The latest report by an independent monitor on the mortgage crisis settlement in Iowa shows 956 homeowners received almost $32-million in relief over a 10-month period.
Attorney General Tom Miller said today that included loan modifications, reductions in the principal amount of mortgages, short sales and refinancing of loans by the five largest mortgage servicers.
“When we entered into this settlement we hoped that it would be part of a solution that helped a number of people. We recognized that the housing problem and the housing collapse, there was no one solution, there would be a number of solutions and we hoped that ours would be one. This data really shows that it has exceeded our expectations,” according to Miller.
The report shows the average relief in Iowa was $33,321 per borrower; 454 Iowa homeowners received a total of $12.7-million in principal reductions, for an average of $28,000 per borrower; 204 Iowa homeowners successfully obtained mortgage refinances with average savings of $38,932, and there were 245 short sales of homes involving $10.5-million.
The servicers include J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial (formerly GMAC).
Miller is not ready to say the mortgage crisis here is over. “I think we’ve turned the corner, but there are still homeowners who are suffering, there’s still a relatively high unemployment rate that’s brings more people unfortunately into the system,” Miller said.
“So the crisis isn’t over, but I think we’ve turned the corner on the worst part of it and we will continue working with homeowners who are in distress.” Miller said the problem was not as big in Iowa as it was in other states, and he credits quick action to get the mortgage help hotline started with helping ease the situation.
The hotline numbers are part of the reason Miller believes the crisis isn’t over. “The hotline is still getting a number of calls — more recently about a hundred a week — so people are still in trouble, still responding. And unemployment in lower in Iowa than in the (rest of the) country, but still is higher than usual and is driving some of the foreclosures currently,” Miller explains.
He said calls to the hotline are normally in the 60 to 70 range, but they have been doing some advertising recently and that has kept the call numbers up. Miller urges Iowans who are currently behind on their monthly mortgage payment, or may soon experience financial trouble, to contact the Iowa Mortgage Help Hotline, toll-free, at 1-877-622-4866 or go to:www.IowaMortgageHelp.com.
The hotline is free and confidential. See more on the mortgage oversight report here: Iowa Progress Report PDF