Countrywide Home Loan Modification - Should You be Concerned?

Published: 16th July 2009
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In July, 2008, Bank of America bought Countrywide Bank, a major mortgage lender. Homeowners whose mortgages were held by Countrywide heard of its plan to offer refinancing or loan modifications to help homeowners struggling to pay their monthly mortgage. These homeowners need more information about the process in order to learn what it will mean to them and who qualifies.

Countrywide has a bad reputation as a mortgage lender. In 2009 the State Attorney General sued Countrywide for predatory lending practices. A goggle search will find many negative postings from customers who were not happy. One of the top complaints stemmed from the fact that different customer service representatives seemed to have different information and much of what the customers were told were contradictory. This lack of communication meant that homeowners were charged extra money and time was wasted.

After the lawsuit, Countrywide issued a press release, announcing a new plan to help troubled homeowners quickly. For loan modifications, the goal was to reduce monthly payments so they would be 34% of the homeowner's monthly income, making the mortgage bill more reasonable. These modified loans included a step-rate interest payment over time. In order to qualify for this program, the homeowner has to be living in the house on which the mortgage is held.

There are many ways Countrywide plans to modify these loans. For FHA loans, there is HOPE for Homeowners, a refinancing plan that lets people without very much home equity refinance their home through an equity-sharing program. If the homeowner does refinance through HOPE and later sells the home, a sliding scale is applied to determine how much of the home's equity will be given to FHA after the sale occurs. There are other options regarding loan modifications such as interest rate reductions along with principal reductions, which would restore equity.

Despite Countrywide's sketchy past, if you have a mortgage with Countrywide the best thing you can do now is move on. Seek a loan modification if you feel your payments are too high in comparison to your monthly income and don't wait for someone to approach you, take charge. Bank of America is working to change the image Countrywide has acquired and their new plans of loan modification have been put into place since the lawsuit. Now Countrywide regularly reviews mortgages and sends letters to homeowners who are 60 days behind in their payments. In this letter they outline their new loan modification policy.

If you have concerns about your mortgage loan adjustment from Countrywide you can find out about your eligibility and the process to apply for a loan modification.

For tips and facts about how to get approved for a Mortgage Modification? Visit our simple, no nonsense loan modification guide and resource:

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