As the government's largest effort to compensate victims of the banks' foreclosure practices comes to a close, ProPublica's Paul Kiel reports that it won't be much of an ending: roughly 3 million borrowers will receive no more than $500. He goes into the history of robo-signing and other aggressive practices that caused homeowners who weren’t behind on their mortgage payments to face foreclosure. His latest article is "For Most Homeowners, Gov’t Foreclosure Deal Brings A Few Hundred Bucks."
On Thursday the government approved a $26 billion settlement for homeowners who’ve been foreclosed upon or are currently at risk. Approximately two million Americans will get a $1,800 settlement check, which is a lot of people but not a whole lot of money: the Joint Economic Committee of Congress found that the average foreclosure in 2008 cost $7,200. This money also won't cover losses accrued by local governments who lost tax revenue, or neighbors whose own property values fell.