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Nearly $1.6M to help prevent RI foreclosures

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has announced a nearly $1.6 million grant that will help prevent or delay foreclosure on an estimated 1,800 homes in the state.

The grant for Rhode Island Legal Services announced Thursday came from the state's portion of a national mortgage settlement between five of the nation's largest mortgage providers and attorneys general nationwide.

Rhode Island Legal Services can assist homeowners facing foreclosure in bankruptcy court; provide housing and foreclosure prevention counseling; negotiate with lenders on loan modifications; and file lawsuits against predatory lenders.

Kilmartin says the money is essential because many Rhode Islanders cannot afford to hire a private attorney to help them fight foreclosure.

He says more grants from Rhode Island's $8.9 million portion of the national settlement will soon be announced.