Attorney General Hardy Myers and Floyd Lanter, administrator of Oregon's Division of Finance and Corporate Securities (DFCS) at the Department of Consumer and Business Services, today reminded Oregonians that October 14, 2003 is the deadline to participate in the largest restitution case in the history of Oregon.
According to the state officials, Oregon consumers who obtained home loans from Household or Beneficial Finance between January 1999 and September 2002 are eligible to share more than $8 million in restitution obtained in a landmark settlement between Household International, attorneys general and banking regulators from 50 states and the District of Columbia. Household will pay up to $484 million in restitution to borrowers nationwide.
"In the next few days, eligible Oregonians will receive a letter from my office and DFCS containing a restitution claim and release form. They must fill it out completely and return it or forego the payment," Myers said.
"DFCS has identified 10,210 potential claimants in Oregon who obtained mortgage loans directly from HFC or Beneficial with claims ranging from $50 to more than $ 4700," Lanter said. "The average claim will be around $787."
"Each state devised its own settlement formula," said Dale Laswell, chief of DFCS' Securities Licensing and Registration Section. "In Oregon, a minimum of $50 will be made available to any customer of Household or Beneficial, regardless of harm, who obtained a home loan between January 1999 and September 2002. The actual minimum amount could be larger depending on the number of consumers that elect to participate in the settlement, which could leave a larger amount of money to be divided among fewer people."
Poorman-Douglas Corporation of Beaverton, the national settlement administrator, mailed postcards to Household mortgage-loan customers last week, reminding them to be on the lookout for the settlement letters. Settlement payments will be paid directly to consumers by check; those who accept settlement payments are precluded under the settlement agreement from suing Household, except in limited circumstances detailed in the release form.
The monumental settlement agreement is the largest in consumer restitution history and the changes required in Household's lending practices are expected to become the industry standard. The multi-state investigation resulted in allegations that Household violated federal laws such as the Home Owner Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) and Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Oregon laws regulating mortgage lenders by misrepresenting loan terms and failing to disclose material information to borrowers.
Household mortgage loan customers may call the settlement administrator toll-free at 1-888-780-2156, send an email to email@example.com, or visit www.household-beneficial-settlement.com for information on the settlement. Consumers also may call the Attorney General's consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392. Justice is online at www.doj.state.or.us. Those seeking information on finance regulations in Oregon may contact DFCS at (866) 814-9710 or online at www.oregondfcs.org.
Jan Margosian, (503) 947-4333 (media line only) firstname.lastname@example.org
Dian Cox, DCBS, (503) 947-7897 Dian.E.Cox@state.or.us