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Published March 12, 2012, 05:48 PM

US formally files $25 billion foreclosure settlement

WASHINGTON - State and federal officials on Monday formally filed the $25 billion settlement with the nation's biggest mortgage servicers.

By: Los Angeles Times (MCT) , INFORUM

WASHINGTON - State and federal officials on Monday formally filed the $25 billion settlement with the nation's biggest mortgage servicers.

The lengthy documents outlining the terms of the landmark settlement were filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, formally ending investigations by the Justice Department, Housing and Urban Development Department and attorneys general in 49 states into botched foreclosure paperwork and mortgage servicing problems.

The documents are available at the website set up by the government for the foreclosure settlement.

The filings detail the agreement between the government officials and the five largest mortgage servicers: Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc.

The banks agreed to pay a combined $1.5 billion to people who lost their homes through the foreclosure process from 2008 through 2011 that included botched paperwork or other problems. An estimated 750,000 homeowners would receive about $1,500 to $2,000 each.

The bulk of the settlement is focused on helping stabilize the housing market.

The banks agreed to provide $20 billion in relief to struggling homeowners, including $17 billion to reduce the amount of principal owed on their mortgages. On top of that, $3 billion will go to refinance the mortgages of homeowners who are current on their payments but owe more than their homes are worth.

The settlement documents outline a complex series of credits the banks can receive toward fulfilling the settlement requirements by assisting homeowners through the principal write-downs and other steps.

The filings also outline new mortgage servicing standards that the banks agreed to follow, which are designed to prevent problems such as “robo-signing.” Among the changes are new standards for reviewing requests by homeowners for loan modifications and the requirement for a single point of contact for customers to avoid bureaucratic runarounds.

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ON THE WEB:

Mortgage settlement website: http://www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com


(c)2012 the Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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