TRENTON – The state’s Department of Banking and Insurance is slated to receive $1 million in fiscal year 2013 as the result of a record $25 billion settlement agreement reached between U.S. states and the nation’s biggest mortgage lenders, New Jersey officials said today during a budget committee hearing.
Ken Kobylowski, the acting commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance, said during an Assembly Budget hearing that his agency would receive $1 million in the upcoming fiscal year.
In February, federal and U.S. state officials reached the settlement with Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial over foreclosure abuses, Kobylowski said. The mortgage lenders agreed to pay residents who were improperly foreclosed upon.
When the settlement first was announced in early February, it was estimated at the time that New Jersey would receive $762 million.
“I think it’s a very good first step to provide relief for homeowners who are facing foreclosure,” Kobylowski responded when he was asked by lawmakers to provide his perspective on the settlement agreement.
The department of Banking and Insurance regulates New Jersey’s banking, insurance and real estate industries. It’s funded through assessments on the businesses it regulates.
In his testimony, Kobylowski said the agency’s fiscal year 2013 budget is $63.45 million, a $100,000 decrease from the current fiscal year.
“The decrease is a reduction in our equipment account. However, this reduction will not negatively impact the department as we have recently undertaken upgrades on our computer and phone systems,” Kobylowski said.
“This decrease will not affect the day-to-day operations,” he continued.