Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed into law Tuesday a plan for a $200 million chunk of the $25 billion nationwide foreclosure settlement agreement between lenders and states, the Tampa Bay Tribune reported.
Florida will spend its share on housing- and foreclosure-assistance programs, including mortgage counseling services, legal aid groups and Habitat for Humanity, the Tribune reported, citing Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The $200 million is a small chunk of the state’s $8.4 billion cut from the deal, including $7.6 billion for loan modifications and other “direct relief,” the newspaper reported, citing Bondi’s website.
“It’s so much money that it needed accountability,” Bondi told reporters Tuesday. “It’s hard to write checks just directly out there … That’s why we’re going through various agencies, to ensure money goes where it’s supposed to go.”
Scott still has not acted on a bill (HB 87) passed this legislative session that would speed up the state’s foreclosure process. Homeowner advocates have asked Scott to veto it. Florida’s foreclosure process has been tainted by “robo-signers,” people who signed paperwork handing over mortgages without knowing what they were signing. [Tampa Bay Tribune] –Emily Schmall