Sunday, July 3, 2011

Banks Easing Terms or Debt on Some Option ARM Loans - NYTimes.com

Banks Easing Terms or Debt on Some Option ARM Loans - NYTimes.com

As millions of Americans struggle in foreclosure with little hope of relief, big banks are going to borrowers who are not even in default and cutting their debt or easing the mortgage terms, sometimes with no questions asked.

Two of the nation’s biggest lenders, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, are quietly modifying loans for tens of thousands of borrowers who have not asked for help but whom the banks deem to be at special risk.

Rula Giosmas is one of the beneficiaries. Last year she received a letter from Chase saying it was cutting in half the amount she owed on her condominium.

Banks are proactively overhauling loans for borrowers like Ms. Giosmas who have so-called pay option adjustable rate mortgages, which were popular in the wild late stages of the housing boom but which banks now view as potentially troublesome.

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