The Missouri Attorney General’s office is hosting 120 town-hall-style meetings across the state this week to help homeowners affected by lending abuses and improper foreclosure procedures.
Attorney General Chris Koster says qualifying Missourians will split about $155 million of a $25 billion settlement reached with five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.
“If we don’t use it, we’re going to lose it," Koster said. "If we don’t use it, it goes to California; it goes to California; it goes to New York. Somehow, somewhere this money is going to be utilized to help people across this country."
Koster says about 20,000 Missouri residents whose homes were foreclosed on between 2008 and 2011 will be eligible for cash payments of up to $2,000. Borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth will be eligible for mortgage refinancing and a principle reduction of up to $20,000. Koster says he expects the settlement’s first payments to begin in early 2013.
The state was initially allotted $196 million from the settlement, but Governor Jay Nixon has earmarked $40 million to help defray cuts to higher education.
The Attorney General's office has set up a hotline to answer questions about who qualifies and how to make settlement claims.