10 Feb 2012

Foreclosure claims settled

8:39 am on 10 February 2012

Five of the biggest banks in the United States have agreed to provide $US25 billion in assistance to homeowners to settle claims over improper foreclosure practices.

Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase and Ally Financial have reached a deal with the federal government and most states.

Lenders were accused of abusive practices after the collapse of the housing bubble five years ago.

The deal will cut loan payments and provide compensation. Homeowners will each receive $US2000.

Many companies processing foreclosures - or repossession orders - failed to verify documents.

Some employees signed papers they had not read, or used fake signatures to speed up the process, an action dubbed robo-signing.

The BBC says previous schemes to mitigate the fallout failed in getting money to those most in need.