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Preventing Foreclosures on Military Members: President Obama announced on Tuesday that his Administration reached a "landmark settlement" with some of the nation's largest banks to protect members of the US military from wrongful home foreclosures or unfair mortgage interest rates. "It is unconscionable that members of our armed forces and their families have been some of those who have been most susceptible to losing their homes due to the actions of unscrupulous banks and mortgage lenders," stated the President during a White House press briefing. Under the agreement, banks will "substantially" compensate service personnel for wrongful foreclosures, said Obama. Banks will also refund money to any service member "wrongfully denied the chance to lower" his home mortgage interest rate, he said. The settlement also ensures that service personnel "aren't forced into foreclosure" just because they have a permanent change in station and have a home worth less than they owe on it, said Obama. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta thanked Obama in a statement for helping military families find financial security, which he said "is a vital part of maintaining a strong national defense." (Obama transcript) (See also White House fact sheet)