseling agency, says your best bet is to start doing your research.
“Go to nationalmortgagesettlement.com, There you're going to get info about the settlement itself, the timeline associated with settlement, and what kind of assistance those eligible homeowners can expect to receive through the settlement,” Still said.
This week we asked all five banks how many customers they've been able to help since the settlement was announced. None had specific numbers.
Bank of America did tell us that it's mailed letters just this week to more than 200,000 potential candidates for this assistance.
Wells Fargo told us it expanded the modification program March 1st and is targeting homeowners who are facing payment challenges.
Chase says it also expanded its modification program March 1 st.
And Citi says it's developing programs that will be rolled out in the next couple of months.
While the wait may be tedious you need to be careful.
“Beware of scammers, loan modification scammers, national mortgage settlement scammers, beware of scammers. If they're asking you for personal information, they don't know who you are. They should know this information already. Don't give it to them,” Still said.
Sound advice when there are still so many uncertainties about this settlement.
Ally/GMAC says it has already reached out to 15 percent of its eligible borrowers and hopes to contact everyone by the end of the summer.
This story was updated to reflect a corrected link to the National Mortgage Settlement.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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