For many Jackson families, the current housing crisis has come at a particularly fragile economic time. For those on the edge of foreclosure proceedings, debt relief can provide a way out of the monetary mess. Bankruptcy can be a viable solution for individuals facing financial troubles or property repossession. Many of the people who choose this route find that their monetary challenges become much easier to bear once their budgets become more flexible.

On Jan. 18, the final hours of the National Mortgage Settlement came to a close in Jackson and in other area cities. The $25 billion Mortgage Servicing Settlement covered both state and federal actions. It sought to address questionable or illegal business practices during foreclosure proceedings and remunerate homeowners affected by the policies.

Five of the biggest financial entities in the country were involved. Homeowners impacted by mortgage foreclosures on loans given by any of these five companies between Jan. 1, 2008, and Dec. 31, 2011, were eligible to apply for payouts. Most of the affected borrowers received claims forms in the latter part of 2012.

In total, $47.1 million in aid for homeowners was disbursed to the state of Mississippi — it is one of 49 states covered by the settlement. Borrowers who are not covered under the terms of the agreement may consider refinancing or modifying existing loans.

If families explore all their available legal options when faced with debt from a mortgage, they may find it easier to stall the foreclosure of their homes. Because of the seriousness of the settlement featured above, mortgage lenders may be more willing to work with homeowners now than ever before. By putting an action plan in place and following through — with the correct type of support — Mississippi residents may be able to emerge from their crises, homesteads intact.

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