Many nationwide are hailing the largest single civil settlement suit in history. Mississippi and 48 other states have signed off on a deal with the nation's biggest mortgage lenders that will be worth 26 billion dollars.
It spells significant relief for troubled homeowners facing foreclosure and for those upside down in their mortgages. Mississippians have suffered. Lost their homes to foreclosure and can't find the help they need to refinance during trouble times.
Scott Spivey, Senior VP of Corporate Communications and Information Technology for the Mississippi Home Corporation said Thursday he had heard hundreds of sad stories.
"Horror stories anywhere from families mainly not being able to get in touch with the right people, to many hoops to jump through, too many different people to call who are unaware of the assistance out there and people just really give up" said Spivey.
The Mississippi Home Corporation who counsels and helps people in unfavorable loans says this will help turn the downward spiral they seen for the past 4 years.
"Since 2008 our frustration , the borrowers has been the unwillingness of financial institutions to refinance" added Spivey. "So I think that's going to be the largest impact. The banks coming to the table and working with borrowers to put them in more affordable loans."
The President and his Cabinet members said Thursday this will end most abusive practices of the mortgage industry. One that cost 4 million families their homes to foreclosure, thousands right here in Mississippi.
"But this just isn't about punishing the banks for their irresponsible behavior" said Shaun Donovan, HUD Secretary. "It's also about requiring them to help the people they harmed, by funding efforts to help homeowners stay in their homes."
Up to 750-thousand underwater homeowners who are current on their mortgages will be able to refinance at a lower rate. Foreclosure devastates neighborhoods, it devastates credit so the ability to refinance now under this settlement is one of the things that we think is going to have a huge impact in Mississippi.
The historic settlement will force banks to lower the principal balance on many loans, refinance loans for underwater borrowers and pay billions of dollars to states and consumers. Spivey says homeowners need to follow the developments
"One of the things I would encourage people to do is keep an eye on it, watch the news find out how to help yourself" said Spivey.
Spivey says foreclosure in Mississippi have been decreasing since the middle of last year.
He adds this massive settlement is not the end all be all, a panacea that will reverse the devastating amount of harm that has been done to Mississippians.
The Mississippi Home Corporation offers counseling and assistance. Call 601-718-4642