BUSINESS

Struggling IndyMac Borrowers May Not Know They're Entitled To Help

12/01/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s program to lower loan payments for struggling borrowers with mortgages from IndyMac Bank has been lauded by consumer advocates and government leaders as a model of foreclosure prevention.

But when the FDIC, which is running IndyMac, mailed out 35,000 letters offering homeowners a chance to rework the terms of their mortgages, more than half the borrowers were apparently so discouraged, scared or stressed out that they didn't bother to respond.

"Anecdotally, what you hear is that a lot of people kind of hunker down when they're getting into trouble with their mortgages, and maybe just stop opening the mail," said Mike Krimminger, a special policy advisor to FDIC Chairwoman Sheila C. Bair.

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