Where can I obtain more information about the Attorney General's settlement with Countrywide?
A copy of the Consent Judgment is available here
Which borrowers may be eligible for loan modifications?
The settlement provides for loan modifications for eligible borrowers who are 60 days or more delinquent, or become 60 days delinquent, on subprime or pay option loans that they obtained from Countrywide or from a broker working with Countrywide.
Borrowers with these loans may be eligible for modification if the first payment on their loan was due between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007, they live in the property that serves as security for the mortgage, they owe 75% or more of the current value of their home, and they can afford the new, lower payment under the modification. Additional details are available at: Countrywide National Homeownership Retention Program.
I have a Subprime or Pay Option Loan. Does that mean I am eligible for a modification under the Settlement?
The Attorney General's Office cannot say whether or not a particular borrower will or will not get a modification. That will depend on the borrower's individual circumstances, including whether the borrower can afford payments on the modified loan.
What if I am delinquent on my mortgage but don't have a Subprime or Pay Option loan?
Countrywide is pledging to evaluate all other borrowers with payment difficulties for possible modifications on a case-by-case basis. If you are having difficulties making payments on your loan but do not have a subprime or pay option loan, you should call Countrywide at (800) 669-6607. Please visit Countrywide Eligiblilty for more information.
When will the modifications start?
On or before December 1, 2008, Countrywide will begin contacting borrowers who may be eligible for modifications.
Furthermore, you can call Countrywide toll-free at (800) 669-6607 to find out now if you are potentially eligible for loan modification under this settlement.
Can I contact Countrywide to ask for a modification?
Under the settlement, Countrywide will contact all borrowers who may be eligible for a modification. However, you can also call Countrywide toll-free at (800) 669-6607 to ask for a modification. If you do call Countrywide, please write down the full name of the person you talk to, and the date and time of your call.
I think I should get a modification. Do I have to continue making payments on my Countrywide loan until then?
The settlement does not by itself change your loan payment or allow you to stop making payments. Borrowers who may be considered for a modification will be contacted by Countrywide and also can contact Countrywide at (800)669-6607 with specific questions about their loan.
You should not stop making payments on your loan just because you think you might qualify for a modification. If you have the ability to pay but stop making your payments, you will likely damage your credit, and may significantly harm your chances of actually receiving a modification.
What loan terms will borrowers receive if they obtain a modification?
The exact terms of a modification will vary from borrower to borrower, depending on the borrower's circumstances (such as loan amount, the borrower's income, and the current value of the borrower's home). Generally, borrowers will be considered for possible interest rate reductions or conversion to an interest-only loan for five or ten years.
What about late fees and prepayment penalties?
The settlement requires Countrywide to waive late fees for borrowers with subprime or pay option loans who receive a modification, as well as prepayment penalties for borrowers with subprime or pay option loans who receive a modification or are able to refinance or pay off their loans.
What if I am current on my loan now but think I will not be able to make my payments in the future?
The agreement requires Countrywide to make loan modifications for eligible borrowers through June 30, 2012. Also, if you think you will have any difficulties making your payments in the future, you are encouraged to contact Countrywide now at (800) 669-6607.
Can I call a local Countrywide branch or my loan broker to ask for a modification?
No. At least at this time, you should not call a local branch or broker. Instead, contact Countrywide at (800)669-6607 to ask about the modification under the settlement or to ask any other questions you may have about the settlement.
Can we trust Countrywide to make all these loan modifications?
The Attorney General's office will monitor Countrywide throughout this process. The settlement requires Countrywide to make regular reports to the Attorney General's Office regarding which borrowers do and do not get a modification, and the reasons why.
Can I still sue Countrywide if I get a loan modification under the settlement?
Yes. Borrowers will not have to release any legal claims they may have against Countrywide in order to receive a modification of their loan.
What if I have already lost my house to foreclosure?
Countrywide will allocate funds nationally under a foreclosure relief program to provide relief for borrowers whose loans were originated directly by Countrywide (or through brokers) between 2004 and 2007. To be eligible, the borrower must have had a Countrywide loan and lived in the home that was foreclosed. The first payment on the loan must have been due between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2007, and the borrower must have made at least six or fewer payments before the foreclosure. The Attorney General's office is in the process of determining which specific borrowers will be eligible for payments under this program, and the amount of those payments.
Eligible borrowers will receive a notice from the office of the Attorney General in the next few months.
Please note that to receive a cash payment under this program, borrowers will have to sign and return a release of any legal claims they may have against Countrywide regarding their mortgage loan. We urge borrowers to consult with a private attorney, or, if they qualify, a legal services attorney before signing the release. Please read below for information on finding an attorney.
What if I lose my house to foreclosure in the future?
The settlement also requires Countrywide to make relocation assistance payments to borrowers who lose their homes to foreclosure in the future. The amount of those payments may vary from borrower to borrower, depending on individual circumstances such as the size of the household.
Can you give me advice on whether I have other legal claims against Countrywide?
The Attorney General's Office is not able to give you legal or other advice on this matter. If you would like advice, please consult a private attorney of your choosing or a legal aid attorney if you qualify.
How can I find a lawyer?
The Nevada State Bar Association has information about attorney referrals at its website. Click on the link for “Lawyer Referral Services” on the left side column of the page, or contact the State Bar of Nevada's Lawyer Referral and Information Service at (702) 382-0504, or toll free at (800) 789-5747.
Can I still report questionable practices to the Attorney General's Office about Countrywide?
Yes. Due to the volume of information that we receive in the Attorney General's Office, we are unable to reply and investigate every submission. Please note, our office represents the State of Nevada as a whole and thus cannot act as a private individual's attorney and cannot provide legal advice to private citizens. This means we cannot give act as a private mediator, give legal advice, provide opinions or interpret Nevada law for individuals regarding any issues including the foreclosure process.
Is this settlement part of the bailout passed by Congress?
No. It is a separate settlement between Countrywide and the Nevada Attorney General.
Does the Settlement include non-Nevada borrowers?
Countrywide is adopting the mortgage modification plan nationwide. However, the monetary relief for borrowers who have already been foreclosed is only available in states that have formally agreed to participate in the settlement. To find out if your state is participating, please contact the Attorney General's office in your state.
I do not have a Countrywide mortgage, but I am having trouble making my loan payments. What should I do?
Borrowers having difficulty making their loan payments should immediately contact their loan servicer to discuss their options. Also, a counselor with a HUD-certified housing counseling agency can provide valuable assistance by assessing the borrower's situation, answering questions, going over options, prioritizing debts, and helping borrowers prepare for discussions with their loan servicers. A list of HUD-certified housing counselors is available at HUD's website.
Do I have to pay a third party in order to receive a loan modification from Countrywide (or any other lender)?
No. Borrowers should be aware that mortgage foreclosure rescue consultants prey upon Homeowner's who are having financial hardship. These consultants promise to help consumers stay in their homes – for a fee. They take money and then either provide services that the homeowner or a not-for-profit HUD-certified housing counseling agency could have performed for free or no service at all. If someone contacts you about foreclosure rescue services, please contact your local Attorney General's Office.