|Last year, Tennessee homeowners received more than $161 million in relief under the national mortgage settlement, according to a progress report released in late February by an independent state monitor.
Eligible homeowners began receiving the funds in March 2012.
According to the progress report completed by monitor Joseph A. Smith Jr., of the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, homeowners have now received twice as much relief as they had prior to the agreement.
The report also shows that mortgage servicers are offering an additional $34 million in loan modification savings to homeowners who qualify for assistance.
Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper said the report indicates eligible homeowners are obtaining “the substantial relief” they have needed since the settlement was announcement a year ago.
“My office is continuing its outreach efforts to ensure that struggling homeowners either receive benefits under the settlement or from other state and federal programs,” Cooper said in a press release.
The state is one of several participating in the $25 billion settlement, which was announced in February 2012, with the five largest mortgage servicers.
This settlement arose from an investigation into unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices. The servicers participating in the settlement are Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citi, GMAC/Ally Financial and Wells Fargo.
It is expected that the national mortgage settlement will ultimately provide more than $200 million in direct benefits to Tennessee homeowners, with the majority of benefits designed to allow residents to avoid foreclosure.
Cooper said homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgage may visit www.keepmytnhome.org or call the state-run, free mortgage assistance hotline at 855-876-7283 to find out more about working with a foreclosure prevention counselor and applying for aid through other programs.
Representatives are available to talk to Tennessee homeowners Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Standard Time.
The hotline is available to all struggling local homeowners, regardless of who services their loan, he said.
In addition, he said, homeowners who are having trouble with the any of the five mortgage servicers covered by the settlement are asked to report problems to the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight by visiting www.mortgageoversight.com.
For more information about the settlement, visit www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com.