Industry News

More loan servicers join HOPE NOW program

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Six mortgage loan servicers have joined the Bush administration's HOPE NOW alliance since the group was formed in October to contact borrowers in danger of defaulting on their loans and help some refinance or modify the terms of their loans to avoid foreclosure. With the addition of Carrington Mortgage Services, IndyMac Bank, Litton Loan Servicing, Merrill Lynch: Home Loan Services/Wilshire, Morgan Stanley/Saxon, and Ocwen Loan Servicing, HOPE NOW membership now includes more than 20 loan servicers, who collect payments on 90 percent of subprime loans, the group said this week. In December, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that HOPE NOW members had agreed on procedures for engaging in loan refinancings and loan modifications that he said could help as many as 1.2 million borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). Critics said the number of borrowers helped by the initiative could be much lower -- the Center for Responsible Lending estimated that 145,000...