Marshall & Ilsley Joins Nationwide Trend, Enacts Foreclosure Moratorium
Marshall & Ilsley Corp. (MI) jumped on the moratorium bandwagon Friday when it announced a 90-day foreclosure moratorium on all owner-occupied residential loans, as part of a system-wide program "designed to keep families in their homes by helping homeowners avoid delinquency and foreclosure." In addition to existing stipulation plans, loan modifications, extensions, and short-term forbearance options, the Milwaukee, Wis.-based bank has enhanced its foreclosure relief program to encompass "several options" to reduce borrowers' monthly payments, while streamlining assistance programs that will identify and proactively reach out to distressed homeowners, according to an M&I press release. M&I is one of many agencies in recent months to enact a foreclosure prevention program that includes a temporary moratorium. States alike have enacted blanket, state-wide moratoriums, a trend seen as helpful to some, but frowned upon by many Housing Wire sources that believe moratorium's just delay the inevitable. Dustin Hobbs, a spokesman for the California Mortgage Bankers Association, called a blanket moratorium “a Band-Aid approach” that fails to address the situations and circumstances of each borrower and find a suitable solution. But Mark Furlong, president and CEO of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation, said "during these stressful economic times, M&I is committed to ensuring our customers have access to the resources and products that can enable them to stay in their homes." Tom Barrett, Mayor of Milwaukee, praised M&I's efforts, and pledged his confidence in the company's actions to help families keep their homes as they "work to get back on their financial feet." Marshall & Ilsley Corporation is a financial services corporation with $63.5 billion in assets -- the largest Wisconsin-based bank, with 193 offices throughout the state, and various offices scattered across the U.S. The moratorium applies to loans in all M&I markets and extends through March 31, 2009, and is of course, contingent on customers who "agree to work in good faith to reach a successful repayment agreement." Write to Kelly Curran at email@example.com. Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.