Huge gov't settlement with banks may bring homeowners relief

HEMPSTEAD - A landmark $26 billion settlement has been reached between the government and five of the nation's biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses. The agreement could bring some help for struggling homeowners who were victims of the "robo-signing" scandal, where bank workers signed hundreds of documents each day attesting to facts that they had no knowledge of. Under the terms of the settlement, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial will commit at least $17 billion toward modifying mortgages for homeowners who have fallen behind.The banks will pay another $3.7 billion to borrowers who are current on their payments but are at risk. The rest of the money will go to the government in fines.

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