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Former Countrywide exec heads firm targeting troubled mortgages

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — The former president and chief operating officer of Countrywide Financial Corp. will run a new mortgage company formed to acquire and restructure distressed mortgages.

Stanford Kurland will head the new venture unveiled Monday that’s backed by Investment management firms BlackRock Inc. and Highfields Capital Management. Kurland left Countrywide in late 2006.

The new company called Private National Mortgage — also known as PennyMac — intends to help borrowers restructure loans so they can avoid foreclosure and maintain payments.

Mortgage delinquency and default rates have risen rapidly since the middle of 2007, leading to a growing number of foreclosures.

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