30- day moratorium on foreclosures

Feb 12, 2008

Six of the nation's largest mortgage lenders are suspending foreclosures for 30 days, the U.S. Treasury Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Tuesday morning.

Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Countrywide Financial Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Washington Mutual Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. are chief backers of President Bush's Hope Now alliance, a private sector-led effort to help minimize the impact of the housing downturn on homeowners, neighborhoods and the U.S. economy.

The lenders, which represent 50 percent of the mortgage market, will lead Project Lifeline, a targeted outreach to homeowners' 90-days or more delinquent in the foreclosure process.

"This is an important new initiative, targeted to reach not only subprime borrowers, but all 90-day delinquent homeowners nationwide with a step-by-step approach to find individual solutions to individual problems," Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. wrote in statement released Tuesday. "No program can bring every struggling borrower into the counseling and evaluation process, and we cannot help those who choose not to honor their obligations. But Project Lifeline has the potential to offer new solutions to responsible, able homeowners who want to keep their homes."

According to RealtyTrac Inc., 2007 foreclosure filings in Arizona totaled nearly 70,000, a 151 percent jump from 2006. Nationally, there were 2.2 million foreclosures filings last year, according to the real estate research group.

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