The top five mortgage servicers have doled out $21.9 billion in consumer relief to more than 300,000 borrowers under the national mortgage settlement, and the independent monitor says there is a "reasonably good chance" that some of the servicers will have met the conditions of the deal by early next year.

But Joseph A. Smith, the former North Carolina banking commissioner who is monitoring the $25 billion settlement agreement, cautioned Monday that numbers submitted by the banks still have to be reviewed by his office and could change. Specifically, short sales — which so far make up the bulk of the relief effort — carry more weight in some states than others and Smith says the numbers reported do not take that into account.

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