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Mortgage settlement: Tennessee homeowners receive $36 million

Homeowners in Tennessee who are experiencing financial difficulty and are worried about foreclosure may consider seeking relief through bankruptcy. Though filing for personal bankruptcy is not a solution for everyone having trouble making mortgage payments, the process provides many consumers with the financial protection they need.

Bankruptcy filings can include credit card debt, medical debt and some loans. Bankruptcy also restricts how lenders, including mortgage servicers, can contact the homeowner when payments are late. And in times of economic distress, banks are sometimes willing to negotiate loan modifications, payment plans and short sales.

On Aug. 29, the monitor of the National Mortgage Company Settlement released a report stating that Tennessee homeowners have benefited from the settlement, having received more than $36 million in mortgage assistance in the settlement's first quarter. Tennessee residents were also in the process of receiving between $17 and $29 million more at the time the report was released. This assistance is comprised of short sales, refinances and loan modifications. The settlement is slated to continue providing loan relief until 2015.

The relief plan stems from negotiations between the federal government and five mortgage servicers in response to allegations of impropriety during lending and foreclosing. Citigroup, Ally/GMAC, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase and Bank of America agreed to provide about $25 billion in relief; $140 million of that will be spent in Tennessee.

Our readers in the Cleveland area with heavy mortgage debt may want to familiarize themselves with the nature of the settlement, and anyone confronting a mountain of bills should know that there are options for debt relief.

Source: The Chattanoogan, "National Mortgage Settlement Report Shows Promise For Tennessee Homeowners," Aug. 29, 2012

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