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LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel highlighted the benefits of the national mortgage settlement during a roundtable discussion with U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun
Donovan and Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. today in Memphis.

Donovan's department and state Attorneys General were instrumental in negotiating the $25 billion settlement agreement between the federal government, the states and the nation's five largest mortgage
servicers. The agreement settles allegations of fraud and abuse within the mortgage servicing industry. McDaniel was invited by Donovan to today's meeting to discuss the settlement, its impact on Arkansans and ways to raise awareness of its benefits.

McDaniel, Donovan and Cooper heard from a dozen people from Tennessee and Arkansas, all of whom are impacted by the settlement. Participants included representatives from the legal, banking, real estate and construction fields.

"I am glad for the opportunity to hear about the tangible benefits this settlement has brought to consumers, while also sharing with Secretary Donovan the steps we have taken in Arkansas to help and protect our state's homeowners," McDaniel said. "I was proud to share that in Arkansas, we already had in place the mortgage-servicing standards that are now a part of the settlement. Those new servicing guidelines, along with other provisions of the settlement, help equip homeowners with the tools they need to avoid foreclosures."

Act 885 of 2011, sponsored by Rep. Tiffany Rogers of Stuttgart, requires mortgage servicers in Arkansas to provide homeowners at risk of foreclosure with important documents related to the foreclosure and information about loan modifications.

The national settlement incorporates those protections enacted in Arkansas last year.

The settlement - the largest joint federal-state settlement in history -- provides direct financial relief to Arkansas consumers at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure and to those who currently owe more than their property is worth.

Of Arkansas's approximately $39 million share of the settlement, the majority will be dedicated toward principal reductions, loan modification, refinancing and payments to those who have lost their homes to foreclosure.

The five mortgage servicers involved in the settlement account for 60 percent of the mortgage servicing market nationwide.


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