Rhode Island Legal Services, a nonprofit that helps citizens in the state, received $1.57 million in foreclosure prevention funds from the state's attorney general Peter Kilmartin this week.

The money will be distributed to the organization in the form of a massive two-year grant. The allocation makes up a significant portion of the $8.9 million in mortgage servicing settlement funds allocated to the New England state to combat foreclosures. The funds represent a portion of the $25 billion mortgage servicing settlement that ended robo-signing and foreclosure documentation issues at the big banks.

The legal services group believes the allocation will help it stop or delay foreclosures on approximately 1,800 homes each year for the next two years.

"Many Rhode Islanders facing foreclosure cannot afford to hire a private attorney to advocate for them against the mortgage service providers or represent them in legal proceedings," said attorney general Kilmartin. "Rhode Island Legal Services has a long tradition and an excellent reputation for providing effective legal assistance and representation for those less fortunate."

Rhode Island is one of several New England states hit by a wave of foreclosures after the 2008 financial crisis.