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A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

November 3, 2008
New hope for struggling local borrowers with WAMU loans

Check Tuesday's paper for a regional look at JPMorgan Chase's new plan to rewrite up to 400,000 mortgages made by Washington Mutual before it failed last month. Chase is the new owner of WAMU's portfolio and announced last Friday that it will try to keep most of those borrowers in their homes instead of headed for foreclosure.

 There's a lot being read into this when combined with Bank of America's recent similar announcement to rewrite 400,000 loans made by its new subsidiary, Countrywide. The mortgage banking landscape is shifting in the wake of all these implosions and the giants that remain seem more willing to modify loans than to foreclose. It's cheaper, they figure.

WAMU and Countrywide were among the biggest lenders in the capital region during the heady last days of the housing boom. Many of their loans were risky and are now millstones around the necks of Sacramento-area borrowers.

Here is a detailed account of what Chase plans to do with these WAMU loans. It has especially good information on how it is going to try to modify those risky pay option ARMS that WAMU so loved to make.

Here is also the Chase news release.

If you're a WAMU borrower, Chase advises you to call the number on your loan statement for more information. Otherwise, the lender will begin contacting people within 90 days - and promises not to foreclose on anyone during that time period.

If you're a Countrywide borrower and want more information on its big loan modification program being rolled out on Dec. 1, call this number at its Homeownership Rentention Division: 1-800-669-6650).

Good luck.



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