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Statement from A.G. Schneiderman regarding national mortgage settlement monitor's report on consumer relief

by jmaloni

Press release

Tue, May 21st 2013 11:45 pm

National Mortgage Settlement Monitor Joseph A. Smith Jr. today released anupdate on the consumer relief activities of the five banks that are parties to the National Mortgage Settlement, as reported by the banks through March 31, 2013. According to the report, thousands of New York consumers have received more than $1.92 billion in relief under the settlement in the first year.

"New York homeowners have received almost $2 billion in financial relief under the National Mortgage Settlement - far more than the federal government projected would flow to our state a year ago," said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. "While we are pleased that the benefits to homeowners - including reduced debt, lower mortgage payments, and averted foreclosures - have been substantial, our work is not finished. My office will continue to monitor the banks' compliance with the settlement."

In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars in relief from lenders reflected in today's report, Schneiderman secured more than $130 million in hard dollars for New Yorkers as part of the settlement. Of this amount, Schneiderman launched the Homeowner Protection Program, a $60 million commitment over three years to fund housing counseling and legal services for struggling New York homeowners. Throughout New York state, 34 legal services organizations and 59 housing counseling agencies will receive more than $16.1 million this year to provide free foreclosure prevention services. An additional $3.9 million has been allocated for training, technical assistance, and other support services to assist homeowners in foreclosure. In part because of the advocacy of HOPP-funded housing counselors and legal services providers, more than 4,300 New York homeowners have completed, or have active trial modifications for approximately $540 million worth first mortgage principal reduction.

In January, Schneiderman was appointed by President Obama to co-chair the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group. This joint investigation brings together the Department of Justice, HUD, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, several state law enforcement officials, and other federal agencies to investigate those responsible for misconduct contributing to the financial crisis through the pooling and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities. It builds upon ongoing state and federal investigations, while also launching new ones.

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