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$26 Billion Housing Settlement Details Due Out This Week

WASHINGTON (CNNMoney) -- Final details are due out this week in the $26 billion settlement to help struggling homeowners and settle charges of abusive and negligent foreclosure practices, according to President Obama's housing chief.

The Obama administration made a big announcement nearly three weeks ago, touting that 49 states had agreed on a deal with the five largest banks providing relief to homeowners who were victims of improper foreclosures. The relief would come in the form of principal reductions, mortgage refinancings and small payouts.

But so far, the only details made public have been what officials have said, as well as a few short summaries and fact sheets.

The deal had been in the works for 16 months. Up to 1 million homeowners could see their principal reduced by up to $20,000, while another 750,000 could be able to refinance loans. Payments up to $2,000 will be made to those who lost their homes to foreclosure over the past three years.

Donovan did clarify a few details at the hearing, which had been omitted during the original announcement. For example, he revealed that banks won a concession concerning second mortgages, which would be written down equally with first mortgages under the settlement.

Banks' reticence to write down second liens played a role in stumping progress of Obama administration housing relief efforts. Usually in a foreclosure, second mortgages or second liens are losses borne entirely by the banks. Banks tend to own second liens, which accompany about half of all mortgages at risk for foreclosure, according to a 2010 Treasury report.

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