I'm in Boston today at the headquarters of NACA (Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America), working on a piece about their new agreement with Countrywide to modify hundreds of loans. So far, Countrywide is the only major lender working with NACA to restructure loans based on the borrower's ability to pay.
Say all the bad stuff you want about the loans Countrywide sold during the heady days of the housing boom, but from what I have seen so far they really are saving some loans that were headed for foreclosure.
Enough about that, the real nugget is that while I was at NACA's offices, there just so happened to be a few reps from Chase meeting behind closed doors with Bruce Marks, who brokered the Countrywide deal. Marks, NACA's chief, told me Chase is very interested in the computer model NACA has developed to determine what borrowers can afford to pay and how their loans should be modified based upon that. No deal to report, but they're talking.
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