This settlement is backed by a federal court order. State attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice can seek redress if the banks don’t follow the settlement terms.
The settlement also includes an independent monitor. The monitor, Joseph A. Smith, Jr. appointed on March 12, 2012, works from a strict set of objective measuring standards, oversees the carrying out of this agreement and reports to the states and federal agencies on the banks’ compliance. There are significant penalties if the banks violate the court judgment. A court ordered settlement is very different from the voluntary foreclosure prevention efforts that have been tried to date.