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Countrywide's Press Release For Homeowners: Fact Or Fiction?

Thursday, 6 Dec 2007 | 4:10 PM ET

Countrywide has put out a press release titled, "Countrywide Wants to Help Dispel Home Buying Myths." In it we learn you can still get a jumbo loan without 20 percent down (see the text I put in bold below.) Here are some of the tips it provides for prospective home buyers:

FACT: Now may be a great time to shop.
Most people buy a home when the time is right for them. And, now may be a great time to shop given the available home inventory and buyer bargaining power. Whether you're looking for a newly built home or a re-sell – deals abound. Just as important as getting the best deal on your new home is choosing the right home financing solution to close the transaction. Recently, Countrywide launched its America's Open House campaign to help ensure home seekers have access to information to make informed decisions. The campaign has been a resounding success with Countrywide representatives assisting home buyers at more than 25,000 open houses across the country.

FACT: Most buyers still have a number of mortgage options available to them.
While access to money for funding home loans has been reduced over the last few months, and some loan options have gone away, most home buyers are still able to qualify for a wide array of choices. Those buyers can leverage the current home buyer's market to get a good deal and then choose a mortgage they can comfortably manage.

If you're a first time buyer looking to move up into a larger home or even a buyer with a credit score that is not perfect, explore your options. The fact is there are still financing options available. For starters, jumbo loans (loans greater than $417,000) are still available. Additionally, low down payment options remain available, meaning buyers don't necessarily need 20 percent down Those with credit scores that are not perfect may well find that FHA and VA loans can be good alternatives.

Meantime, I got the following email from someone who really personifies the mess--beyond the housing debacle to really our entire our culture of credit.

This is from Lori B:
It started for me with when I was employed before I became disabled. Then a late payment, and a late charge, then a boost in my rate, then another change in my payment date because 'my cycle had changed.' I stopped having a cycle years ago. Anyway, that was another reason for another late payment and another interest rate change. It got to be a game, not for me, but for the lenders like Bank of America, Discovery, Chase and the other blood suckers...you couldn't reason with them, they weren't interested. The bottom line was, keep on charging, as one man put it, you can still use our money, it will just cost more...my credit is ruined and I am working on trying to live within my means, which means giving up anything extra just to pay the high rates and try to get my credit back...people like Mozilla have made the public so indignant that they call for moral retribution, but where do I get in line?

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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