Mortgage settlement money available - FOX 13 News

Mortgage settlement money available

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TALLAHASSEE (FOX 13) -

Florida is preparing to hand out $35-million in mortgage assistance to Florida homebuyers as a result of the national mortgage settlement.

Today, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that money is available to qualified homebuyers for help with down payments.

Another $25-million will go toward housing counseling, legal aid programs, and the state court system to help with a backlog of foreclosure cases.

On top of that $60-million, Florida has another $200-million from the settlement that state lawmakers will decide how to spend. House Speaker Will Weatherford promises the cash will be set aside for housing-related needs and not for special member projects.

Florida has already received $3.6 billion in mortgage relief, mainly for principal reductions. Bondi says 50,000 Floridians who lost their homes due to unfair foreclosure practices have received an average of $73,000 apiece from the settlement.

But tens of thousands of Floridians are still eligible for payments and Bondi says they are not responding to her office's letters and calls.

"It's so frustrating to me because these people deserve this money. They're owed this money. That's a lot of money to each person," she said.

A January 18 deadline for claims has passed, but you may still be able to file a claim.  Go online to www.NationalMortgageSettlement.com or call 1-866-430-8358.

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