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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2012
McKenna, Committee announce $43.8 million in grants for foreclosure relief programs

 
SEATTLE – Thirteen Washington non-profit organizations will split the $43.8 million the state received to fund foreclosure relief as part of the landmark $25 billion national settlement with the country’s five largest mortgage servicers announced in February.

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, who served on the executive team negotiating the settlement, joined members of his Consumer Foreclosures Remedies Fund (CFRF) Committee at his Seattle Office Monday to announce the organizations who will receive grants.

“I asked experts from a variety of backgrounds to serve on our selection committee to ensure we were maximizing the dollars we received to provide the greatest benefit to the highest number of families all across our state,” McKenna said. “We received requests for more than three times the amount of funds available—all from groups doing great work helping homeowners and borrowers through this crisis. Today, I’m proud to share with you our final selections.”

“The National Mortgage Settlement is groundbreaking – it provides specific relief for homeowners with mortgages owned by the five major banks – and by allocating $43.8 million in settlement funds to foreclosure relief programs in Washington, also ensures additional help for many more of our residents affected by the foreclosure crisis,” said Lili Sotelo, Senior Attorney of the Northwest Justice Project’s Foreclosure Prevention Unit and member of the selection committee. “The committee convened by the Office of the Attorney General brought together forward-thinking community leaders, lawmakers and advocates to review the great many creative and varied proposals and to select the programs best able to respond to the most damaging effects of the foreclosure crisis.  It was an honor and a pleasure to serve with them.”

The committee reviewed proposals in six key areas and worked to ensure the funds were balanced across the state, reaching a variety of affected communities.

They granted the largest chunk of the funds—more than $18 million-- to organizations with plans to provide direct mortgage relief to consumers.  The Legal Foundation of Washington’s Home Justice project will receive another roughly $13 million to provide legal representation for the more than 30,000 low and moderate income people who are expected to face foreclosure in the coming years or who are among the more than 135,000 households whose homes were foreclosed upon in the last four years.

The committee provided more than $4.8 million for anti-blight projects in Tacoma, Seattle and parts of King County. They allocated another $4.1 million for foreclosure counseling projects.

Finally they provided more than $2 million to Resolution Washington to support the Washington Foreclosure Mediation Program and provide training for volunteer foreclosure mediators and $1.26 million to two organizations to conduct outreach to help raise awareness about available resources and help them restore their homes and communities.

Additional information about today’s announcement:

Recipients will receive funds upon signing contracts with the Attorney General’s Office, outlining accountability and reporting requirements.

“These grants are just another way this historic state-federal settlement can help families across Washington save their homes or restore their lives,” McKenna said. “I commend all of the organizations who applied for this funding and thank them for their work to help homeowners and borrowers.”

The Attorney General’s Office has posted step-by-step instructions, including a how-to video, for borrowers facing potential foreclosure: www.atg.wa.gov/foreclosure.aspx -- and they encourage all borrowers needing assistance to call the Washington Homeownership Information Hotline at 877.894.4663 to be connected with an advisor who can help.

More information:

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Contacts: Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725

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