Countrywide has agreed to provide mortgage help in Pennsylvania and to stop foreclosures until the borrowers' financial status can be verified.
Pennsylvania state officials have said that as many as 11,000 borrowers who now have some of the riskiest and highest-defaulting loans written by Countrywide, which is now owned by Bank of America, may be eligible for various forms or financial help and support that is worth more than $150 million in aggregate.
The settlement between Countrywide and the state will provide those borrowers with loan modifications, foreclosure relief, relocation assistance as well as waivers of delinquency or default fees, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said. The funds for relocation will be paid out to those homeowners who are too far behind on their payments and who can’t come to some form of agreement with Countrywide. Some families may even be able to qualify for aid for moving expenses that they may have incurred in the past.
In addition, the company has agreed to pay almost $3 million to cover some costs for customers who already lost their homes to foreclosure or if they already paid fees for late payments or prepayments. Some of the funds provided by Countrywide will go toward helping foreclosed families as they search for new housing or a new apartment to live in. Learn about other Countrywide and Bank of America mortgage programs.
This agreement is the result of a lawsuit that concluded that Countrywide manipulated its underwriting standards to sell risky loans to consumers who did not understand them and homeowners who could not afford these loans. The state of Pennsylvania participated in the lawsuit with dozens of other states as well as the federal government.
The agreement covers mortgage loans that were originated by Countrywide Financial Corp, Countrywide Home Loans Inc. and also Full Spectrum Lending Inc. It does not apply to loans that were transferred to the lender.
Homeowners who qualify for assistance will be notified by the lender. However if you think you should qualify, then you can always call BOA or Countrywide as well. The phone number to dial is 866-411-6987. Only loans that were issued directly by Countrywide are eligible, and not any mortgages that were transferred to them or that they are servicing. Other qualifications include the mortgage needs to be for your primary residence, and the loan had to be subprime or illegally issued.
As part of the settlement, individuals who receive any form of counseling or financial assistance will be required to sign a Release agreement. This means that you will not be able to go back and sue them at some later date. If you have any questions on the Settlement or Release agreement, then you can call a lawyer or look into free legal aid and representation. You should only sign the agreement if you are certain that will not pursue any further legal action.
In order to qualify for relocation assistance or a cash settlement, the applicant must have already lost their home to a foreclosure. Or the Pennsylvania homeowner may have gone through a short sale, deed in lieu, or some other form of sale.
If you continue to live in the home in which the mortgage was taken out on, then Countrywide can still provide support. While it will not be a cash payment, it can include a loan modification which can come in many forms. Many modifications will lower your interest rate, the terms of your loan may be extended, or late fees can be waived. Very rarely will principal reduction be offered. This option can in effect reduce your monthly payment and make your home more affordable to live in.
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