Washington, Feb 22 – Today, U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch (FL-19), Corrine Brown (FL-3), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-13), Richard Nugent (FL-5), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20), and Frederica Wilson (FL-17) sent a letter to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi urging her to ensure that the funds awarded to Florida in the recent nationwide mortgage settlement are used for no purpose other than helping struggling homeowners and foreclosure victims. Congressman Deutch’s letter follows developments in other states where settlement money intended for foreclosure relief is being used for other purposes. In Missouri and Wisconsin, Attorneys General have diverted funds to Governors and state legislators to plug budget shortfalls, and most recently, a plan put forward in Ohio uses such funds to pay for the demolition of vacant homes.
“Given the ongoing State of Florida’s housing crisis, we strongly urge you to use these settlement funds for housing relief, and resist any efforts to divert the funds to close shortfalls in the state budget,” the Representatives write. “Data demonstrates that Florida has the third highest percentage in the country of homeowners – 44% of homeowners in the state – that are underwater. The funds from the Federal Government and State Attorneys Generals settlement with mortgage servicers can provide and should be used to provide much needed assistance to struggling homeowners.”
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