U.S. Banks provided $45 bln in homeowner relief under mortgage deal

WASHINGTON Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:32am EST

WASHINGTON Feb 21 (Reuters) - Five top U.S. banks have provided $45.8 billion worth of relief to struggling homeowners under a 2012 federal-state settlement to resolve mortgage abuses, according to a report released Thursday by a monitor of that settlement.

The majority of the help provided by Bank of America , JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial came in the form of short sales, which are generally more favorable to homeowners than foreclosures, and modifications on second loans.

The banks completed $19.5 billion in short sales and $11.6 billion in second lien modifications and extinguishments, the report said.

Under a settlement reached in February 2012 with the Justice Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and state attorneys general, the banks agreed to fund around $20 billion in consumer relief, with the majority of that earmarked to help distressed borrowers stay in their homes.

The banks have not necessarily met their obligations yet because the settlement only provides for partial credit for certain kinds of relief, including short sales.

Just over 320,000 borrowers received some type of assistance that helped them keep their homes, including a loan modification or refinancing help, which totaled around $24.7 billion, or around $76,500 per borrower, the report said.

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