Help Disrupt Aging. Join White House Live Stream Today at 8:30 a.m. ET. Learn more


Renew for 3 and attend Life at 50+ for free

Contests and

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation!

Hawaii, the Grand Canyon or an Alaskan Cruise! No purchase necessary. Ends May 31. See official rules.

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation
Happy African American couple

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular


$25 Billion Deal Reached to Aid Distressed Homeowners

Legal settlement over foreclosure abuses will lower some mortgage balances

Nearly 2 million homeowners hurt by abusive foreclosure practices could get substantial relief under a landmark $25 billion legal settlement reached between government officials and five of the nation’s biggest banks.

See also: Mortgage refinance calculator.

At least $17 billion would go toward lowering mortgage balances and interest rates for people who “cannot afford their current payment but could make reasonable payments if the loan amount were reduced,” according to the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), which initiated the suit.

The settlement affects customers of five major banks — Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Ally. Relief could be available to:

  • Borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments but “under water” — their homes are worth less than they owe.
  • Some 750,000 homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011, who will qualify for payments of about $2,000.
  • Homeowners who need loan modifications, including principal reduction.

Within nine months, the settlement administrator, attorneys general and the mortgage servicers will work to identify homeowners eligible for the immediate cash payments, principal reductions and refinancing. Those eligible for restitution will receive letters.

Further information is available at You can also contact your state attorney general’s office. To find yours, go to and click on “The Attorneys General.”

Homeowners in Oklahoma, the only state not to join in the settlement, will not qualify for the assistance.

Negotiations between government officials and lenders began in 2010 after the “robo-signing” scandal came to light. Banks had been failing to verify documents and used fake signatures in order to rush homeowners to foreclosure.

“Our settlement holds America’s largest banks accountable for harms homeowners suffered from shoddy loan servicing, illegal robo-signing and faulty foreclosure processing,” said Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Next: Effects on older homeowners>>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Credit safeguards with AARP® Identity Theft Protection from TrustedID®.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Man using cell phone outdoors

Members save on monthly service & usage fees and get free activation with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.


Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.