BofA's record settlement: How much will go to consumers? - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

BofA's record settlement: How much will go to consumers?

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Bank of America must invest $7 billion in consumer relief as part of its record settlement with the Justice Department over the bank's mortgage lending practices.

The majority of that money will go towards providing new loans to low-income buyers and addressing neighborhoods ravaged by the mortgage meltdown, while just over $2 billion will go specifically to the forgiveness of mortgage debt - or what's commonly called principal reduction.

So how does that translate? How many mortgage customers will receive a loan reduction? Critics say not enough.

BofA says it's too soon to call.

But we can look at another recent payout the bank had to pay as part of a 2012 national settlement.

Two years ago, Bank of America forgave $4.6 billion in outstanding homeowner debt - about double what it's about to pay - for 28,630 people.

BofA execs do say that most of the assistance in this new settlement likely will target homeowners who didn't qualify under the national mortgage settlement two years ago.

However, mortgages serviced by BofA but owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not be eligible for assistance.

The bank will begin reaching out to customers who may qualify at the end of the year.

But if you don't want to wait for BofA to call you, the bank has established a hotline to address questions about the settlement. That number is (877) 488-7814.

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