Sunday, January 11, 2009

Got a Countrywide Mortgage? You May be Eligible for Help.

Bank of America, the new parent company for Countryside, has settled the suits against it by the governments of: Illinois, California, Iowa, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, Washington and Connecticut. The states of North Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana and Michigan were also in settlement talks. They involve accusations of deceptive mortgage practices by Countryside in the last few years. Among the charges by various state's attorneys-general, Countryside offered "teaser" rates that were short-lived and then jumped significantly. It's alleged that they also offered loans to people who could not adequately document their incomes, knowing that they would be unable to pay in the future. The total amount of money under the state settlements could run up to $8 billion dollars, and affect 400,000 borrowers.

What does this mean for you? If you had a mortgage from Countryside, depending on the settlement struck by your state, you may be eligible for a renegotiation of your mortgage, or foreclosure relief. It's earmarked for customers who have been foreclosed on or are in serious risk of foreclosure. In Ohio, eligible mortgage holders should soon start getting letters, telling them about their options. For more information, call 1-800-669-6607.

If you are in one of the other states affected, and have gotten a loan from Countrywide in the past few years, contact the attorney general's office in your state to see if you may be eligible for assistance.

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