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Mortgage lenders agree to overhaul

WASHINGTON — The nation’s five largest mortgage lenders have agreed to overhaul their industry after deceptive foreclosure practices drove homeowners out of their homes, government officials said Monday.

A draft settlement between the banks and U.S. states has been sent to state officials for review.

Those who lost their homes to foreclosure are unlikely to get their homes back or benefit much financially from the settlement, which could be as high as $25 billion. About 750,000 Americans – about half who might be eligible for assistance under the deal – will likely receive checks for about $1,800.

But the agreement could reshape long-standing mortgage lending guidelines and make it easier for those at risk of foreclosure to restructure their loans. And roughly 1 million homeowners could see the size of their mortgage reduced.

In other news

THE WALT DISNEY CO. announced Monday that it would let employees at its two U.S. theme-park resorts – including its more than 60,000 workers at Walt Disney World – grow beards or goatees. The new policy takes effect Feb. 3.

– From wire reports


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