TODAY

TODAY   |  May 02, 2013

Wrongful foreclosure settlements anger homeowners

Families who endured years of anguish or lost their homes due to banks wrongly reporting they were behind on their mortgage payments are calling the compensation payments, many of which number in the low hundreds, “insulting.” NBC’s Lisa Myers reports.

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>>> we're back now at 7:44 with a massive mortgage abuse settlement involving big banks . more homeowners caught in that foreclosure crisis will open their checks today and some of them will be sorely disappointed. lisa myers has the details on this. lisa, good morning to you.

>> good morning, matt. for families who endured years of anguish or lost their homes, these are cold comfort . the banks don't have to admit wrong doing and even if there's evidence of illegal conduct, the government is not providing that information to homeowners. karen has been fighting to save her home from foreclosure for three years and recently received her compensation settlement, $300.

>> it was insulting.

>> timothy platte , a trucker says he's been fighting to save his home since his servicer made a mistake declaring his family behind on the mortgage when they were not. platte received a postcd recently saying he'll be getting the check. he too expects $300.

>> it's kind of like a slap in the face . you know, we've been trying to work through this for three years now. and we've lost a lot.

>> in all, 13 banks will pay $3.6 billion to homeowners under the settlement. the five biggest banks alone earn more than $60 billion last year. the largest payout, $125,000 go to more than 1,000 members of the military wrongly foreclosed on. and to 53 homeowners foreclosed on even though they never missed a mortgage payment. but most, almost 2 million homeowners get checks of $300 to $600.

>> families get pennies on the dollar in this settlement for having been the victims of illegal activities or mistakes in the bank's activities.

>> platte was so upset, he wrote nbc news.

>> the banks have misrepresented the facts.

>> reporter: in the settlement, the banks promise to end abuses, but platte says his bank has not changed.

>> there has been no improouchl whatsoever. in fact, you can't even talk to them.

>> both banks declined to comment and platte is now suing his bank. as for information about wrong doing by the banks , so far, federal regulators are refusing to provide that material to congress claiming the bank's documents are trade secrets , matt.

>> all right, lisa myers in washington this morning, thank you for that story.