Industry News

Countrywide working with protesters on foreclosure prevention

Lender, ACORN plan to bury the hatchet

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Countrywide Financial Corp. announced Friday that it's working with a community group that has been critical of its efforts to engage in workouts with troubled borrowers on a foreclosure prevention initiative that it hopes to launch in early 2008. Countrywide and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) "anticipate final release of the groundbreaking provisions of the home retention initiative soon after the new year," Countrywide said in a statement Friday. ACORN organized protests in October at Countrywide offices in major U.S. cities including New York, Miami, Baltimore, Cleveland and San Jose, saying the company was not doing enough to prevent foreclosures. ACORN has pressed Countrywide to modify the loan terms of troubled borrowers, converting adjustable-rate loans to fixed-rate mortgages for those who would not be able to afford interest-rate resets. "It's not enough for Countrywide to offer unaffordable payment plans and short-term modifi...