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Settlement funds to be used for utility bill assistance

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Wednesday that funds from a multi-million dollar mortgage lending settlement will benefit low-income homeowners who need help with utility bills.  

House Bill 1141, signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels March 14, creates a fund for deposit of $28.8 million arising from a multistate settlement with five major mortgage lending banks. The banks – Ally, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo – were found to have engaged in unacceptable mortgage-servicing practices and foreclosure abuses.

“Low-income homeowners who were most at-risk to be foreclosed upon are also the most likely to have difficulty paying electric and gas bills and face disconnection,” Zoeller said. “The mortgage lending institutions that preyed upon borrowers and engaged in illegal practices are paying millions of dollars in settlement money to Indiana, and the Legislature wisely channeled this flow of dollars into a fund where at-risk homeowners can be helped.”

Eligible homeowners already qualify for the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Block Grant program or LIHEAP. The program is operated through community action agencies with outreach offices in every county. In 2011, Indiana’s LIHEAP provided 197,809 households with an average benefit of $420 each for assistance with utilities

Under the compromise version of HB 1141 that passed, the amount of state energy assistance created through the settlement will match the amount of 7 percent sales tax that LIHEAP recipients pay on their energy bills through that federal program. The dollars the state provides will offset the taxable amount, boosting funds available for low-income homeowners. That means more homeowners will be eligible for energy assistance, and those who qualify might qualify for larger amounts than they would have previously. Zoeller said the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, administered by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, will determine how the settlement funds will be distributed to help recipients.

 

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  1. Major social engineering imposed by judicial order well in advance of democratic change, has been the story of the whole post ww2 period. Contraception, desegregation, abortion, gay marriage: all rammed down the throats of Americans who didn't vote to change existing laws on any such thing, by the unelected lifetime tenure Supreme court heirarchs. Maybe people came to accept those things once imposed upon them, but, that's accommodation not acceptance; and surely not democracy. So let's quit lying to the kids telling them this is a democracy. Some sort of oligarchy, but no democracy that's for sure, and it never was. A bourgeois republic from day one.

  2. JD Massur, yes, brings to mind a similar stand at a Texas Mission in 1836. Or Vladivostok in 1918. As you seemingly gloat, to the victors go the spoils ... let the looting begin, right?

  3. I always wondered why high fence deer hunting was frowned upon? I guess you need to keep the population steady. If you don't, no one can enjoy hunting! Thanks for the post! Fence

  4. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  5. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

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