Today Countrywide Financial agreed to modify home loans in Texas and 10 other states as part of the largest predatory lending lawsuit settlement in history.

Countrywide will:

  • provide $8.4 billion in direct loan relief
  • waive late fees totaling $79 million
  • waive prepayment penalties of $56 million
  • suspend foreclosures on delinquent borrowers with the riskiest loans
  • create a $150 million foreclosure relief fund for borrowers who are at least four month delinquent
  • provide $70 million to help troubled borrowers relocate to rental housing
  • reduce principal balances in some cases and cut interest rates in others

Who May Qualify

Borrowers whose first loan payment was due between Jan. 1, 2004, and Dec. 31, 2007, can participate in the loan modification program. The borrower’s loan balance must be at least 75% of the current value of the home, and the borrower must be able to afford the adjusted monthly payments.

As the housing bubble continues to deflate, we will probably see more predatory lending lawsuits and settlements popping up on the landscape. But be forewarned, although Countrywide has promised these measures, homeowners to should seek any and all remedies to avoid foreclosure and consult with a professional attorney before agreeing to any modifications to their loan.