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President Obama discusses foreclosure relief for military families

The president held his first news conference of 2012 Tuesday. Among the topics President Obama addressed was the relief that servicemembers who were wrongly foreclosed upon may be entitled to during the nationwide foreclosure debacle over the past few years.

Troops who were wrongly charged interest related to their mortgage loans in violation of federal protections for servicemembers will also be entitled to receive repayment of up to four times what the banks overcharged in interest payments.

The new relief for servicemembers is part of the huge settlement between the government and a number of the nation's largest mortgage lenders. During Tuesday's press conference, the president said, that, "It is unconscionable that members of the armed forces and their families have been some of the most susceptible to losing their homes due to the actions of unscrupulous banks and mortgage lenders."

Federal officials will be conducting reviews of thousands of mortgages involving military families dating back to 2006, looking for any irregularities that the banks may have undertaken in servicing a mortgage loan. Under the new settlement, troops or military families who were wrongly foreclosed upon may be eligible for at least $116,000, plus potential punitive damages for the wrongful foreclosure.

The president says that the penalties for those troops who were overcharged interest, meanwhile, could put thousands of dollars into the military families' bank accounts and also force corrections to the current interest rates associated with a home mortgage for servicemembers and their families.

Sources say that a military family carrying a $200,000 mortgage who was unlawfully charges 7 percent interest on the home loan could expect to see roughly $9,000 to correct the past unlawful interest charges. In addition, the banks will be forced to correct the interest charges to meet the protections offered to military families.

Government officials say that military home owners will be contacted by federal officials who are eligible to benefits under the program after the government has reviewed the mortgage records. The government says troops who have questions about the relief program can call 1-800-896-7743, although no application is reportedly necessary for eligibility.

Cincinnati bankruptcy lawyers know that Ohio military families may continue to struggle with debt in the troubled economy. It is important to note that special protections are given for members of the military in the area of civil court proceedings to allow active servicemembers to focus on their military duties.

Source: Stars and Stripes, "Obama announces new mortgage relief for servicemembers," Leo Shane, Mar. 6, 2012

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