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Checks to be mailed to foreclosure abuse victims

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Checks are going out this week to more than 22,500 Virginians participating in the national mortgage foreclosure settlement, Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli said Monday.

Each recipient will receive $1,480, bringing Virginia's total for direct payouts to just over $33 million. Cuccinelli said more than 13,400 Virginia households also have received about $933 million in loan modifications, elimination of second liens and other forms of relief.

The payments are intended to compensate borrowers who experienced foreclosure abuses during the four years ending Dec. 31, 2011, and had their loan serviced by one of five mortgage lenders. Those companies are Ally/GMAC, Bank of America Corp., Citi, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Wells Fargo & Co.

The abuses included failure to offer alternatives to foreclosure, putting borrowers further in arrears by overcharging fees, losing documents submitted to support loan modifications, and robo-signing — the practice of lenders foreclosing on homes en masse without the legal right to do so.

Cuccinelli said some laws have been passed to curb the abuses, and the banks have reformed their own practices.

"Going forward it's really going to be up to banks and borrowers to have more stable relations," he said in an interview.

Cuccinelli said about 28,000 Virginians applied for the payouts.