Joseph Morones, Elvira Hernandez, Arizona Homeowners, Sue To Keep State From Diverting Mortgage Deal Funds

Remember the national mortgage settlement? Remember how a bunch of states have been taking their share of the money -- which was meant to be used to help struggling homeowners and investigate financial misconduct -- and using it for other things instead?

Well, two homeowners in Arizona remember. And they're pretty upset about it. So upset in fact, that they're suing.

Joseph Morones and Elvira Hernandez -- two homeowners from Arizona who are reportedly at risk of losing their homes -- have brought a lawsuit against the state's treasurer and attorney general, according to a post at Firedoglake (h/t Think Progress).

Their complaint? That Arizona, like a number of other states, received millions of dollars to help alleviate homeowners' pains caused by the foreclosure crisis, and instead diverted a huge chunk of it to fill gaps in the state budget.

The state of Arizona reportedly got $97 million as a result of February's settlement, in which five of the nation's largest banks agreed to pay a combined $25 billion to 49 states, according to the Yuma Sun. That money was meant to aid homeowners who had lost their property during the housing crisis, or were at risk of losing it.

However, Arizona's state legislators have voted to skim off $50 million of the settlement money and use it to plug budget shortfalls. Morones and Hernandez -- along with their attorney, Tim Hogan of the Center for Law in the Public Interest -- are suing to keep that $50 million set aside for homeowners, the Sun reports.

Arizona is hardly the only cash-strapped state that's tried to redirect money from the mortgage settlement into other areas. About 15 states have said they will use most or all of their settlement funds for other purposes, according to The New York Times.