3,100 borrowers share in settlement

The Associated Press /

Published Nov 21, 2012 at 04:00AM

SALEM — The nation’s five largest banks have extended $200 million in mortgage relief to Oregon debtors as part of a national settlement.

The five banks have taken a variety of actions in the agreement that arises from the “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents filed as the housing bubble burst and the nation sank into the Great Recession.

A report from the monitor of the settlement said the foreclosure relief in Oregon reached 3,100 borrowers.

Almost half, or 1,500, were from short sales in which the bank used the sale of the home to pay off the loan and forgive the remaining debt. An additional 605 borrowers saw second-lien loan debt forgiven, while 258 had first-lien loan debt forgiven.

The five banks allowed 377 eligible borrowers to refinance, saving an average of $48,000 each.

In all, The Oregonian reported, loan balances were cut by $50.5 million.

Bank of America Corp. provided the most relief in Oregon, followed by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citibank and Ally Financial Inc., the report said.

Nationwide, they have distributed $26.1 billion in relief.

There were widespread allegations of robo-signing, which is the fraudulent signing of false foreclosure affidavits without having reviewed the cases. In the most egregious cases, the foreclosure documents bore fake signatures.

The relief is expected to provide help to less than a tenth of homeowners who owe more than their houses are worth.