After months of difficult negotiations, government authorities announced Thursday that they have reached a $26 billion settlement with five of the nation's biggest banks over their flawed and fraudulent foreclosure practices. The deal is intended to help troubled borrowers by lowering their mortgage rates and the amounts they owe on their homes. It also will provide restitution to people hit by mortgage-related abuses, such as the "robo-signing" of documents to speed up foreclosures. Who will the deal help, and how much relief will they get? Here, a brief guide to the settlement, by the numbers:
Total value of the settlement
Value of the deal if nine more mortgage-servicing institutions sign on to the settlement. To date, it just involves Wells Fargo, Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Ally Financial, and Citigroup
Relief earmarked for homeowners. The money will go toward lowering mortgage balances for people who are "underwater" — meaning that they owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth
Approximate average reduction in each loan's principal
Underwater homeowners who could be helped under the settlement
Total outstanding mortgage debt on the nation's underwater properties
Amount those homeowners are underwater, on average
Relief that will come in the form of refinancing so that borrowers who are current on their mortgages, but underwater, can lower their payments by refinancing at today's historically low rates
Money earmarked as restitution to those who have lost homes to foreclosure
People who have lost their homes to foreclosure between January 2008 and the end of 2011 who will be eligible for payouts under the deal
Average payment those people would receive
Americans who have been through foreclosure since early 2007
States that have signed on to the settlement. The lone holdout is Oklahoma.
Size of the tobacco settlement, a similar agreement between government and corporations, struck in the 1990s
Sources: Business Insider, NY Times, Think Progress, Wash. Post
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