03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Countrywide Offers "Unprecedented Remedies" To Struggling Mortgage Holders

Countrywide Financial announced Tuesday it will begin contacting about 82,000 borrowers to offer refinancing or modifications for a total of $16 billion worth of loans. The U.S.'s largest lender is targeting home buyers who are facing higher payments on adjustable-rate mortgages before the end of 2008. "Unprecedented times call for unprecedented remedies," company President David Sambol said. "We are determined to assist borrowers who have the willingness and wherewithal to remain in their homes, but need a little help to do it." Countrywide said it would refinance about $10 billion in loans and modify another $4 billion for borrowers who face resets next year. In addition, the company will reach out to borrowers owing about $2.2 billion, who are already late on their loans and are having trouble paying them because of a recent rate reset, and provide some type of relief. Countrywide shares have dropped 63% this year because of the housing slump and credit turmoil; however, shares were up 2.0% to $15.68 in pre-market trading Tuesday.

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