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180,000 Foreclosed Ga. Homeowners May Get Cash Restitution

8:17 PM, Jan 8, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- For more than 180,000 Georgians hit hard by foreclosures in 2009 and 2010, some measure of financial relief may be on the way.

It's a Government deal with 10 banks, 4 of them in Atlanta, to give back anywhere from $1,000 to $125,000 to homeowners who went through foreclosure during the worst days of the financial crisis in 2009 and 2010.

RESOURCE GUIDE | Foreclosure Prevention Help

Consumer advocate Liz Coyne of Georgia Watch says the settlement is better than nothing.

"For some homeowners here in Georgia it may mean some relief, more than they had been getting and faster. Unfortunately this settlement is really very small compared to the actual suffering that Georgia homeowners went through when they were foreclosed on during that crisis period," she said.

But one mortgage and foreclosure counselor, Tia McCoy, with Resources for Residents and Communities in Atlanta, says many homeowners never got a straight story.

"They were legitimately reaching out to the servicer and not getting feedback. The sent in required documents with no response. They sent documents in multiple times and thought the property had been saved from foreclosure, but it was foreclosed on," she said.

For consumer advocates it's not just a matter of what they say are marginal dollars being doled out, but as part of the settlement, an end to the Government's pursuit of where the banks went wrong.

"One of the real concerns we have is that the review process appears to now have stopped<' McCoy said.

But for homeowners it can continue.

They can sue the banks even if they get cash settlement.

The banks, including Bank of America, Chase, SunTrust and Wells Fargo will start contacting eligible homeowners in March.

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