Editorial: Bondi struck bad deal on $200 million from mortgage fraud settlement
Attorney General Pam Bondi assured Floridians that $300 million from a national mortgage settlement would go to distressed homeowners. She can’t keep that promise, though, because she’s given the Florida Legislature control over most of the money.
Ms. Bondi just agreed to get $60 million to homeowners right away. At next month’s meeting of the Legislative Budget Commission, she will seek amendments to disburse the money for down payments and foreclosure-related legal assistance. Ms. Bondi designated $40 million as civil penalties, but gave the Legislature power to appropriate the remaining $200 million.
Florida is one of 49 states to share a $25 billion settlement with the nation’s five largest banks over allegations of foreclosure fraud. The attorneys general of each state and federal regulators negotiated the deal. Florida homeowners will get $7.5 billion directly from the lenders. The attorneys general divided another $2.5 billion in direct aid, based on the size of their states and how hard they were hit by the foreclosure crisis.