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Minn. Sen. Al Franken issues video to explain effect of mortgage fraud settlement

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WASHINGTON -- Sen. Al Franken has issued a video to explain how the recent mortgage fraud settlement will affect Minnesotans.

The settlement is between 49 of the states and five of the largest mortgage banks in the country.

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"When I first wrote to the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development about some banks' deceptive mortgage practices that had come to light, none of us knew just how widespread or devastating they were," Franken said in a news release Wednesday. "Today, millions of Americans are underwater on their mortgages, and many have lost their homes because of these practices. This settlement is one small step towards restoring some justice for those affected, and a more stable, fair housing market."

The settlement will provide checks to people whose homes were improperly foreclosed on; opportunities to refinance mortgages for people whose homes are underwater; and principal reductions for families who are behind on their mortgage payments.

The $25 billion settlement applies to customers of Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo. Loans owned or backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are not part of the settlement. Homeowners with questions should visit www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com or contact the Minnesota Attorney General's Office.

The video is on Franken's website at www.franken.senate.gov. Under the "Hot Topics" tab, click on "Consumer Alert: Federal Mortgage Settlement."

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