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Man fights foreclosure, keeps home thanks to NMS initiative

Florida homeowners may be interested in a story about one man who was able to avoid foreclosure. After receiving threatening letters from Bank of America for three years, the 52-year-old man finally got them to stop by taking advantage of the National Mortgage Settlement initiative. An agreement with five major banks, the 2012 government initiative was set up to help American families keep their homes in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis.

The homeowner in this case was able to get his principal home loan reduced by nearly $100,000 and his monthly interest rate cut to 5.5 percent. The program also cut his monthly payment to $1,250 from $1,800. After what he described as "three years of hell," the homeowner found irony in a piece of Bank of America junk mail delivered to him that offered help with refinancing. The bank had threatened foreclosure on his rural three-bedroom Iowa home, which he built himself, twice.

Since June 2007, more than 5.3 million families in the United States have seen their homes taken from them via foreclosure. Thanks to the National Mortgage Settlement initiative, 643,000 families have been able to avoid that fate over the past year. Rather than sending threatening letters, Bank of America has agreed to modify 1.3 million mortgages as part of the initiative.

Although a pending foreclosure may be intimidating, there are government initiatives being set up to help families in this situation. To gain an understanding of their options, homeowners under threat of foreclosure may wish to speak with an attorney. By making use of government initiatives and programs, the attorney may be able to help families stay in their homes or help homeowners assess other options to offset their mortgage payments.

Source: USA Today, "New regulations mean more families are keeping homes", Victor Epstein, October 28, 2013

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