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Saturday, February 16, 2008

PROJECT LIFELINE

February 16, 2008

Federal Agencies Announce New Foreclosure Help
On February 12, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and HUD Secretary Alfonso Jackson announced that the HOPE NOW alliance, which is comprised of the nation's six largest mortgage lenders, would join together in a new effort to reduce the number of home foreclosure across the nation. The new effort is called Project Lifeline.

As part of this effort, the six lenders, Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide, Chase, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo, will reach out to "seriously delinquent homeowners" whose mortgages they hold and who face the greatest risk of losing their homes. Foreclosure proceedings against homeowners who respond to the outreach will be "paused" for 30 days, during which time the homeowner and loan servicer will attempt to come up with a loan modification that allows the homeowner to keep their home. Although the lenders have committed to outreach, struggling homeowners do not have to wait for a call from the mortgage servicer. Homeowners can call their servicer directly and ask about Project Lifeline or call the national foreclosure helpline operated by the HOPE NOW alliance at 1-888-955-HOPE.

Treasury Secretary Paulson said he expects the number of lending institutions participating in Project Lifeline to grow in the future. (Michael Wallace, wallace@nlc.org, 202.626.3025)

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