Mortgage Relief Helps Thousands Of Hoosiers
September 23, 2013 — More than 44 hundred Hoosiers have received 174 million dollars in total relief since last year from a national settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers. But as Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports, state Attorney General Greg Zoeller says more work is needed to help those struggling with house payments:
Joseph Smith was appointed last year the Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement. Smith and his team are responsible for overseeing implementation of the settlement. He says that oversight involves ensuring the five mortgage servicers provide consumer relief, which includes home loan modifications, short sales and mortgage refinancing. And Smith says the settlement is also about making structural changes to the way the banks operate:
“We have also begun the monitoring of their agreements to new and stricter standards of performance in handling distressed loans, loans where the borrowers were in trouble.”
Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he’s happy with Indiana’s response to the settlement, noting more than 18 thousand foreclosed borrowers received direct payments from the banks. Still, he says the work is not done:
“I can always ask more of our bank servicers, particularly because Indiana still has problems in terms of the rate of foreclosure and the people that are, let’s say, still suffering some of the consequences.”
Nearly 34 thousand foreclosures were filed in Indiana courts last year. And according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, Indiana’s delinquency rate earlier this year was 8.5 percent compared to a national average of 6.8 percent. For Indiana Public Broadcasting, I’m Brandon Smith.