The state of Massachusetts allocated $19.2 million of its share of the national mortgage settlement to organizations working to provide assistance to distressed borrowers.
In April, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley launched HomeCorps to boost the number of loan modification specialists available to distressed borrowers and provide grant opportunities to ease the foreclosure crisis in the state.
Coakley announced three HomeCorps grant initiatives Monday. The funding comes from the $44.5 million in funds obtained for Massachusetts as part of the national settlement with Bank of America (BAC), JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and GMAC/Ally.
A two-year grant totaling $7.4 million went to the Massachusetts Association for Community Action to administer the Borrower Recovery Initiative, designed to prevent homelessness and help borrowers recover after the loss of a home due to foreclosure or a subsequent eviction.
Beginning in September, MACA's grant will fund 19 borrower recovery sites supported by 21 case managers across the state to work directly with families and individuals The sites will receive referrals from the attorney general’s office and the funding, the office said, will enable direct assistance for up to 2,400 households over the course of the two-year grant term.
Also, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation and the National Consumer Law Center will be awarded a two-year grant totaling $6 million to administer the Borrower Representation Initiative, which provides legal services to distressed borrowers and helps borrowers obtain modifications.
The Massachusetts AG’s office said the MLAC and NCLC will use the grant to fund 14 locations statewide staffed by 19 attorneys dedicated to foreclosure-related cases and will deliver direct legal representation to homeowners facing foreclosure or eviction. The program will also begin in September and sites will receive referrals from the AG’s Office.
An additional $5.8 million in municipal and community restoration grants was awarded to 18 organizations, cities and towns across the state.
The national settlement orders the five banks to provide an estimated $14.6 million in cash payments to Bay State borrowers and $257 million worth of mortgage relief across Massachusetts.