Evanston homeowners who obtained mortgage loans through Countrywide, the nation’s largest mortgage lender and servicer, may be eligible for loan modifications as a result of a multi-state settlement announced this month.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office negotiated the settlement with Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide earlier this year. Nine other states joined the settlement which was led by the Illinois and the California attorneys general offices.

Homeowners who received a subprime loan or a Pay Option ARM through Countrywide between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2007, and cannot afford the monthly payments, may be eligible for a modification of their loan.

Borrowers who are behind on their payments or are likely to fall behind should contact Countrywide at 800-669-6607. Have your loan account number ready. Borrowers who are already in the foreclosure process should call the Attorney General’s Mortgage Assistance Helpline at 866-544-7151.

More details on the settlement are available on the City of Evanston website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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