Homeowners benefiting from mortgage foreclosure settlement
by STEVE LeMASTER
FRANKFORT — Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced Wednesday that the nation’s largest mortgage servicers have begun providing direct relief to homeowners in Kentucky and across the country as part of the national mortgage foreclosure settlement, according to the first post-settlement progress report released today by independent settlement monitor Joseph A. Smith of the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight.
In Kentucky, the interim report shows that from March 1 through June 30, mortgage servicers from the nation’s five largest banks provided $14.1 million in settlement-related relief to 477 Kentucky homeowners. Borrowers received an average of $29,629. As of June 30, 2012, mortgage servicers were processing relief claims for an additional 219 borrowers totaling $7.4 million.
The report also shows that an additional 84 Kentuckians were able to refinance their homes through the settlement. These borrowers held mortgages that exceeded the current value of their homes. The average interest rate reduction was 3.37 percent.
Nationally, the report found that nearly 138,000 borrowers received some type of consumer relief during the same period totaling more than $10.5 billion. On average, each borrower received $76,616 in relief.
“I am pleased that the banks are moving in the right direction and providing relief to homeowners in Kentucky and across the country,” General Conway said. “It is important to note that we are only a few months into what is a three-year agreement and more relief is on the way for homeowners.”
The servicers will provide updated and more detailed consumer relief information in November. Given the amount of additional relief that servicers have provided since June 30, the November report will reflect a substantial increase in borrower relief.
Mortgage Settlement History
Forty nine state attorneys general reached the historic $25 billion settlement with five of the nation’s largest banks in February of 2012. Kentucky received $58 million under the settlement.
In July, General Conway announced the distribution of $19. 2 million in settlement money to agencies that create affordable housing, provide relief or legal assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure, redevelop foreclosed properties and reduce blight created by vacant properties.
More than $38 million is being allocated by the settlement administrator to consumers who qualify for refinancing, loan write downs, debt restructuring and/or payments of up to $2,000.
The five banks included in the settlement are: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Ally/GMAC. In order for consumers to receive direct assistance from this portion of the settlement, they must have a mortgage that is or was held by one of these banks.
A website has been established to provide consumers with information about the settlement at www.NationalMortgageSettlement.com . Banks will also be directly contacting consumers who qualify for payments or assistance. If consumers have questions, they may call:
• Bank of America, 1-877-488-7814
• JP Morgan Chase, 1-866-372-6901
• Wells Fargo, 1-800-288-3212
• Citi, 1-866-272-4749
• Ally/GMAC, 1-800-766-4622
The Office of the Attorney General set up a web page with information and answers to frequently asked questions about the settlement www.ag.ky.gov/mortgagesettlement .
Link to the Monitor’s Progress Report http://mortgageoversight.tumblr.com/ .
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