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Foreclosure victims can soon claim restitution

Sunday - 3/18/2012, 6:32am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Those victimized by the mortgage crises of the last few years may be entitled to some money from a multi-billion dollar national settlement.

The settlement, which involves all 50 states and the District of Columbia, concerns customers of five lenders -- Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan or GMAC.

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler says his state will get $960 million under the $25 billion dollars available nationwide. Virginia will get $400 million, and D.C. will get $40 million.

In order to be eligible for the money the borrower must be "underwater," meaning their house is worth less than their mortgage, delinquent on their payments, on the brink of foreclosure or already foreclosed.

Gansler says they are hoping they will get most of the money available right now.

"That will help stem the foreclosure crises, help the economy turn around and help all Marylanders," he says.

Many states have set up hotlines that can help you find your way to a claim. But Gansler says the best place to start is with the lender involved. Maryland's hotline number is 1-888-743-0023.

You can find out more here about eligibility and applying.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)