Countrywide Moves to Ease Mortgage Misery

The lender says a new refinancing plan could help homeowners avoid foreclosure. But the biggest beneficiaries may be financial players like hedge funds

On the eve of the mortgage rate resets for a swath of subprime and prime mortgages, Countrywide Financial (CFC) on Oct. 23 unveiled a new program that will help up to 82,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure by allowing them to refinance or modify their mortgage loans. But analysts say that the program, which the company's COO called an "unprecedented remedy" in a press release, is just calling public attention to something that Countrywide and other large mortgage servicers have already been doing.

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