Florida has second biggest share in foreclosure settlement

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Homeowners in Florida, along with those in California, will get more than half of the $26 billion settlement the nation’s attorneys general reached Thursday with the nation’s biggest banks over foreclosures abuses, because the state has so many delinquent loans and underwater properties. Attorney General Pam Bondi and the top legal officers in nearly every other state announced the deal Thursday, a settlement that will bring in $8.4 billion in Florida. That amount was second only to California. The bulk of that is for loan modifications, including principal reduction, with about $170 million available for cash payments to Florida borrowers who lost their home during the most recent economic turmoil. The banks, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Ally Financial will reduce balances for almost 1 million households and send checks of about $2,000 to about 750,000 Americans who lost homes to foreclosure improperly, the attorneys general said. The settlement generally releases civil claims related to robo-signing, other foreclosure-related abuses, and loan origination misconduct, but it provides no release of criminal claims or of claims related to mortgage securitization, Bondi’s office said. “This settlement will provide substantial relief to struggling Florida homeowners, and ensures that our state gets its fair share of the relief being provided nationally,” Bondi said.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.