Many Tennessee homeowners struggle every month to pay their mortgage and keep their home. Because of job loss, medical emergencies, divorce and deaths many residents have fallen behind in their payments and risk losing their home in foreclosure proceedings. However, some of those struggling with their mortgage payments may not realize that foreclosure relief programs do exist for Tennessee residents. There are legal options for those that have had trouble paying their mortgage but want to continue to stay in their home.

Also, during the financial crisis following the burst of the housing bubble in 2008, many banks and financial institutions started to panic and began to illegal foreclose on properties. As a result federal agencies have had to start legal battles against many large banks in order to protect consumers. Most famously, the National Mortgage Settlement required many large banks to review foreclosures and provide compensation to victims.

Recently, a new settlement has been made which could affect many of those who are threatened with foreclosure in Tennessee. A national mortgage servicer — Ocwen — has recently entered into a settlement with the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau for not properly handling foreclosures. According to reports, the servicer was not following rules that had been put in place to protect consumers from foreclosure and delayed the process in many cases.

As a result, the company will pay $125 million to consumers who have been subject to wrongful foreclosure. Furthermore, the company will provide an additional $2 billion in principal reduction incentives to those struggling with their payments.

This relief and other similar programs could help many residents stay in their beloved homes. Residents who are facing foreclosure should ensure that they understand all their legal rights before a bank takes their home.

Source: WREG, “Billion Dollar Settlement Means Foreclosure Relief For Families,” Zaneta Lowe, Feb. 13, 2014