(Memphis) Help is on the way for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage or have already lost their homes.
Last week, a federal judge approved a $25 billion foreclosure settlement between the nation's five largest banks and attorneys general from 49 states and the District of Columbia.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan says this week he expects $5 billion to be mailed to states, including, Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.
Wednesday, he met with attorneys general from Tennessee and Arkansas and other stake holders to discuss how to spend the money from the settlement and how to make sure those who are eligible know help is available.
Donovan says in Tennessee and Arkansas alone 20,000 families struggling to pay their mortgage will be getting help.
If they owe more than their house is worth they will be able to get their principal reduced.
Unemployed homeowners will also be getting more time to look for a job so they can stay in their homes.
And those who have already been foreclosed on will be getting some help as well.
"They may have been charged extra fees or been foreclosed on wrongly. They have two options. They can get a small payment without much of a process to go through the settlement or they can have their full case reviewed. If they lost their home and they shouldn't have they can be compensated for that as well," said Donovan.
Donovan says those facing foreclosure can call Hope Hotline at 888-995-Hope for free help.
You can also long to the http://www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com for more information on the settlement.
In Tennessee you can also go to http://www.keepmytnhome.org to see if you are eligible for the settlement..
In Arkansas you can contact the Attorney General's Office for help at http://www.ag.arkansas.gov/