I-Team: Mortgage Help for Homeowners Could End Soon

LAS VEGAS -- Time is running out for underwater homeowners to get assistance from five major banks because the banks will soon have no legal obligation to help.

Underwater homeowners affected are those who hold mortgages with Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, Ally and Wells Fargo.

Joseph Smith, chief of the nationwide Mortgage Oversight Group, met with Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and Las Vegas area loan counselors Thursday.

Five major banks settled with Nevada to avoid massive lawsuits targeting past cases of mortgage fraud.

Bank of America customers are supposed to receive the most help, with Nevadans receiving $750 million in short sale and loan forgiveness help.

But according to the banks, they're nearly off the hook to help struggling homeowners.

"I think it's pretty clear that they're trying (to get) these obligations taken care of sooner rather than later," Smith said. "There are incentives to them to do that under the settlement. They get extra credit."

Bank of America owes Nevadans the most. It must provide $750 million in short sale and loan forgiveness help.

But the bank claims it's almost at that number, meaning those lending banks will soon have no legal obligation to help.

According to Bank of America, it will continue helping customers after its legal obligation ends.

Some of those major banks said they're on schedule to end their legal obligation within months.


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