California homeowners have received more than $18 billion worth of help from a national mortgage settlement with major lenders over the past year and a half, the state's monitor for the program announced Tuesday.
Relief to struggling California homeowners under the settlement includes more than $2.8 billion to residents of the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo in the form of first and second mortgage principal reductions and short sales.
The state's share of the settlement was divided evenly between principal reductions and short sales, according to figures released by California Monitor Katherine Porter, a professor at UC Irvine School of Law.
The agreement penalized the lenders for so-called "robo-signing" in which bank employees fraudulently signed foreclosure paper work, as well as misconduct in the servicing of loans, and was limited to loans owned or serviced by those lenders.
The $25 billion national settlement was with the attorneys general of nearly every state, but California Attorney General Kamala Harris negotiated a separate version of the agreement with three lenders, which increased the amount of help that went directly to homeowners.
Under the state's agreement, only mortgage help that reduced what homeowners owed could be counted as credit in California's share of the settlement.
Porter said 84,102 California families received first and second mortgage principal reductions.
Bank of America delivered $11.16 billion in mortgage relief to Californians; JP Morgan Chase $4.07 billion and Wells Fargo $3.2 billion. Bank of America forgave second mortgages in full for over 36,000 California homeowners.
For four counties of the East Bay, Peninsula and South Bay, this was the breakdown in reductions and other relief:
In Alameda County, 6,391 loans received $857.5 million in relief; in Contra Costa County, 6,653 loans got $950.59 million in relief; in Santa Clara County, 5,721 loans saw $750.6 million in relief; and in San Mateo County, 2,031 loans got $287.2 million.
Contact Pete Carey at 408-920-5419 Follow him on Twitter.com/petecarey.