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AZ joins national mortgage settlement

Arizona will get more than $1.6 billion, as part of a $26 billion national settlement with five banks over abuses in the mortgage market. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: The biggest part of that money will go towards helping homeowners who are underwater to reduce the amount they owe. The settlement also includes provisions to reduce interest rates and give money to law enforcement to prevent mortgage fraud, among other things. Attorney General Tom Horne says it’s tough to say how many homeowners will be affected by the settlement, but he thinks it’ll be good for them, and the state’s economy.

TOM HORNE: Arizona is getting the 3rd largest amount of any state in the country, after California and Florida, and more than double than we would get if the funds were distributed pro rata to population, because Arizona has suffered more than other states in its mortgage market.

BRODIE: In addition to the national settlement, Horne says Arizona has settled its lawsuit against Bank of America, meaning the bank will pay the state $10 million. That money will go towards programs including compensation for homeowners who were affected by the alleged mortgage fraud.