Money From Bank Settlement Helps Hoosiers Pay Utility Bills

Money from a settlement with five banks investigated for improper foreclosure practices is being allocated to an organization that helps people pay their bills.

Citibank sign

Photo: 24seven Communications (Flickr)

Citibank was among five banks investigated for their foreclosure practices. The other banks included Ally, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Money from mortgage lenders acquired in a settlement will be used to help low income Hoosiers pay their utility bills. Five banks investigated for foreclosure abuse recently reached a multistate settlement that will send millions to Indiana.

During this past session, the General Assembly put more than $28 million of the settlement pool into a fund dedicated to a federal low income home energy assistance program called LIHEAP.

Speaking Wednesday, Attorney General Greg Zoeller says this plan makes the best out of an unfortunate situation.

“The ability to find some immediate relief for people that are having trouble with their mortgage and at the same time trouble paying their utility bills,” he says.

Indiana Energy Association president Stan Pinegar says the program provides stability:

“This is not a one-year shot,” he says. “It’s projected that this program will last at least six years, maybe longer.”

Lawmakers say the settlement money will be key as the federal government continues to reduce LIHEAP dollars.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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