PDA

View Full Version : BofA in $8.6 bln settlement over Countrywide loans



Slimprofits
10-07-08, 03:30 PM
Reuters - 10/06/2008 (http://www.reuters.com/article/americasRegulatoryNews/idUSBNG28749420081006?sp=true)



As part of a settlement with state attorneys general that could be worth as much as $8.6 billion, Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Monday it would cut interest rates and principal on some troubled mortgages originated by Countrywide Financial Corp.

Bank of America, which bought Countrywide in July, reached a deal with attorneys general representing 11 states in which it will offer more affordable and sustainable mortgage payments for borrowers who had financed their homes with subprime loans or adjustable-rate mortgages serviced by Countrywide.

"This is good," said Christopher Whalen, managing director at Institutional Risk Analytics, a provider of analysis and ratings for banks. "I hate to say we'll need to see a lot more of this, but we will. Banks have no choice because the economy's getting so flat. They're going to become increasingly aggressive about keeping homeowners in their homes."

The Countrywide settlement will likely become the largest predatory lending settlement in history, the California attorney general's office said in a statement.

"With this settlement, homeowners will receive direct relief from the catastrophic damage caused by Countrywide," said California Attorney General Edmund Brown in a statement.

"Countrywide's lending practices turned the American dream into a nightmare for tens of thousands of families by putting them into loans they couldn't understand and ultimately couldn't afford," he said.

[..]

The deal applies to people who financed their homes with subprime loans or pay-option adjustable-rate mortgages serviced by Countrywide that originated before Dec. 31, 2007. Some 400,000 borrowers could be helped by the agreement.

The program centers around a loan modification process, valued up to $8.4 billion, aimed at providing relief to eligible borrowers who are "seriously delinquent" or are likely to become so due to loan features, such as rate resets or payment recasts.

About 12 percent of the eligible loans are held by Bank of America and the cost of restructuring these loans is "within the range of losses we estimated when we acquired Countrywide," Bank of America said.

Under the program, eligible Countrywide-serviced customers who occupy the home as their primary residence will not be charged loan modification fees, and prepayment penalties for subprime and pay-option ARM loans will be waived, the bank said.

Some $150 million has been set aside for borrowers in certain states who suffered foreclosure or are at serious risk of foreclosure, the bank said.

An additional $70 million has been set aside for relocation assistance to borrowers unable to retain their homes.

Attorneys general in 11 states, including Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington, are participating in the settlement.

The settlement does not include Angelo Mozilo, the former chairman and chief executive of Countrywide Financial Corporation or David Sambol, formerly the president of Countrywide Home Loans and president and chief operating officer of Countrywide Financial Corporation.

grapejelly
10-07-08, 03:40 PM
this is really window dressing to make the state AGs look good.BofA knew about this and prolly negotiated it in advance.

There will be very few principal reductions except for loans that the Treasury buys. Loan mods are being done anyway so this is a big lie, that this is anything novel or different.

Slimprofits
10-07-08, 04:08 PM
this is really window dressing to make the state AGs look good.BofA knew about this and prolly negotiated it in advance.

There will be very few principal reductions except for loans that the Treasury buys. Loan mods are being done anyway so this is a big lie, that this is anything novel or different.

Oh this falls under the AIG bailout bill? D'oh! Lenders will choose which borrowers to help. Thanks for reminding me.

grapejelly
10-07-08, 06:28 PM
Oh this falls under the AIG bailout bill? D'oh! Lenders will choose which borrowers to help. Thanks for reminding me.

lenders are doing loan mods anyway. They have to. This agreement makes the AGs look good so they can win re-election. There is the dangling carrot of principal reductions but there isn't enough money in the world to give homeowners those...not at any scale.