By The Associated Press

A lawyer for Arizona's attorney general says the state is entitled under a multistate mortgage foreclosure settlement to use $50 million to help balance the state budget.

Attorney Douglas Northrup told a judge Wednesday that the settlement's permitted uses of money paid by lenders include compensating states for effects of the housing market collapse.

An attorney challenging the $50 million transfer to the general fund disagrees, saying that's a legally shaky argument and that the money is intended for services and other uses directly related to mortgage foreclosures.

The judge didn't rule immediately on the sides' requests that he dismiss the lawsuit or block the transfer.

The $50 million represents slightly more than half of the $98.8 million of Arizona's share. Additional settlement money is intended to compensate or help borrowers.