2 firms to pay for improper military foreclosures

By The Associated Press | May 26, 2011 | 4:58 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two mortgage lenders will pay more than $22 million combined to settle federal civil charges that they improperly foreclosed on 178 military personnel, some of whom were serving in the Iraq or Afghanistan wars.

Subsidiaries of Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley failed to obtain court orders before imposing the foreclosures between 2006 and 2009. The cases will result in an average of $125,562 in payments per person, the Justice Department said. The foreclosed homes were in 22 states.

The settlement is "easily the largest amount recovered" in a case of improper military foreclosures, said Thomas E. Perez, an assistant attorney general.

The Bank of America subsidiary, BAC Home Loans Servicing, also agreed to look into possible cases of improper foreclosures from June 2009 through 2010.