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Ex-homeowners share in improper foreclosure settlement


UNDATED (WSAU)   Almost 1,900 Wisconsinites who had their homes improperly foreclosed upon have received $86-million by the end of September under a legal settlement.

The State Justice Department said yesterday the benefits are averaging $46,000, as part of a settlement with five banks in a mortgage abuse case. Also, around 500 Wisconsinites are approved for modifications to their mortgages, totaling around $32-million.

But Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck says the numbers are gross figures which are not credited dollar-for-dollar. And therefore, it’s impossible to determine how well the banks are doing in achieving their $20-billion settlement payments which they promised to make over a three-year period.

Still Attorney General J-B Van Hollen says he’s encouraged by the numbers – and the banks appear to be honoring the settlement agreement. A number of states sued Bank of America, Citi-group, Wells Fargo, J-P Morgan Chase, and Ally-G-M-A-C over mortgage abuses that led to numerous foreclosures between 2008-and-last-year. Residents have until January 18th to make claims.

The settlement was announced earlier this year, and Democrats criticized Republican leaders for devoting $25-million of the settlement to help cover the state’s budget deficit.