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Oklahoma Residents First to Receive Mortgage Settlement Payments

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has issued the first borrower payments resulting from settlements with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers over faulty foreclosure processing. Oklahoma families who were subject to the servicers' ""unfair and deceptive practices ... following the financial crisis,"" can expect to receive their checks soon, Pruitt said.
[IMAGE] Oklahoma was the only state to craft its own agreement with Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, GMAC/Ally, and Wells Fargo. According to Pruitt, his break from the pack has allowed the Attorney General's Office to compensate Oklahoma residents impacted by questionable foreclosure practices up to 20 times more than residents in other states are expected to receive under the joint federal-state settlement.

""These families endured horrendous conduct, lost their homes in many cases and deserve more than an ‘I'm sorry' and a few hundred dollars,"" Pruitt said.

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The attorney general's public protection unit manages the state settlement and mailed the first installment of checks to more than 100 Oklahomans on Monday. Checks will be mailed to recipients each week through the end of January.

Families that qualify under one of two main categories receive a minimum of $5,000. Some will receive as much as $20,000. According to Pruitt’s office, the latest estimates show residents in other states could receive as little as $840 from the federal fund.

Pruitt also points out that many of the 49 states participating in the federal settlement are using the money they receive to fund various areas unrelated to housing, like the state’s general fund, higher education, marketing, and additional staff for AG’s offices.

“There was a fair share of skeptics when we chose to make our own Oklahoma agreement apart from 49 other states, but we took what we learned from the 50-state investigation and created a plan that will help Oklahomans in a significant way,” Pruitt said.

More than 700 Oklahomans applied for relief from the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Fund, with an average payment so far of $11,000.

Along with direct payments to residents, the Attorney General’s Office is partnering with Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Bar Association, and Oklahoma Lawyers for America’s Heroes Program to help families navigate mortgage issues and increase their chances of staying in their homes.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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