In one example of how the $25 billion national foreclosure fraud settlement is already benefiting a local economy, Alabama state officials have announced that their share is helping to balance the budget.
Our Miami foreclosure lawyers are encouraged to hear that these funds are already being put to good use.
We must note that the banks deserve no special credit for this. In fact, the financial woes we currently face are largely – if not entirely – the result of the banks’ greed and irresponsibility, with their housing inflation and robo-signing tactics.
You may recall that the $25 billion settlement was reached between the five major banks in this country and attorneys general from 49 states, including Florida.
Alabama’s cut of that settlement is little more than $106 million. Rather than receiving that in a lump sum, state officials are seeing it trickle in.
Of the $25 million going toward the state’s attorney general’s office, most is already spoken for. Namely, the idea is that it will go to supporting litigation, investigations and other similar efforts to protect residents from predatory lending tactics and also to provide help with counsel, foreclosure mediation and foreclosure assistance.
Of course, this is all the general idea.
About $19 million of it will be going toward attorney general’s office operations (both district and state offices) between 2013 to 2015. State senators say it will free up money in the General Fund, which will then go to support other programs. It’s not clear at this point, however, exactly which programs those will be.
As for the rest, about $6 million, it’s still not certain where that will go. Advocacy groups petitioning on behalf of low-income people say the money should be funneled into programs that assist these individuals with home ownership.
It has been suggested that the state do this by establishing a Housing Trust Fund, which would give reasonably-priced housing to low-income residents.
Another $30 million or so is going to go toward adjusting loan terms for people who already have homes, but who may be underwater.
Those residents who reportedly lost their homes to a foreclosure between the years of 2008 and 2011 are expected to get about $21 million divvied up. The breakdown given by the state’s attorney general was that the average affected homeowner would get about $2,000. As we’ve noted before in our Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog, barely covers moving expenses for someone forced out of their home unjustly.
It’s not yet clear how Florida intends to spend all of its funding.
However, as we’ve recently reported, there is evidence that certain state officials were, if not complicit, at least did not do enough in preventing, fraud against homeowners. You can’t count on the state to provide you adequate assistance if you’re facing foreclosure.
But you can count on us.
If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.
Mortgage settlement helps balance Alabama budget, Staff Report, Associated Press