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AG seeks ideas on distribution of $300 million housing settlement

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TALLAHASSEE—Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking the public to make suggestions on how best to distribute approximately $300 million recovered on behalf of Florida’s consumers in the national mortgage servicing settlement. Through Monday, May 14, at 5 p.m., the public can submit suggestions to the Attorney General’s Office by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
“Florida is one of the hardest hit states in the country in terms of foreclosures, and I’d like to hear from Floridians about ways we can help homeowners and offset the devastation caused by the foreclosure crisis,” Bondi said.
In the next several weeks, Bondi will evaluate the comments from residents, interested stakeholders, and representatives of the Governor’s Office and the Legislature before distributing settlement funds.
In February, she joined a $25 billion federal-state agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices.  The court-approved settlement calls for the attorney general to use the money in consumer relief for purposes intended to avoid preventable foreclosures, to ameliorate the effects of the foreclosure crisis, and to enhance law enforcement efforts against financial fraud.
The settlement agreement lists permissible uses of the settlement funds, including: housing counselors, state and local foreclosure assistance hotlines, state and local foreclosure mediation programs, legal assistance, housing remediation and anti-blight projects, and training and staffing of financial fraud or consumer protection enforcement efforts.
More information regarding the uses of these settlement funds can be found under “Exhibit B” of the final settlement agreement.