Notification Begins to Borrowers Eligible for Payments from $21 Million Lending Discrimination Settlement Between the Department of Justice and SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. (United States v. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. (E.D. Va., May 2012))
Independent Settlement Administrator Rust Consulting, Inc. on April 10, 2013 began mailing letters to borrowers whom the United States has identified as entitled to payments from the SunTrust Mortgage lending discrimination settlement fund. The letters notify recipients that they have been identified as victims, list the minimum payments they can receive, and include response forms.
Borrowers receiving letters must sign and mail their response form by August 21, 2013 to participate in the settlement. The response form is designed to be easy to complete, and it can be returned using the prepaid envelope enclosed with the letter. Later this year, the Settlement Administrator plans to mail a letter with the exact payment amount and a release form to those who return the response form. Individuals with questions about the United States v. SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. lending discrimination settlement may contact Rust, in English or Spanish, by telephone at 1-866-459-3633 or by email at email@example.com.
The $21 million settlement fund being administered by Rust was created as part of resolving the United States' allegations that SunTrust Mortgage engaged in a widespread pattern or practice of discrimination against more than 20,000 qualified Hispanic and African-American borrowers across the country who received mortgage loans from 2005 through 2009.
The settlement, which was approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, provided for an independent settlement administrator (Rust) to contact and distribute compensation payments at no cost to borrowers whom the department identifies as victims of SunTrust Mortgage's discrimination. Rust's activities are overseen by the Department of Justice, and all of Rust's costs and expenses will be paid by SunTrust Mortgage.
A copy of the United States' lending discrimination complaint against SunTrust Mortgage, the approved settlement order, and additional information about fair lending enforcement by the Department of Justice, can be found on the Department's website at www.justice.gov/fairhousing.
The letters being mailed out beginning April 10 are the first mailing being sent to victims relating to the SunTrust Mortgage lending discrimination settlement. Some SunTrust Mortgage borrowers have previously received legitimate letters relating to other settlements with SunTrust Mortgage; these settlements are separate matters. SunTrust Mortgage borrowers should treat with caution any mailings or phone calls that tell borrowers they must pay to participate in the settlement, or contacts that do not come from Rust related to the lending discrimination settlement, as such letters might be part of a scam. All mailings from Rust related to the lending discrimination settlement will have the seal of the United States Department of Justice and use the return address "SunTrust Mortgage Settlement Administrator, c/o Rust Consulting, PO Box 2952, Faribault, MN 55021," and will ask victims to return response forms to that address. Any potential scams related to the SunTrust Mortgage lending discrimination settlement should be reported to Rust by telephone at 1-866-459-3633, or to the Department of Justice at 202-514-4713.