FROM DOW JONES NEWSWIRE: Washington Mutual Inc.
The bank also added
Critics have blamed part of the mortgage crisis on banks and other lenders who allowed borrowers to buy homes with little or no money down and devised complicated mortgages that borrowers may not have understood.
It also is halting WaMu Mortgage Plus loans, which combined a first mortgage and a home equity line of credit into a single loan.
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) today announced that it is dedicating an additional $1 billion as part of its borrowers’ assistance program designed to help WaMu homeowners with subprime mortgage loans stabilize their finances and avoid foreclosure.
“Since the fund was first established in April, 2007, WaMu has helped more than 7,500 homeowners work to avoid foreclosure. Now that we have utilized most of the initial funding, we are adding an additional $1 billion to the original commitment for a total of $3 billion dedicated to assisting our borrowers,” said Kerry Killinger, chief executive officer of Washington Mutual.
Under the program, eligible WaMu subprime borrowers who remain current on their existing loans and anticipate pending payment increases may apply for new discounted fixed-rate loans or other mortgage products available to them.
A team of loan specialists provide counseling and assistance to WaMu subprime customers who have the means and motivation to take the actions necessary to keep their homes. A toll-free number (1-800-881-7099) is available to WaMu customers who would like to inquire about this expanded program.
The company also continues to encourage any WaMu borrower whose loans may have become delinquent to immediately reach out to the company’s experienced team of mortgage professionals who can help determine if there are workout options available to help keep borrowers in their homes.
For more information about WaMu’s comprehensive homeownership preservation efforts, visit www.wamu.com/wamucares.
Streamlined Product Suite
As part of the company’s retail-focused business strategy, WaMu also announced a simplified set of home loan products that are available to customers through WaMu’s Retail Banking stores and Internet and telephone sales channel.
“We’ve carefully selected a core set of products that continue to meet the home purchasing and financing needs of qualified borrowers, while also recognizing the current mortgage lending environment,” said David Schneider, president, WaMu Home Loans.
WaMu’s prime first mortgage product set falls into four basic categories: fixed rate mortgages; hybrid amortizing adjustable rate mortgages (ARMS); hybrid interest-only ARMS; and Home Equity products. WaMu will discontinue all negative amortizing loan product options, and will also cease to offer its WaMu Mortgage Plus™ loan product.
“WaMu continues to provide a broad range of attractive loan options for most consumers looking to purchase or refinance a home. We’ve been offering home loans since 1890 and remain dedicated to responsibly meeting the home financing needs of the communities we serve,” added Schneider.
WaMu, through its subsidiaries, is one of the nation’s leading consumer and small business banks. At March 31, 2008, WaMu and its subsidiaries had assets of $319.67 billion. The company has a history dating back to 1889 and its subsidiary banks currently operate approximately 2,500 consumer and small business banking stores throughout the nation. WaMu’s financial reports and news releases are available at www.wamu.com/ir.