For Immediate Release - May 21, 2013

Massachusetts Homeowners Continue to Benefit from National Mortgage Settlement

Banks Report $637 Million in Relief to Massachusetts Borrowers; $50 Billion Nationwide Through March

BOSTON — Massachusetts homeowners have received more than $637 million in total consumer relief during the first full year since the National Mortgage Settlement, according to numbers provided by the five major banks.  The self-reported data includes raw numbers about completed relief and ongoing trial loan modifications that have not yet been audited by the National Monitor for compliance with the court ordered settlement.

Nationwide, the banks reported more than $50 billion in consumer relief since March 1, 2012. The banks will not receive dollar-for-dollar credit for the amounts reported, and the National Monitor will ultimately determine when the banks satisfy their consumer relief obligations under the settlement. The self-reported data can be found here and at the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight.

“The banks have reported significant relief for Massachusetts homeowners as required by our settlement with the five major lenders,” said AG Coakley.  “Our office will continue to work aggressively to ensure Massachusetts borrowers receive all the assistance available under this settlement, which we believe is a critical part of stabilizing the housing market and turning the economy around.”

With funds from the national settlement, Attorney General Martha Coakley formed the first-in-the-nation HomeCorps program to assist Massachusetts homeowners and ensure that borrowers receive the maximum possible benefit under terms of the national settlement, including principal reductions. In addition, HomeCorps helps monitor the banks' compliance with the settlement's servicing standards.

During the first quarter of 2013, Massachusetts homeowners received over $40 million in first lien principal write-downs, almost $27 million in second lien extinguishments, and $14 million in estimated consumer relief from completed refinances.  The recently reported data shows that a total of 8,823 homeowners in Massachusetts have received consumer relief under the settlement, including principal reductions, loan modifications, second lien forgiveness and refinances of underwater mortgages, for an average of $69,180 per homeowner, which continues to lead all New England states.

The self-reported bank data contains raw or aggregate numbers that have not been audited and cannot yet be used to assess the banks progress toward meeting their $20 billion dollar obligation under the terms of the court ordered settlement. Because the banks do not receive dollar-for-dollar credit for most forms of homeowner relief, they will actually provide much more relief than the $20 billion required by the national settlement. Under terms of the national settlement with Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and GMAC/Ally, the banks were ordered to provide an estimated $257 million worth of mortgage relief across the Commonwealth and an estimated $14.6 million in cash payments to Bay State borrowers in post-foreclosure relief.  With the exception of GMAC/Ally, the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight has not certified that any of the banks have completed their consumer relief obligations under the settlement.

AG Coakley also obtained $44.5 million in funds for Massachusetts as part of the national settlement. A significant portion of these funds is being used to support the AG’s foreclosure prevention and borrower support initiative called HomeCorps. The goal of the Attorney General’s HomeCorps is to mitigate future impacts of the foreclosure crisis by providing advocacy to distressed borrowers in Massachusetts facing foreclosure and includes a comprehensive three-part borrower support and referral initiative. Those homeowners facing foreclosure or with questions about the settlement can contact the HomeCorps hotline at (617) 573-5333.

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