Countrywide deal provides options for those struggling
It may help 30,000 Texas homeowners
By GARY SCHARRER
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau
Oct. 6, 2008, 10:45PM
AUSTIN — An estimated 30,000 Texas homeowners with mortgages from Countrywide Financial may get friendlier loan terms through a settlement announced Monday to help rescue those in over their head.
The deal, involving the company and several states, allows eligible homeowners to modify terms of their loans to make monthly mortgage payments more affordable.
The loan modification program affects Texans who are in default or likely to default on subprime mortgages from Countrywide, a financially struggling company recently acquired by Bank of America.
Possible help measures include:
• Lower interest rates to as low as 2.5 percent for up to five years.
• Conversion of adjustable-rate mortgages to fixed-term loans.
• Reduced principal loan amounts.
• Suspension of foreclosure for eligible homeowners who are in default but want to stay in their homes.
Distressed Texas homeowners will get up to $350 million worth of benefits as part of an $8.4 billion settlement involving deceptive lending practices.