New Jersey homeowners will receive an estimated $762 million in direct relief as part of the $25 billion settlement between five mortgage lenders and 49 states.

Governor's Office

State Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said Thursday this relief will include loan term modifications and other forms of assistance.  "The money is going to be there potentially for principle reductions and for refinances of current loans so that people can put themselves in a position to get back on their feet," he said.

New Jersey borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011, and suffered servicing abuse, will qualify for $12.5 million in cash payments.

"In addition to the money the state is getting, there are now safeguards in place so that our consumers here in New Jersey are protected," said Chiesa.  "In the past, the banks would sit down with homeowners who were doing everything they could to try and save their home.  They were negotiating in good faith to get payments that were more manageable.  At the same time, another place in the bank was starting foreclosure proceedings on that same homeowner.  These safeguards will establish one point of contact in the bank to prevent this from happening."

The value of refinanced loans to New Jersey borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth will be an estimated $89.5 million.

Chiesa says the state will also receive a direct payment of $75.5 million to help pay for various state housing programs.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)