Feuding politicians agree to split mortgage settlement cash

by Ryan Smith22 Jan 2014
A feud between two New York politicos over mortgage settlement funds is over, at least for the moment.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman have agreed to split the first $163 million of the state’s $613 million share of JPMorgan Chase’s historic $13bn mortgage settlement, according to a Bloomberg report.

Cuomo and Schneiderman had been arguing for weeks over the use of the funds. An agreement Schneiderman reached with JPMorgan allowed his office to use 85% of the money over four years to prosecute financial fraud, reduce foreclosures and promote investor interests, while only 15% was required to go into the state treasury’s coffers, Bloomberg reported.

But Cuomo insisted that the deal had too little oversight and gave the attorney general too much freedom in spending the funds.

Under the new deal, $81.5 million of the settlement will go to Cuomo’s office, which will use the money to fund housing programs. The remaining $81.5 million of the first payment will go to Schneiderman’s office, which will use it to fund foreclosure prevention programs, according to Bloomberg.

“This agreement on the first year of funding for the JPMorgan settlement will provide help to those who have been hurt most by the housing crisis, and make certain that this money will be dispersed with maximum accountability and oversight,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.


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