February 9, 2012

(Denver) – Rep. Angela Williams (D-Denver) hailed today’s announcement that Colorado would receive a $204 million share of a $25 billion nationwide settlement with the top five mortgage lenders over abusive practices in foreclosures against millions of American homeowners. She asked that part of Colorado’s share go to expand a statewide foreclosure prevention counseling program.

The request for a $4 million slice of the $204 million was made in a letter today to Attorney General John Suthers, whose office will be the custodian of Colorado’s share.

Under terms of the settlement, $152 million of Colorado’s share is dedicated to helping struggling homeowners or victims of foreclosure between 2008 and 2011. That leaves $52 million to be spent at the state’s discretion.

A press release today from Suthers’ office listed “housing counseling services” as one of the intended purposes for the remaining $52 million.

Rep. Williams said in her letter that the counseling program was proven to be successful in preventing foreclosures and “will be the ideal mechanism to help homeowners to navigate the inevitable bureaucratic maze surrounding disbursal of funds from the federal settlement.”

“The foreclosure surge has not ended,” Rep. Williams wrote. “Currently, 20 percent of all homes in Colorado are underwater, and all data indicates that there are tens of thousands of foreclosures still on the horizon.”

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