Countrywide, ACORN partner for foreclosure prevention

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Countrywide Financial Corp. announced today it's partnering with the community group ACORN to engage in workouts with subprime borrowers -- even if they are already in default, and regardless of whether they have fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages. ACORN, or the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, held demonstrations outside of Countrywide offices last fall, complaining that its foreclosure prevention initiatives were inadequate. The collaborative agreement announced today goes beyond Countrywide's previous efforts, which were primarily targeted at borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) who were still current on their loans and faced potential payment shock with an interest-rate reset. The agreement calls for ACORN counselors and Countrywide loan servicers to use a "streamlined approach" to help delinquent subprime borrowers with fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgages stay in their homes, through short-term repayment plans or loan modifications ...