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Florida Attorney General Shifts Servicer Settlement Funds to Foreclosure Threats

House Atop Money/Credit: Creatas

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has announced that $60 million of the national mortgage settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers will now be available to provide additional assistance to Floridians. Attorney General Bondi’s proposal to help Floridians, which was approved by the Legislative Budget Commission today, includes the following: $35 million for down payment assistance; $10 million for housing counseling; $5 million provided to the State Courts to help with foreclosure-related issues; $5 million provided to the Attorney General’s Office to help fund legal aid programs; and $5 million provided to the Attorney General’s Office to reimburse the office and to continue its efforts to remedy abuses of the foreclosure process.

“Floridians will now benefit from millions in down payment assistance, housing counseling, legal aid and better funded courts for foreclosure-related issues. I am proud that by working with the Legislature, we have ensured that the settlement funds go to the people who need it most—Florida’s homeowners,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

In November 2012, Attorney General Bondi, Senate President Gaetz and House Speaker Weatherford announced their support of the appropriation of the remaining $200 million during the legislative session for housing-related purposes, consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement. Although specific appropriations will be determined in the upcoming session, uses of these funds could include foreclosure prevention, neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, homebuyer or renter assistance, legal assistance, counseling and other housing-related programs.

hese funds are available pursuant to the landmark $25 billion joint federal-state agreement that Attorney General Pam Bondi entered with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices. The agreement provides an estimated total of $8.4 billion in relief to Florida homeowners and addresses future mortgage loan servicing practices.

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