In a recent post we discussed the foreclosure settlement obtained by regulators after a long and contentious investigation and negotiation with the nation’s largest mortgage servicing companies. The settlement will have a major effect in Florida, which will receive a total of $60 million out of the total $25 billion settlement.

The portion of the settlement that is coming to Florida will be distributed according to a plan that was approved by the state Legislative Budget Commission. The bulk of the money, a total of $35 million, will go towards payment help for distressed borrowers. Smaller portions are allocated to housing counseling, state courts that deal with foreclosure and related issues, legal aid programs through the Attorney General’s office, and other smaller governmental projects.

The state has access to an additional $200 million that lawmakers say will be allocated later this year. There are many places in the state where the money could go and be well-spent, including foreclosure prevention, legal assistance, and affordable housing projects.

For individuals who are struggling now and who may or may not be eligible to receive relief under this plan, it is important to get more information and to consider a variety of options. One way to stop foreclosure is to file for bankruptcy protection. This is not the best option for everyone and some distressed homeowners do not qualify, but for others it is an important opportunity to turn over a new leaf and start over again with less stress from unmanageable debts.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “State to distribute $60M for mortgage help,” Donna Gehrke-White, Jan. 18, 2013.