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Last updated: March 16. 2013 6:51PM - 89 Views

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(AP) Five of the biggest U.S. banks have cut struggling homeowners' mortgage balances by $19 billion, part of a total $45.8 billion 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 Dec. 31, 2012, according to a report issued 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 $19.5 billion of the $45.8 billion in relief was in the form of short sales, in which lenders agree to accept less than what the seller owes on the mortgage.


Associated Press
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