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Countrywide and Bank of America to provide help for paying mortgages

Bank of America and Countrywide Have Announced a Nationwide Homeownership Retention Program for Customers.

This program will systematically help mortgage holders by modifying troubled mortgages. Almost $9 billion in interest rate and principal reductions will be giving for nearly 400,000 customers nationwide. To date, Bank of America has provided assistance with mortgage payments to over 100,000 homeowners who originated their subprime and option-ARM mortgages with Countrywide from the National Homeownership Retention Program. To read more on the programs success, click here.

The mortgage assistance program was developed with numerous state Attorney Generals and it is designed to allow both affordable and sustainable mortgage payments for those borrowers who financed their homes with pay option, subprime loans, or adjustable rate mortgages that are serviced by Countrywide and that were originated prior to December 31, 2007. Bank of America acquired Countrywide July 1, 2008. You can also dial 1.800.846.2222 for more on the Homeownership Retention Program.

Countrywide mortgage servicing personnel are equipped to help and serve all eligible borrowers with new mortgage options and program elements by December 1, 2008. After this time, they will then begin to proactively outreach to eligible customers. Foreclosure sales will not be initiated for any borrowers who are likely to qualify for aid until Bank of America/Countrywide has made decision on the borrower's need for help paying their mortgage and eligibility. They have now begun to notify customers of the program, and have begun to issue checks. More.

The centerpiece of this wide ranging program is a fair, proactive loan modification process that will help provide relief to all eligible borrowers who are delinquent, or those who are likely to become delinquent, as a result of their mortgage features, such as payment recasts or a rate resets. Countrywide will be offering free loan modifications as a result of a lawsuit.

Numerous options will be offered and considered for any eligible customers that will help ensure loan modifications are both affordable and sustainable. As an example, first-year payments of interest, principal, taxes and insurance will be targeted to equate to about 34 percent of the borrower's income. Modified mortgages will also feature limited step-rate interest rate adjustments to help ensure annual principal and interest payments will increase at levels that give homeowners minimal risk of payment shock. Modification options to help consumers pay bills will be extensive. JP Morgan/WaMu and Wachovia/Golden West are also providing mortgage help. Contact Bank of America or Countrywide to ask them about the retention program.




By Jon McNamara

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