CNN Show Viewers the Right Way to Handle a Distressed Mortgage

Rather than beating up on home lenders and accuse them of intentionally targeting borrowers who were in over the head, CNN took a more instructive approach.

The April 14 edition of CNN's new business show, "Issue #1," showed that there are ways other than whining and moaning about how you were victimized by an unscrupulous lender. A Brooklyn, N.Y., homeowner on the brink of foreclosure sent a letter to a lender asking for some leeway on her mortgage payments.

"I'm a single, divorced mother living alone with my children," Jillian Simmons said to CNN, reading the letter she sent to Fremont Investment and Loan (NYSE:FMT). "Please lower my rate from 7.95 percent I have at the moment so that somehow my payments will be more affordable and changed to a fixed rate. Thank you, Jillian Simmons."

Fremont did more than that - they offered her a deal that lowered her payments significantly.

"Fremont Investment and Loan did more than Jillian had asked," CNN senior correspondent Allan Chernoff said. "The bank lowered her interest rate by three percentage points, dropping her payments by $1,000 a month and made the loan a fixed rate mortgage, to keep her monthly payments constant."

Compare that to a story on the April 3 "World News with Charles Gibson." That report showed a family with an income of less than $30,000 a year that managed to get a loan for a $335,000 home.

This family managed to hold on to their home by suing their lender and claiming victim status. They claimed they were duped by a predatory home lender and the court allowed them to stay in their home. "World News" portrayed it as a "victory for the little guys."