Where did the mortgage settlement money go?
States received $2.5 billion in funds as part of a settlement with major mortgage lenders over their foreclosure practices -- a scandal dubbed by many as the 'robosigning mess.' But what have they done with the funds?
A USA Today story highlights the reality that most of the dollars have not gone towards assisting homeowners, as was sold to the public during the settlement process.
Instead, roughly $1 billion of the $2.5 billion has gone to shore up ailing local budgets:
States have no role in providing the $51 billion in relief to homeowners. But states do have wide discretion over the additional $2.5 billion, which was intended to ameliorate the housing crisis.
Instead, according to a state-by-state list compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures, many of them found other uses for the money.
States like Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska and Virginia are specifically called out for moving funds into economic development or budget-balancing maneuvers.