NC getting $338M from mortgage foreclosure settlement

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- North Carolina will get $338 million from a national mortgage foreclosure settlement intended to help people who have lost or are losing their homes.

The settlement, worth a total of $25 billion, was reached with the five biggest lenders: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally Financial.

In North Carolina, more than $33 million of the settlement will go toward direct payments for state foreclosure victims.

Nearly $180 million will go toward homeowners who are at risk for default. That money will be used for principal reduction, short sales, among other things.

More than $61 million will go toward refinancing loans at a lower rate for homeowners who are current on their payments but owe more than their house is worth.

The remaining $64 million will provide for mortgage counselors, legal help, and reparations for fines and penalties that will go toward public schools.

As far as getting payments from the settlement, mortgage services and settlement administrators are supposed to call eligible people in the next couple of months.

Despite the settlement, people can still sue banks on their own.

Guilford County register of deeds Jeff Thigpen said he believes state Attorney General Roy Cooper means well in getting settlement money for foreclosure victims.

However, he said there need to be new laws at the local, state, and federal level to avoid another crisis like this in the future.

"I don't see that as any big deal for the banks, and I really don't see it as making homeowners whole again in terms of the losses they've incurred based on the legalities that have been going on," Thigpen said.

Thigpen said he hears stories every day of people not getting help since banks bought and sold many mortgages several times over.

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