Yesterday, U.S. Reps. John Lewis, David Scott, and Hank Johnson sent a letter to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, Community Affairs Commissioner Michael Beatty, and Economic Development Commissioner Chris Cummiskey urging that the *$104 million the State of Georgia received from the National Mortgage Settlement be invested in foreclosure prevention.
Governor Deal's spokesman, Brian Robinson, responded earlier today, "Funny they don't mention that $700 million of the settlement is going directly to homeowners."
This evening, the three congressmen issued the following joint statement:
"The state government has only received and will only receive *$104 million from the National Mortgage Settlement. The approximately $650 million to which the governor's spokesman refers is administered by loan servicers and does not reflect any decision to help homeowners by the State of Georgia. It is critical to understand that the $104 million of settlement funds that the State currently intends to spend on "economic development' is the only money from the settlement over which the state has control.
"We strongly believe that those funds should be invested in relief for homeowners in hardest-hit areas, as unambiguously intended by the National Mortgage Settlement, not on subsidies for businesses in rural areas. We renew our call for the governor to invest these funds accordingly and to provide our offices with information detailing the process for this money's allocation and information on every recipient."
*The $104 million mentioned here refers to previous statements made in other news reports. The amount of discretionary funding given to the state of Georgia as stated on the settlement documents is actually $99.36 million.