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Three companies have reached a settlement with the federal government and various states over their use of robo signing in mortgages.

The three companies — Ocwen Financial Corp., Homeward Residential Inc. and Litton Home Servicing LP — used "robo-signing," among other things, to prematurely foreclose on people between 2009 and 2012, according to the Utah Department of Commerce. The companies consequently violated homeowners' rights and protections, the department reports.

"Robo-signing" is the practice of submitting foreclosure documents that were not properly reviewed or notarized.

A total of 183,985 foreclosures across the U.S. were affected by the misbehavior.

The government went after the companies, and Thursday announced that it had reached a $2.1 billion settlement. A total of 49 states, including Utah, are part of the settlement.

The settlement requires Ocwen, which acquired the two other companies, to pay $7.5 million to 1,428 troubled Utah borrowers.

The companies are also not immune to criminal prosecutions as a result of the settlement, and individual homeowners are still free to pursue their own action.

Joseph A. Smith Jr., monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, will make sure Ocwen complies with the settlement.

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