News & Alerts - California Dept. of Justice - Office of the Attorney General
In a nutshell, this settlement will enable eligible subprime and pay-option mortgage borrowers to avoid foreclosure by obtaining a modified and affordable loan. The loans covered by the settlement are among the riskiest and highest defaulting loans at the center of America’s foreclosure crisis. Assuming every eligible borrower and investor participates, this loan modification program will provide up to $3.5 billion to California borrowers as follows:
• Suspension of foreclosures for eligible borrowers with subprime and pay-option adjustable rate loans pending determination of borrower ability to afford loan modifications;
• Loan modifications valued at up to $3.4 billion worth of reduced interest payments and, for certain borrowers, reduction of their principal balances;
• Waiver of late fees of up to $33.6 million;
• Waiver of prepayment penalties of up to $25.6 million for borrowers who receive modifications, pay off, or refinance their loans;
• $27.9 million in payments to borrowers who are 120 or more days delinquent or whose homes have already been foreclosed; and
• Approximately $25.2 million in additional payments to borrowers who, in the future, cannot afford monthly payments under the loan modification program and lose their homes to foreclosure.
More specifically, the modification program covers subprime and pay-option adjustable-rate mortgage loans in which the borrower’s first payment was due between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007. The program will be available for loans in default that are secured by owner-occupied property and serviced by Countrywide Financial or one of its affiliates. In addition, the borrower’s loan balance must be 75% or more of the current value of the home, and the borrower must be able to afford adjusted monthly payments under the terms of the modification.
The terms of the modification will vary based on the type of loan, including:
• “Pay-option ARM loans,” in which loan balances increase each month if a borrower makes only a minimum payment. Borrowers may be eligible to have their principal reduced to 95% of their home’s current value and may also qualify for an interest-rate reduction or conversion to an interest-only payment.
• Subprime adjustable-rate loans, such as 2/28 loans. Borrowers may have their interest rate reduced to the initial rate. If the borrower still cannot afford it, the borrower may be eligible for further interest-rate reductions to as low as 3.5%.
• Subprime fixed loans. Borrowers may be eligible for interest-rate reductions.
• “Hope for Homeowners Program.” If they qualify, some borrowers may be placed in loans made through this federal program.
• Alt-A and prime loans. Borrowers who are in default, but have Alt-A and prime loans, may also be considered for modifications, depending on circumstances.
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