Mortgage settlement

Deatrice S. Besong is pictured at her home in Upper Marlboro. Bank of America, her servicer, has agreed to reduce her mortgage principal. (Algerina Perna, Baltimore Sun / December 6, 2012)

Maryland homeowners have received over $1.1 billion in assistance from the National Mortgage Settlement, according to a report released Thursday by the settlement’s court-appointed monitor.

Just over 14,000 homeowners in the state, between March 1, 2012 and the end of the year, received help from the settlement with five major mortgage servicers that were accused of abusive foreclosure practices. The average amount of relief, including mortgage modifications and short sale assistance, was $79,082, the monitor’s report said.

Other forms of assistance that the banks can count toward the settlement are principal reductions, deficiency waivers and refinancing.

Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial entered into the settlement last year with 49 states’ attorneys general and the federal government to resolve the accusations of consumer abuse, which included “robo-signing,” the practice of creating foreclosure documents in an assembly-line fashion without verifying their accuracy.

“Not only have thousands of families who remain in their homes benefited, entire neighborhoods, cities and counties have also benefited as the reduction in foreclosures has helped stabilize home prices — a necessity for economic recovery in Maryland,” said Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in a statement Thursday.

About $957 million was projected to reach Maryland residents through the settlement, Gansler’s office said. The report released Thursday does not include funds allocated in the first two months of 2013 nor does it incorporate payments that are expected to be made this summer to some borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure, according to Gansler’s office.

Nationally, $46 billion in relief has been allocated by the banks to more than 550,000 borrowers, according to Thursday’s report, the monitor’s third update on the settlement’s progress.

The monitor’s newest report is available here.

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