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Webster Suspends Home Foreclosures

Will Work to Structure New Affordable Payment Plans, Reach Out to At-Risk Customers

WATERBURY, Conn., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Webster Bank, N.A., a subsidiary of Webster Financial Corporation (NYSE: WBS), announced today a 90-day moratorium on home foreclosures for Webster owned mortgages and the expansion of mortgage assistance programs aimed at keeping families in their homes.

Under the program, Webster will temporarily suspend foreclosure activity for at least 90 days for all qualified homeowners who were more than 30 days delinquent on their Webster residential mortgages as of Nov. 4 and work with those customers to structure more affordable payment plans so they can stay in their homes. The program applies to all eligible mortgages owned by Webster.

In addition to the temporary foreclosure moratorium, Webster will expand its mortgage assistance program by identifying and contacting at-risk customers to see if they need help to remain current on their mortgages.

"Our goal, as always, is to identify and meet the financial needs of our customers. During this challenging economic time, we feel a heightened responsibility to assist those who are under financial pressure and are threatened with the possibility of losing their homes," said James C. Smith, Webster's chairman and CEO. "Just as my father did when he founded Webster Bank during the Great Depression, we will do everything in our power to keep people in their homes."

The foreclosure and outreach programs will apply to eligible borrowers where Webster owns the mortgage. Eligible borrowers must occupy the home as their principal residence, be working in good faith to stay current on their mortgage and provide evidence of sufficient income to support affordable mortgage payments.

Mortgage assistance will focus on creating affordable, sustainable payment plans, and may include such options as: temporarily reducing the monthly payment, extending fixed payment periods on adjustable loans, extending mortgages beyond the current length, refinancing, or adjusting interest rates. The use of these options will be based upon underwriting criteria designed to ensure qualified homeowners can afford new modification terms.

Webster's foreclosure moratorium and mortgage assistance programs are designed with input from community and housing organizations. Webster is a regular sponsor of counseling workshops and works closely with community groups, state housing agencies, and other government agencies in providing home lending solutions to responsible borrowers. "Consistent with our goal to be New England's bank, we continue to work closely with community groups and local governments in our markets to identify those in need of assistance, and where possible, we will assist them," Smith said.

In addition to its own mortgages, Webster also services mortgages owned by other financial institutions and investors. Webster cannot unilaterally suspend foreclosure on mortgages it does not own. As part of its expanded mortgage assistance program, Webster will contact mortgage loan owners and investors on behalf of homeowners to see if they might qualify for other foreclosure prevention or mortgage assistance programs. "Webster will be there to help customers. If we cannot directly assist homeowners whose mortgages we service but don't own, we'll assist to see if there are other options for staying in their homes," Smith said.

Customers with questions about these programs can contact Webster's loan customer service center at 1-800-270-5400.

Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association. With $17.5 billion in assets, Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, financial planning, trust and investment services through 181 banking offices, 484 ATMs, telephone banking and the Internet. Webster Bank owns the asset-based lending firm Webster Business Credit Corporation, the insurance premium finance company Budget Installment Corp., Center Capital Corporation, an equipment finance company headquartered in Farmington, Conn., and provides health savings account trustee and administrative services through HSA Bank, a division of Webster Bank. Member FDIC and equal housing lender. For more information about Webster, including past press releases and the latest annual report, visit the Webster website at

SOURCE  Webster Financial Corporation
    -0-                           11/13/2008
    /CONTACT:  Media, Ed Steadham, +1-203-578-2287,,
or Investors, Terry Mangan, +1-203-578-2318,, both of
Webster Financial Corporation/
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CO:  Webster Financial Corporation; Webster Bank, N.A.
ST:  Connecticut

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5947 11/13/2008 09:30 EST