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Countrywide's Press Release On Helping Homeowners

Countrywide Financial sent out a press release saying it helped 81,000 people KEEP their homes in 2007. Here's the press release.

Specifically, the company says it modified 56,000 mortgages last year, 10,000 of them in December alone, allowing people to stay in their homes. But not everyone got to. The company allowed nearly 8,000 short sales in 2007, 1,000 of them in December.

A short sale is when a lender lets a homeowner sell a house for less than what the bank is owed, "forgiving" the difference. It's usually a better option for all parties versus foreclosure, especially now that Congress has passed a law that won't tax you on that forgiven debt as income.

Clearly, Countrywide realizes there is still more work to do. It has a $16 billion home retention effort to help more than 82,000 people facing resets in their mortgages this year. No word on what happens when Bank of America takes over the company in the third quarter.

A FOLLOW UP ON STOCKTON
One note about Stockton, the foreclosure capital of the nation. I've been working on stories there with realtor Kevin Moran, a great guy who knows the market, and who watched his own real estate business implode in the housing bust. He's been trying to recover by becoming the go-to guy for banks looking to fix-up and sell houses they've foreclosed on. He's starting to have some success doing that.

But now, even Moran can no longer afford his own mortgage, and he's trying to convince his bank to allow a short sale of his home. He's a great guy who, like so many others in the housing business, has seen his livelihood disappear, making him moreof a foreclosure expert than he ever wanted to be. It is a tough time, folks.

Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com
  • 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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