– Enhanced focus on rate resets will benefit more than 80,000 borrowers –
CALABASAS, Calif., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Countrywide Financial Corporation (NYSE: CFC) today announced a comprehensive home preservation program to reach out to borrowers at-risk of default. Countrywide will launch an outbound calling initiative to refinance or modify up to $16 billion of Countrywide loans for borrowers who are facing an adjustable-rate mortgage reset through the end of 2008.
“Countrywide is committed to helping its customers sustain homeownership,” said David Sambol, President and Chief Operating Officer of Countrywide. “Unprecedented times call for unprecedented remedies. We are determined to assist borrowers who have the willingness and wherewithal to remain in their homes, but need a little help to do it.”
“Countrywide believes that none of our subprime borrowers that have demonstrated the ability to make payments should lose their home to foreclosure solely as a result of a rate reset,” said Sambol. “This is yet another step in our continuing effort to identify and improve existing programs that assist our customers.”
Countrywide will offer tailored solutions to its borrowers to proactively address the rising foreclosure rate. Dedicated teams of Countrywide specialists will contact customers who are current in their payments and approaching a rate reset to ascertain the borrowers circumstances and advise them about refinance and home preservation options. Countrywide's new and enhanced programs include:
— For Countrywide borrowers currently in a subprime loan with a strong
payment history, a special refinance unit has been created to
contact approximately 52,000 borrowers to offer refinance options.
The company has identified and will work to refinance approximately
$10 billion of mortgages. For this group, Countrywide will offer
borrowers options to refinance into prime or FHA loans. For those
with credit issues, Countrywide will offer Fannie Mae or Freddie
Mac's expanded criteria programs. Countrywide has a strong track
record of successfully transitioning borrowers from subprime
products to prime loans. Year-to-date, more than 31,000 borrowers
have refinanced to prime fixed rate loans totaling more than $5
— Countrywide is working to identify and contact prime and subprime
borrowers who are current but unable to qualify for a refinance and
are likely to have difficulty affording an upcoming reset.
Countrywide will supplement its early notification letter to
borrowers by calling no later than three months prior to the reset
to determine their financial circumstances and develop affordable
solutions. As a result of this initiative, Countrywide will
successfully modify $4.0 billion in loans for approximately 20,000
borrowers in an existing adjustable rate mortgage through the end of
Additionally, for subprime borrowers who are currently delinquent and are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of a recent reset, Countrywide has implemented a simplified loan modification process. Countrywide is in the process of sending letters to these borrowers offering a pre-determined, pre- approved rate reduction. It is anticipated that 10,000 additional borrowers, totaling $2.2 billion, will receive modifications through this initiative by year-end.
Home Preservation Efforts
So far this year, Countrywide's existing home preservation efforts have
helped more than 40,000 borrowers stay in their homes including the
completion of 20,000 loan modifications. Countrywide's comprehensive
efforts help borrowers facing financing difficulty. These include:
— 2,700 highly-trained home retention specialists that work with
delinquent borrowers by providing payment alternatives in order to
help them retain their homes.
— Countrywide borrowers with an impending rate reset are sent a letter
180, 90 and 45 days prior to the rate increase to ensure that
borrowers understand their options.
— Outreach to distressed homeowners in their own communities by
setting up face-to-face meetings through various means; hosting
seminars around the country to help borrowers avoid foreclosure;
participating in foreclosure prevention workshops, teaching them
about possible foreclosure scams; and offering loan workouts on-
— Working with non-profit and community groups across the country to
create grassroots efforts to contact and counsel distressed
borrowers, particularly in communities that are experiencing
unusually high foreclosure rates.
Countrywide encourages consumers who face an increase in their mortgage payment or fear falling behind on their payments for any reason to call the Countrywide home retention team at 800-669-6650.
Founded in 1969, Countrywide Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services provider and a member of the S&P 500, Forbes 2000 and Fortune 500. Through its family of companies, Countrywide originates, purchases, securitizes, sells, and services residential and commercial loans; provides loan closing services such as credit reports, appraisals and flood determinations; offers banking services which include depository and home loan products; conducts fixed income securities underwriting and trading activities; provides property, life and casualty insurance; and manages a captive mortgage reinsurance company. For more information about the Company, visit Countrywide's website at http://www.countrywide.com.
This Press Release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, regarding management's beliefs, estimates, projections, and assumptions with respect to, among other things, the Company's future operations, business plans and strategies, as well as industry and market conditions, all of which are subject to change. Actual results and operations for any future period may vary materially from those projected herein and from past results discussed herein. Factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated include, but are not limited to: increased cost of debt; reduced access to corporate debt markets; unforeseen cash or capital requirements; a reduction in secondary mortgage market investor demand; increased credit losses due to downward trends in the economy and in the real estate market; increases in the delinquency rates of borrowers; competitive and general economic conditions in each of our business segments such as slower or negative home price appreciation; changes in general business, economic, market and political conditions in the United States and abroad from those expected; reduction in government support of homeownership; the level and volatility of interest rates; changes in interest rate paths; changes in debt ratings; changes in generally accepted accounting principles or in the legal, regulatory and legislative environments in which Countrywide operates; the judgments and assumptions made by management regarding accounting estimates and related matters; the ability of management to effectively implement the Company's strategies; and other risks noted in documents filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Words like “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “promise,” “plan,” and other expressions or words of similar meanings, as well as future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may” are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements or any other information contained herein.
SOURCE Countrywide Financial Corporation
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