During the housing slump, many homeowners across the United States, including people here in Michigan, found themselves struggling to pay their mortgages in a desperate attempt to save their homes.

Many people turned to their banks who were offering families the opportunity to modify their existing loans. It seemed like the perfect fix. But what many of those families didn’t realize was that not only did their mortgages belong to another creditor, so did their houses. Frustrations grew to inevitable lawsuits when their homes were eventually sold during housing auctions.

It’s an issue that’s been circling newspapers for months now as many homeowners sue their former lenders for deceptive mortgage practices. For families in Oklahoma in October, this frustration gave way to relief when the first of many settlement checks were awarded to homeowners across the state.

Banks included in the lawsuit were Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC and Wells Fargo who all became a part of an $18.6 million settlement designed to pay back people who “lost their homes due to unfair foreclosure practices.”

Some attorneys point out that compensation in some of the court settlements have varied from state to state depending on the number of homes involved and how much the states have been carve out for victims. If lawsuits are filed in New York, experts predict that banks may pay out millions more to the thousands of families who lost their homes during the housing market crash.

Source: Thomson Reuters News & Insight, “Oklahoma mortgage fraud victims receive first settlement checks,” Steve Olafson, Oct. 16, 2012

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