Questions And Answers On The Mortgage Settlement

After nearly a year of negotiations, federal and state officials and five major mortgage servicers have announced a $25 billion settlement over alleged past foreclosure and mortgage loan-servicing abuses. Here are answers to questions about the deal.

Q: Who is participating in the settlement?

STORY: Mortgage deal is broadest action taken in foreclosure crisis

A: All states except Oklahoma. Oklahoma reached its own settlement. The five servicers are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial. Smaller ones are expected to join later.

Q: Who may get help under the settlement?

A: Borrowers whose loans are owned by the participating banks and those who suffered foreclosures by one of them from 2008 through 2011.

Q: How will $25 billion be spent?

A: The terms include:

•At least $10 billion for reducing principal on loans for borrowers who are either delinquent or at imminent risk of default and are underwater — meaning they owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. .

•At least $3 billion for refinancing loans for borrowers current on their mortgages and underwater.

•Up to $7 billion will go toward other kinds of assistance, including forbearance of principal for unemployed borrowers, anti-blight programs and short sales.

•$1.5 billion will provide cash payments to borrowers whose homes were sold or taken in foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011, and who meet other conditions. Officials estimate up to 750,000 borrowers could receive checks for $1,500 to $2,000.

•$3.5 billion will be used to repay public funds lost as a result of servicers’ misconduct and to fund housing counselors, legal aid and other public programs determined by attorneys general.

•An additional $1 billion will be paid by Bank of America to resolve a separate federal investigation related to alleged wrongful conduct by the bank and Countrywide involving inflated appraisals of Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages. Half of that $1 billion will be used to fund a loan modification program for Countrywide borrowers who are underwater on their mortgages. Bank of America acquired Countrywide in 2008. Continue Reading …

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