Industry News

Five banks commit $125M for New England refis

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Five banks have committed $125 million to help New England homeowners with good payment histories refinance out of high-cost loans or avoid interest rate resets on adjustable-rate mortgages. At least 38,000 borrowers in six New England states may be eligible for help under the program, but the initial funding pledged by Citizens Bank, Sovereign Bank, TD Banknorth, Webster Bank and Bank of America would only fund about 500 mortgages. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which organized the Mortgage Relief Fund, is hoping it will be expanded to include more banks and more funding. "If the demand proves to be greater than the initial $125 million commitment, we will try to go further -- especially if the mortgages can be securitized," participants in the program said in a press release. Backers said outreach is a key part of the initiative, and the banks have created a Web site, www.MortgageReliefFund.com, providing more information for borrowers and information on contacti...