Countrywide Applauds Mortgage Freeze Plan


Company’s $16 Billion Home Preservation Program Inline with New National Program

CALABASAS, Calif., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ — Countrywide Financial Corporation (NYSE: CFC) applauds the Administration’s endorsement of the industry’s HOPE NOW initiative to provide loan modification assistance to borrowers at risk of delinquency due to interest rate resets. The company particularly acknowledges Treasury Secretary Paulson for the leadership he has demonstrated in seeking ways that many interests can work together on a solution to assist many of the borrowers who are facing challenges in unprecedented numbers today.

Countrywide is a founding member and strong advocate of the HOPE NOW Alliance of servicers, investors and counseling groups convened by Secretary Paulson.

“Countrywide is committed to being part of the solution and we strongly support a systematic approach to serving borrowers who may face difficulty in making mortgage payments,” said Steve Bailey, Senior Managing Director, Loan Administration. “Secretary Paulson has listened to all parties with an open mind and has shown keen interest in finding suitable and workable solutions that address the needs of at-risk borrowers, preserve homeownership, and help stabilize neighborhoods.”

Countrywide, like other HOPE NOW Alliance members, has taken part in discussions with Secretary Paulson and other regulators, and fully briefed the Secretary and his staff at the Treasury Department on efforts the company is making, on its own and in partnerships with government and non-profit organizations, that serve the HOPE NOW goal.

The HOPE NOW initiative aligns with facets of Countrywide's own $16 billion home preservation plan announced in October. Countrywide’s program includes loan modifications and other approaches for borrowers who are making payments on time but may be at risk at the time the interest rate resets, as well as borrowers who have become delinquent as the result of a recent rate adjustment. The Company already has begun reaching out to these customers.

Countrywide analyzed its loan portfolio of borrowers facing a rate reset through 2008 to determine how many mortgages could benefit from the $16 billion home preservation program. Through this process, the company has identified 82,000 borrowers that will be eligible for assistance in a systematic and streamlined approach through refinancing or loan modifications.

“Streamlining loan modifications for these at-risk borrowers with strong payment records and certain identifiable situations will allow Countrywide’s 3,000-member Home Retention team to concentrate more attention on borrowers who may be facing delinquency for other reasons and provide individualized counseling and solutions,” Bailey said.

Countrywide encourages borrowers who face payment difficulties to call our Home Retention Division at 800-669-6650, or the HOPE NOW hotline operated by the Home Preservation Foundation at 888-995-HOPE.

About Countrywide

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

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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