Millions of dollars from a national foreclosure settlement with five large banks will go to Kentuckians who are struggling to make their mortgage payments or who have already lost their homes through foreclosure. Kentucky was one of the last states to agree to the $25 billion deal with Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Ally Financial. The commonwealth’s share of the settlement is nearly $59 million.
“The goal here is to make certain that we try to get a write-down of people who are underwater,” says Attorney General Jack Conway. “The average write-down we think is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% of the loan value. The average write-down nationwide they’re estimating is going to be about $20,000 per homeowner.”
Conway says Kentuckians who were foreclosed upon in the past four years using robo-signed documents could be eligible for direct payments of up to $2,000. Conway’s office is still investigating issues with mortgage-backed securities and whether mortgage assignments were properly recorded.
“We’re going to use in the Office of Attorney General a significant portion of this money to make certain that we continue to fund our efforts to investigate these abuses on behalf of homeowners,” he says. “We’re going to look at securitization issues with General Schneiderman of New York and other AGs. And we’re going to thoroughly investigate the issue of MERS, which is the Mortgage Electronic Registration System and its effects on the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Conway has subpoenaed MERS for allegedly failing to properly record mortgage assignments and pay filing fees with county clerks. The five banks in the settlement are expected to contact eligible consumers about their assistance options.