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Bondi seeking public advice for how to spend $300 million in housing aid

Attorney General Pam Bondi is asking the public to give her office suggestions on how to spend about $300 million in settlement money from a $8.4 billion settlement with several large banks.

Part of a $25 billlion national settlement over robo-signing abuses, Florida's $8.4 billion settlement includes money for principle reductions, mortgage modifications and cash payments to people who were foreclosed upon.

Then there's a $300 million chunk of change that goes to the state, that has not yet been allocated. Bondi has not yet said what the money will be used for, but she's beginning to seek public input. 

The money is supposed to be used for "consumer relief" and could go to help hire housing counselors, fund foreclosure assistance programs, or pay for neighborhood revitalization. Some states have indicated they'd use their unallocated funds to plug their budget holes, but Bondi indicated that she is not considering that.

Members of the public have until May 14 to make comments at

Below is the release from Bondi's office:

Attorney General Pam Bondi Seeks Public Input on Distribution of $300
        Million in Settlement Funds for Housing-Related Programs

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi invites the public to make
suggestions on how best to distribute approximately $300 million recovered
on behalf of Florida’s consumers in the national mortgage servicing
settlement.  From Monday, April 30, through Monday, May 14, at 5 p.m., the
public can submit suggestions to the Attorney General’s Office by visiting

“Florida is one of the hardest hit states in the country in terms of
foreclosures, and I’d like to hear from Floridians about ways we can help
homeowners and offset the devastation caused by the foreclosure crisis,”
stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.

In the next several weeks, Attorney General Bondi will be evaluating input
from the public, interested stakeholders, and representatives of the
Governor’s Office and the Legislature before distributing settlement funds.

In February 2012, Attorney General Pam Bondi entered a $25 billion joint
federal-state agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers
over foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing
practices.  The court-approved settlement calls for the Attorney General to
direct approximately $300 million in consumer relief for purposes intended
to avoid preventable foreclosures, to ameliorate the effects of the
foreclosure crisis, and to enhance law enforcement efforts against
financial fraud.

The settlement agreement lists permissible uses of the settlement funds,
including: housing counselors, state and local foreclosure assistance
hotlines, state and local foreclosure mediation programs, legal assistance,
housing remediation and anti-blight projects, and training and staffing of
financial fraud or consumer protection enforcement efforts. More
information regarding the uses of these settlement funds can be found under
“Exhibit B” of the final settlement agreement. Mortgage Settlement Link