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Foreclosure Settlement Worth $25 Billion: Mass Gets $300 Million

The massive foreclosure settlement between state attorneys general and five major U.S. banks has been revealed and it is big, reports The Boston Globe.

In total, the mortgage deal between the states and the banks is worth $25 billion. And Massachusetts’ cut from that will be $300 million. The lenders in the mortgage settlement include Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citibank, and Ally Financial Inc.

Martha Coakley is the state attorney general responsible for overseeing that money for Massachusetts.

Back in December, after getting frustrated with the slow moving national negotiations, Coakley sued the five major banks on her own. She will still be able to pursue those outside claims, reports The Globe.

Of course, there are still people out there that are planning on getting mortgages. And if this settlement teaches anything, it is that we all should be more careful and informed.

Home loans are available from several types of lenders -- thrift institutions, commercial banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions, reports FindLaw. Different lenders may quote you different prices, so you should contact several lenders to make sure you're getting the best price.

You can also get a home loan through a mortgage broker. Brokers arrange transactions rather than lending money directly; in other words, they find a lender for you. A broker's access to several lenders can mean a wider selection of loan products and terms from which you can choose.

Brokers will generally contact several lenders regarding your application, but they are not obligated to find the best deal for you unless they have contracted with you to act as your agent. Consequently, you should consider contacting more than one broker, just as you should with banks or thrift institutions.

Whether you are dealing with a lender or a broker may not always be clear. Some financial institutions operate as both lenders and brokers. And most brokers' advertisements do not use the word "broker." Therefore, be sure to ask whether a broker is involved.

Given the size and magnitude of the current mortgage settlement, it is probably unlikely that the government would take any such action for the near future, so those seeking future mortgages will have to be more careful than in the past.

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