There’s been a ton said recently about the banks’ loan modifications and the nationwide settlement between the 5 biggest banks. By signing on to the settlement, California waived a list of allegations it could have brought against the banks, including unfair or deceptive business practices and violations of general consumer protection statutes that applied to wrongdoing in the loan modification and foreclosure process. However, California did retain some allegations that other states gave up, including fair-lending cases.

According to Bank of America, Ally Financial, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, from March 1 through Sept. 30, 2012 they approved $13.3 billion in short sales, a process where banks allow homeowners to sell homes for less than is owed on their mortgages. Not surprisingly, nearly half of the short sales ($5.9 billion) were in California. The aid went to more than 300,000 borrowers during that period, for an average of about $84,385 per person, according to the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, a government agency set up to monitor the progress of the banks.

The preponderance of short sales in California may change as banks begin delivering other types of mandated relief, namely principal reduction. To learn a little more about how this settlement will affect your homeownership (including a potential short sale), we’ve selected a few of the most helpful articles from around the web:

Big banks relied on short sales rather than reductions in principal to make a start on their $20 billion national mortgage settlement. (OC Register)

5 of the biggest U.S. banks have cut struggling homeowners’ mortgage balances by $6.3 billion, part of a total $26.1 billion in home loan relief provided under a landmark settlement over foreclosure abuses. (Huffington Post)

Where are the funds going? Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to allocate 90% of California’s $410.5 million share (the largest to any single state) to the general fund drew protests. (Pew)

This will be an interesting real estate topic to watch, as the goal was to provide relief for homeowners throughout California, including those in Orange County.

For more Orange County real estate news and happenings, follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylSellsOC or check her out on Facebook at CherylSellsOrangeCounty.

Cheryl Marquis has been an active and successful real estate agent in South Orange County, California for more than 25 years. As a TOP PRODUCER in her company, Cheryl has received the specific accreditation of a Certified Relocation Specialist (CRS) and Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR) and is a member of the Who’s Who of Luxury Real Estate, a select network of the world’s leading luxury home agents. Cheryl is a member of C.A.R. (California Association of Realtors), N.A.R. (National Association of Realtors) and O.C.A.R. (Orange County Association of Realtors). To talk to Cheryl about buying or selling a home in Orange County, call her at 949.683.1501 or visit her online at