The top five mortgage lenders say they have offered $45.8 billion in consumer relief to distressed borrowers under the national mortgage settlement. But the banks are still drawing fire from consumer advocates who say they need to be doing more principal write-downs and loan modifications to help keep borrowers in their homes.

A chief criticism of the $25 billion settlement has been that banks get credit for completing short sales — which result in borrowers giving up the property — when the goal is to consumers keep their homes. To date, more than twice as many distressed borrowers have sold their homes in short sales than have received principal reductions, according to the third progress report released Thursday by the settlement's monitor, Joseph A. Smith.

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