Mortgage relief on the way

If you've been adversely affected by the national foreclosure crisis, the Missouri Attorney General's Office says relief may be on the way.

On Friday, Mar. 30, Laura Brown, one of the Assistant Attorney Generals, visited Kirksville to inform residents that the State of Missouri has joined a national mortgage settlement. The agreement seeks to settle many allegations of foreclosure abuses, unfair mortgage servicing practices, and fraud by five of the nation's largest banks including Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo and Ally Financial.

"Basically, what I'm here to do is to just get the word out, that this settlement has happened, so that we can get as many people signed up to see whether they qualify so that we can benefit as many Missourians as possible," said Laura Brown.

According to Brown, Missouri is expected to receive $31 million from the settlement. That money will be given to people who've lost their homes in the form of direct cash payments.

Brown said relief in the form of direct payments may be available to people whose home was foreclosed on by one of the banks listed in the settlement, if the foreclosure happened between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011.

Browns said another form of relief that may be available is principle reduction, if the homeowner has a mortgage held by one of the banks involved in the settlement and they owe more than their home is worth.

In order to find out if you qualify for relief, Brown said you should contact the Missouri Attorney General's Office.