Deal will help subprime borrowers

02/11/08 Mitch E. Perry
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The grassroots activist group ACORN today announced that it had reached an agreement with Countrywide, the nation’s largest mortgage company, that will provide millions of dollars to help subprime borrowers avoid foreclosure.

Carolyn Patmon is with the Orlando office of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Her office picketed the offices of Countrywide before the mortgage company decided to work them.

Florida was second state in the country last year, ranked only behind Nevada, in the number of foreclosures as the subprime loan crisis hit the Sunshine State particularly hard.

In December alone, the state had more than 31,000 foreclosure filings, according to an industry research group. That was a 275 percent increase from the previous year.

Patmon said the agreement is much better for homeowners with subprime loans than the plan offered in December by President Bush and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Patmon said she hopes this agreement with Countrywide will set the template for other mortgage companies to follow in trying to help out the million-plus Americans with owner occupied subprime mortgages.

Today’s announcement was to have been made last month, but was delayed after Countrrywide agreed to be acquired by Bank of America.

Countrywide last year made 1 in 6 U.S. home loans, it stopped making subprime mortgages after critics accused the company of offering loans that people could not afford.

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