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BofA, JPMorgan say Fulfilled Mortgage Settlement Terms, Wells Fargo at 90% while Citigroup Declines to Quantify its Progress.

By E. Scott Reckard, Los Angeles Times

Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. say they have satisfied their obligations to help troubled borrowers under last year's landmark mortgage settlement with state and federal officials.

Wells Fargo & Co. said it is "90% of the way" to meeting its obligations, while Citigroup Inc. said it "remains committed to fulfilling the terms" while declining to characterize its progress.

The self-reported information will not be credited officially until Joseph J. Smith Jr., the national monitor for the settlement, reviews the data. So far Smith has certified completion only by the fifth and final lender to settle: Residential Capital, a mortgage subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc., which was once known as General Motors Acceptance Corp., or GMAC.

The updates were made Tuesday as the five banks reported their progress in meeting the agreement they signed early last year. At the close of the first quarter, more than 600,000 borrowers had received relief totaling $50.6 billion, the banks told Smith.

The banks entered the agreement to settle widespread allegations of illegal foreclosure practices, including "robo-signing" of documents and other improprieties.

California, battered by the housing collapse, had received the most aid of any state. The banks said about 205,000 Golden State consumers were granted more than $24 billion in principal reductions, interest-rate reductions, short-sale relief and other assistance as of March 31.

Short sales, in which borrowers are allowed to sell their homes for less than what they owe, had made up about two-thirds of the financial assistance to California borrowers in the first months of the settlement.

The latest figures shifted that equation, with the banks more often giving homeowners principal or interest reductions on their loans or refinancing them into new loans, enabling them to stay in their homes. Those benefits totaled $29.2 billion to 387,420 homeowners since the program began in March 2012, according to Smith's tally of the bank reports.

By comparison, aid in the form of short sales totaled $20.1 billion to about 175,000 borrowers.

The reports from the banks did not address compliance with another part of the settlement. That involves hundreds of new standards that banks, accused of abusing borrowers, agreed to follow in collecting bills, pursuing delinquencies and foreclosing.

Smith plans to submit a long-awaited report next month assessing the banks' progress in adopting the new servicing standards.

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