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The Boston Globe

Business

Write-downs give some homeowners a break

Pushed by government incentives and political pressure, mortgage lenders are forgiving millions in loans

BROCKTON — Donald and Stacey Dobbins fought for seven years to save their modest four-bedroom Colonial from foreclosure, unable to keep up with ballooning debt on the house they bought in 2005 for $297,000 without any money down.

In December, however, the family’s housing nightmare ended with a proposal that at first seemed unreal. The Dobbinses’ lender, GMAC Mortgage, offered to erase a whopping $190,000 from their debilitating debt and cut the interest rate to 4.4 percent. That reduced the monthly mortgage payment to $1,400, almost half of what they were paying.

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