A recent settlement between the government and five of the largest banks in the country will provide millions of dollars’ worth of relief to Florida borrowers. The settlement will affect borrowers who lost their homes in a foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011. The banks were accused of abuses of the foreclosure process. Borrowers who think that they might qualify for relief under the settlement have until mid-January to file a claim.

Nationwide, the settlement will eventually disburse a total of $26.1 billion to borrowers. In Florida, this portion of the settlement will result in about $73,663 disbursed to each borrower. Another aspect of the settlement allows Florida residents to save money on interest payments, which will equal about $400 per qualified borrower.

These settlements are certainly not a solution for every Florida homeowner who is in distress or has experienced a foreclosure. However, the cooperation of the banks and the substantial financial commitment to righting the wrongs of the foreclosure crisis indicates that Florida borrowers may experience fair treatment in the future.

Florida homeowners who are faced with foreclosure should cooperate with the bank and the court and make sure to be on time with any available payments and to respond quickly to notices. Banks are not always correct in pursuing a foreclosure, but the situation will be much easier to resolve if contact is maintained and the court can see that the borrower is working to remedy the situation. The advice and assistance of a professional with experience in the foreclosure process can also be a valuable asset in these situations.

Source: Miami Herald, “Distressed Florida homeowners receive $3.6 billion in mortgage relief,” Alex Veiga, Nov. 19, 2012.