Banks provide $45.8B in aid under mortgage settlement

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From the mortgage settlement, Washington received roughly $44 million in direct assistance funding to help homeowners. and the state distributed those funds to 13 nonprofit and governmental organizations to provide legal representation, mediation and counseling services; address blight; and offer direct relief to families, according to a written statement issued by the office of Bob Ferguson, the state's attorney general. The settlement also provided $24 million in direct cash assistance for states to distribute to families served by the five banks who were improperly foreclosed on between Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2011. Washington has received claims forms from borrowers eligible for these payments and expects to send the checks in May or June 2013. The nation's top mortgage banks also report they've assisted more than 12,000 families in Washington state with roughly $1.1 billion in gross assistance.

For assistance: Even if homeowners are offered relief through the national settlement, they will need the assistance of a housing counselor to complete the necessary paperwork. Families can contact a free housing counselor to assist them with mortgage issues by calling 877-894-HOME (4663).

Scam Alert: Borrowers should never pay for assistance with a home mortgage issue; housing counselors will assist you for free. If you feel you are a victim of a loan modification scam, please contact the state attorney general's office.

From the mortgage settlement, Washington received roughly $44 million in direct assistance funding to help homeowners. and the state distributed those funds to 13 nonprofit and governmental organizations to provide legal representation, mediation and counseling services; address blight; and offer direct relief to families, according to a written statement issued by the office of Bob Ferguson, the state’s attorney general. The settlement also provided $24 million in direct cash assistance for states to distribute to families served by the five banks who were improperly foreclosed on between Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2011. Washington has received claims forms from borrowers eligible for these payments and expects to send the checks in May or June 2013. The nation’s top mortgage banks also report they’ve assisted more than 12,000 families in Washington state with roughly $1.1 billion in gross assistance.

For assistance: Even if homeowners are offered relief through the national settlement, they will need the assistance of a housing counselor to complete the necessary paperwork. Families can contact a free housing counselor to assist them with mortgage issues by calling 877-894-HOME (4663).

Scam Alert: Borrowers should never pay for assistance with a home mortgage issue; housing counselors will assist you for free. If you feel you are a victim of a loan modification scam, please contact the state attorney general’s office.

WASHINGTON — More than half a million consumers have received a total of $45.8 billion in aid from the five largest banks as part of a national mortgage settlement struck last year between big banks and state and federal officials, the monitor of the agreement reported Thursday.

The figures are for assistance from March 1 through Dec. 31 and include trial reductions in mortgage payments that had not been converted into permanent modifications, according to the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight.

“I believe we have made progress, particularly as it relates to consumer relief, but I know from my regular conversations with advocates across the nation that the banks and I have much more work to do on behalf of borrowers,” said Joseph Smith Jr., a former North Carolina banking commissioner who is serving as the deal’s monitor.

The relief is part of a settlement that was struck a year ago by 49 state attorneys general, several federal agencies and the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers: Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc.

Under the $25 billion settlement, servicers were required to provide $20 billion in relief to consumers, with different types of relief getting different amounts of credit toward that figure. Because the servicers get less than a dollar’s worth of credit for each dollar in relief, consumers have received more than $20 billion in relief. A separate $5 billion under the agreement went to states, primarily for foreclosure prevention programs.

The settlement resolved investigations into allegations the financial institutions had used flawed paperwork and other faulty practices to foreclose on homes.