Washington - Five of the biggest US banks have cut struggling homeowners' mortgage balances by $19bn, part of a total $45.8bn in relief provided under a landmark settlement over foreclosure abuses.
More than 550 000 borrowers received some form of mortgage relief between March 1 and December 31 2012, according to a report issued on Thursday by Joseph Smith, the monitor of the settlement.
That translates to about $82 668 per homeowner, according to the report, which is based on the banks' own accounts of their progress.
The report says $19.5bn of the $45.8bn in relief was in the form of short sales, in which lenders agree to accept less than what the seller owes on the mortgage.
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