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Foreclosed-upon homeowners urged to file claim for settlement

Claim forms are being sent to nearly 67,000 Nevada homeowners who lost their home to foreclosure from 2008 through 2011 and who may be eligible for payment under the national mortgage foreclosure settlement, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Monday.

The settlement, which took effect in April, earmarked about $1.5 billion in payments for 1.8 million borrowers nationwide who lost their homes to foreclosure during that period and had their loan serviced by one of the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that agreet to the settlement. The are Ally-GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

The exact payment will depend upon the total number of borrowers who decide to participate.

"I encourage eligible Nevadans to fill out their claim forms as soon as possible and remember that the process to apply is free," Masto said a statement from the Office of the Attorney General.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said the AG’s announcement means additional consumer relief in the form of cash payments to homeowners in Nevada and other hardest-hit parts of the country.

"Even though we’ve still got a ways to go, we are moving in the right direction," Donovan said Monday in his keynote address at the Asian Real Estate Association of America convention in Las Vegas.

According to a report released in August, 5,217 Nevadans have received help through the settlement agreement, with the average modification amounting to about $98,000.

Packets containing a letter from the attorney general, claim form, instructions and answers to frequently asked questions are being mailed to eligible borrowers through Oct. 12.

Masto urged eligible Nevada borrowers to complete claim forms and return them as soon as possible, or file them online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com.

The deadline for submitting claims is Jan. 18. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013.

Masto warned homeowners to be aware of scams related to the settlement. Borrowers do not need to pay anyone to file their claim, and should not provide personal information or pay any money to anyone who claims they’re providing settlement claim assistance, she said.

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